paneer makhani biryani recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Paneer Makhani Biryani

A rich & creamy pressure cooker biryani made with the delicious paneer makhani or the paneer butter masala sauce with a mild flavor of dried fenugreek leaves.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Soaking Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: North Indian
Keyword: paneer butter masala biryani, paneer makhani biryani, vegetarian biryani varieties
Servings: 4
Calories: 454kcal
Author: Srividhya G


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion pureed approx 1 cup after pureed
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree I used store-bought one.
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1.5 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp tandoori masala
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp milk lukewarm
  • 5 saffron strands
  • 8 oz paneer cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves kasoori methi
  • 10 cashews whole
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 1.25 cup water divided (1 + 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup basmati rice washed and soaked 20 minutes



  • Wash the rice and soak it in water for 20 minutes and then drain it.
  • Soak the cashews in lukewarm water for atleast 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the water. Then grind into a paste by adding 3 to 4 tbsps of water and set aside. Do not add the entire 1/4 cup of water while grinding the cashews.
  • Use the remaining 1 cup of water to rinse the mixer jar and set it aside.
  • Soak the saffron strands in 4 tbsp of lukewarm milk for 20 minutes.
  • Chop the onion roughly and grind into a coarse puree — no need to add water while grinding the onion.


  • Heat the pressure cooker and melt the butter.
  • Then add the cumin seeds, onion paste, and the ginger-garlic paste. Cook until the raw smell goes off. It took me about 8 minutes.
  • Next add the tomato puree, red chili powder, garam masala, tandoori masala, sugar, and salt — Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Then add the chopped paneer and kasoori methi. Mix well.
  • Now add the cashew puree and 1 cup of the reserved water used for rinsing the mixer jar.
  • Next add the rice, cilantro and saffron milk. Mix gently.
  • Close the pressure cooker lid and put the weight on.
  • Cook for one whistle and after one whistle, reduce the heat to low(on a number scale it is 2) and cook for 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally. After opening the pressure cooker lid, allow the rice to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Then fluff it with a fork and serve warm with raita.


  • You can use regular tomatoes instead of the store-bought puree. In that case, grind two medium-sized tomatoes separately.
  • Adjust the salt and spice according to your preference.
  • As the sauce is heavy and as we are adding milk and cashew puree, 1 cup of water is sufficient for this biryani. You need approx 1 1/3 cup of water for 1 cup of rice. You can split and adjust the water&milk according to your preference.
  • Instead of milk, you can use heavy cream too.
  • You can turn off the heat after one whistle, but I allowed it to cook for five more minutes for the biryani to absorb all the heavy sauces. It acts as a DUM as well.
  • If you want grainy biryani, I would recommend, cooking the gravy separately and the rice separately and then mix them both gently.


Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 978mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 680IU | Vitamin C: 5.5mg | Calcium: 323mg | Iron: 1.8mg