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Keto Paneer Makhanwala

It’s butter chicken without the chicken

Indian restaurant menus are normally divided into ‘veg’ and ‘non veg’ sections. While chicken makhanwala or butter chicken sits proudly as the star of the show, there is the close cousin, often neglected but equally delicious, paneer makhanwala. It’s probably the staple dish that vegetarians order at ‘Mughlai’ or ‘North Indian Restaurants’ as it’s a dish from the North of India. Since I randomly decided to do a meat free week of Keto (mainly to figure out if I am having too much protein) I decided now would be a good time to make this recipe.

So here is my Keto Paneer Makhanwala. Enjoy! And if you do eat meat, I’ve got a white butter chicken, a regular butter chicken, a bacon butter chicken and a cheat’s butter chicken recipe for you.

Vegetarian Keto

I get many questions about vegetarian Keto and YES you can do Keto even if you are vegetarian and frankly speaking you can do it as a vegan as well. I’ve done vegetarian Keto and I made a vlog about it as well. I covered what I eat in a day as well as grocery shopping. I did the same and made a vegan Keto vlog.


Keto Paneer Makhanwala


Nutrition Info (Per serving)

  • Calories: 293
  • Net Carbs: 4g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 25g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Fiber: 0g

This recipe makes 4 servings. Get this recipe on myfitnesspal.

Keto Paneer Makhanwala

Keto Paneer Makhanwala

A fresh Indian cheese (paneer) cooked in a rich tomato gravy
4.23 from 45 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings



  • The first thing you want to do is melt the butter in the saucepan and add in the onions and cumin seeds and cook till the onions turn translucent and soften.
  • Then add in the spices, tumeric, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder along with the ginger garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Then add in the tomato puree and water and mix well and allow to cook for 10 minutes
  • While the sauce is simmering cut the paneer into bite size pieces and pan fry till golden brown on all sides.
  • Once the sauce has reduced and the tartness of the puree cooked out then season it with salt and add in the Kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves.
  • Add in the cream and mix well. Finally add the paneer and garnish with coriander.
  • Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Hey,

    I made a recipe keto shawarma, it 8s awesome. You should also try and create a video for that.

    Chicken vertically striped (small length), Add egg, salt, black pepper, cyan pepper, paprika, corriander powder, red chilly ,lemon pepper, ginger garlic paste. Each one spoon for 250gms of chicken. Add turmeric if needed. Add 2 spoons of greek yogurt. Marinate for 30 mins.

    Heat big chunk of butter in a tava, 1 spoon of olive oil. Put all marinated chicken pieces. Stir continuously for 5 to 7 mins.

    Have cabbage, lettuce, tomato onion( less in quantity) cucumber thin strips. Use mayoneese and mix. Put it on a plate , put cooked meat on top of this. Add mustard sauce and eat.

  2. Hey Sahil this looks awesome I’m going to be cooking this tomorrow!
    I’m a massive fan of sweet & sour curries like chaat, pathia, etc… do you have any recipes for something with a bit of a sour kick PLEASE?!

  3. I made a double batch of this for dinner the other day. WOW! What a GREAT dish! Love the dried fenugreek leaves and browning the paneer really made this nutty and delicious. ??????????????

    1. Hi, I ran into the same problem tonight actually. I made this recipe for 4 people and followed the recipe for 8 servings. After making the first batch I realized it wasn’t going to be enough for the amount of Paneer 4 people would have so I had to make another 8 servings recipe.

  4. Hi,
    Paneer is not available where I live . I thought of making paneer from milk by adding vinegar/lime. but I was wondering that the milk has carbs – so how will it become Keto friendly ??

    1. Hi Bhavna, I have a recipe for homemade paneer here: https://headbangerskitchen.com/keto-paneer/
      So butter, cream, cheese etc are all made from milk right? So milk has carbs so how do these products become Keto friendly? We add cultures and things to milk to separate it and give us the fattier part of milk and we discard most of the carbs through the whey that is left behind. So when you make paneer there are curds that form, those are the milk fats and the liquid that’s left is the whey. Which is why paneer, butter, cheese , cream etc are all Keto friendly.

  5. Made this for dinner this week……one word…..AWESOME!! It was so flavorsome, will certainly be making again……delish!!! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  6. Third time to make this – it is off the wall delicious – Might even serve it to my Indian friends! Only thing is the portion size is too small for my husband and me. Only just enough for both of us – yum yum

  7. Hi Sahil,
    You’re doing great work ,hats off! Brother. Keep this going. Meanwhile can you tell me whether you count carbs from spices/ ONION/tomato/garlic and ginger paste on keto?

  8. I am usually not that great of a cook when it comes to Indian food. I usually just wait for my mom to visit to make great home-cooked food. I never even cared for paneer but while on keto, I’ve been getting so sick of meat!
    On a whim a few months ago, I bought frozen paneer and panicked because I had no idea what to do with it. I tried this recipe first and couldn’t believe how delicious it turned out! It was better than any restaurant chicken makhanwala! It now make this recipe atleast once every week or two when I want something heavy but don’t want meat.
    As an added bonus, I use the leftover sauce as my base for (arabic) shakshuka. I just crack an egg on top and let it simmer until the egg is cooked. It’s the only way to get my kids eating egg and my husband absolutely loves it too!

  9. Made this twice now awesome both times. Great that I could make a vat of sauce and then split it into one pot for my husband who had chicken and one for me

  10. Ok, this is probably my favorite dish I’ve ever made. It goes head to head against my Grandma’s chicken pot pie, and I don’t say that lightly. I like a little extra tomato paste in there for extra tartness.
    Thank you Thank you, for something truly outstanding!

  11. I’ve made this so many times – my absolute favourite keto dish! My boyfriend is not a big fan of paneer though, would this exact receipe (minus the paneer) work well with chicken instead?

    1. Yes it will be perfect with chicken. In fact I have 2 different butter chicken recipes on the website.

  12. I made this today for the first time and it came out very good. Thanks for the recipe. I am on my 4th day and your recipes have been lifesaver. they really help with counting my macros. Before keto diet, I used to make a lot of Punjabi dishes so I did make some edits accordingly. I added bayleaf, 2 cardmom, and a small stick of cinnamon in the beginning with cumin.that really brings out the flavor. I did not do it this time because the quantity was so low but you can blend the gravy with whole spices in blendtec or Vitamix after they have cooked to add amazing strong spice flavor.

  13. This was just incredible. My husband probably over indulged and honestly may have licked his plate. I added a bit of extra water to thin out the cream but this was just AMAZING!!!

  14. Sooooooo delicious! Another winner, Sahil, this is a breeze to put together with standard Indian ingredients, and I couldn’t be happier 🤗 Thank you so much, this is lovely with or without a keto naan… Yay!

  15. Would this sauce work well with chicken thighs? I LOVE the way it tastes with paneer, but my carnivorous hubby is looking for some meat

  16. Amazing! I have never cooked indian food before and was shocked about how wonderful this came out. Thank you so much for sharing this you have made keto a lot easier!

  17. Thanks Sahil….this recipe was so easy and so delicious. I made this with your Keto Naan. Such a great combo! All the savory recipes that I have tried from your blog have been simple and delicious. Hope you keep posting more….makes Keto so much easier and tasty!

  18. I love the recipes and this one did not disappoint my wife. It stated that it was for four….eeekk. We saw it and bulked it up with 300g spinach and added onion seeds at the end. Sahil thanks and as a weekly non-keto treat we will follow your newer recipes.

  19. Awesome recipe. I had four frozen packages of paneer and just quadrupled the recipe. After browning the paneer part way I put it on a pan into the oven and lgpet it cook a little longer at 400. Puffed up nicely and has a super texture now that it’s been added back to the sauce. I’m a chili head and added 3 scotch bonnet peppers and a fair bit of ground cayenne powder. It’s not overly hot but has a remarkable lingering mild heat. Awesome recipe, man. Keep it up!! I’m going to freeze dry most of it for backwoods yummy! Imagine some of this after a day of hiking or canoeing? Wow!!

  20. It was SO GOOD. However, it’s 4 portions only if you and your family members are hummingbirds. (So do more!)

  21. Incredibly easy and sooo delicious! Made your paneer first, and it’s so much better than the ones I’ve been buying. Can’t believe how easy it is to make.
    Someone mentioned “licking the plate” earlier…..
    Thank you so much!! I really appreciate your recipes and work!

  22. This is so simple to make and so satisfying. Really scratches the “itch” for Indian food which was one of my go-to indulgences before I started keto. Thanks for your generosity in sharing this wonderful recipe!

  23. I love this recipe! I was always taught to puree the dish and then simmer afterwards with a bay leaf. This gravy is exceptionally flexible and good with everything from paneer to kielbasa.

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