Cook's Hideout: Makhani Paneer Biryani

January 19, 2015

Makhani Paneer Biryani

Blogging Marathon# 48: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Biryani of different Styles
Dish: Makhani Paneer Biryani
Here's a delicious biryani made with paneer for all paneer and biryani fans. Paneer is cooked with tomatoes, spices and some cream to make a lip smacking curry that is layered with basmati rice and then baked off (or cooked on dum) for an awesome tasting biryani that is sure to wow anyone.
Makhani Paneer Biryani
I had more than a gallon of 1% milk that needed to be used up real fast, so I made paneer flavored with cumin seeds, ground coriander, chili flakes and kasuri methi. Now that I had that in the fridge, I was looking for recipes to use it and found the recipe for Makhani Paneer biryani here. It sounded like the perfect dish to make with my homemade flavored paneer.

Homemade Flavored Paneer
The biryani turned out spicy and very yummy. Since there are not many vegetables in the biryani itself,  I served it with Sandhya's spinach raita and it was just a perfect accompaniment.

Recipe adapted from here.
IngredientsServes 2~3
For the Rice Layer:
Basmati Rice - 1cup
Bay Leaf - 1
Cardamom pods - 3
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon stick - 1" piece
Water - 1½cups
Salt - to taste

For the Makhani Paneer Layer:
Paneer - 1cup, cubed
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Ginger-garlic paste - 1tsp
Tomato puree - 1cup
Cardamom pods - 3
Cloves - 3
Mace - 1
Cinnamon stick - 1" piece
Ground Cumin - ½tsp
Ground Coriander - ½tsp
Tandoori Masala - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - ½tsp
Almond/ Cashew paste - 2tbsp (soak either of the nuts and then grind to a smooth paste. I used almond butter instead)
Cream/ Whole Milk - ¼cup
Salt - to taste

For Garnish:
Almonds/ Cashews - 2tbsp each, roasted and chopped
Cilantro - ¼cup, chopped
Mint - ¼cup, chopped
Fried Onions - ½cup

  • For the Rice Layer: Rinse the rice and soak for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat 2tsp oil in a heavy bottom pan, add the whole spices and once they start to get fragrant, then add the drained rice and fry for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the pan.
  • Next add water and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and cook for 10~15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and rice is about 90%~95% cooked through.
  • Take the pan off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • For the Makhni Paneer Layer: Heat 2tbsp oil and 1tbsp ghee in a large nonstick pan, gently add the paneer pieces and fry till they are lightly brown on all sides. Don't overcook the paneer at this stage, overcooking will result in very chewy paneer. Remove the paneer using a slotted spoon onto a plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add all the whole spices and once they get aromatic, add the onions, green chilies and ginger-garlic paste. Cook on medium flame until the onions turn lightly browned.
  • Add turmeric, ground cumin, coriander, tandoori masala and salt. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Next add the tomato puree, mix well; cover and cook for 7~10 minutes.
  • Stir in the almond paste and cream. Mix well and add the fried paneer. Cover and simmer for 6~8 minutes. The makhni layer is ready to be layered.
  • To Assemble: Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly grease a baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Spread ⅓rd of the rice in the bottom of the pan, then top it with ½ of the paneer mixture. Sprinkle ½ of the toasted nuts, fried onions and chopped herbs. 
  • Repeat the layers with rice and paneer mixture. Top the paneer layer with the remaining ⅓rd of the rice and sprinkle the top with ½ of the toasted nuts, fried onions and chopped herbs. Cover the pan tightly with a foil and bake for 15~18 minutes or until the rice is completely tender. Serve with raita and enjoy!!
Makhani Paneer Biryani
Let's check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 48.


  1. I can imagine the lovely aroma of this biryani. Tandoori masala is an interesting addition. The flavored paneer looks great.

  2. Wow..this paneer biryani definitely has a wow factor. Loved it . In fact just waiting to try all three biryanis. Awesome series Pavani.Simply too good.

  3. I can only say yum yum yum pavani !! That homemade paneer with cumin and spices is taking my breath away ;)) what a decadent looking dish !! And I love the first pic, especially ! Well done 👍👍

  4. such a picture perfect biriyani!!! looks stunning!!

  5. Such a delicious Briyani! And love the flavored paneer in that! Superb!!!!

  6. Pavani, we ended up making the same dish..:)..though I can't compete in the looks department with you..such a beautifully presented one..

  7. I made paneer biryani for day 3 too. Yours have come out so well Pavani. Pictures are stunning. Jayanthi(

  8. Loved the spiced Paneer n the biryani ... Delicious

  9. Paneer biryani looks superb!

  10. Irresistible biryani, whoever loves paneer will go crazy if they saw this briyani..mouthwatering here.

  11. Such a flavorful biryani. Mouthwatering dish..

  12. Wow ! Biryani looks irresistible. Lovely presentation.

  13. Love these layered biriyanis.. amazing

  14. That's a totally tempting biryani...Drooling over here. Love your presentation

  15. Love your spiced paneer cubes! I need to call you and ask how you made them :) Love this recipe and I am bookmarking it!

  16. Awesome paneer. Loved the biryanis as I said I am drooling and all are bookmarked.

  17. Wow! I am totally sold on the spicy paneer cubes!!


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