Makhani Sauce (Butter based Tomato sauce)

If you are the familiar with the popular dishes that 9 out of 10 Indian restaurants never fail to offer, Dal Makhani has to be one of them. Makhani' is a Hindustani word meaning "with butter". It is used in the names of several dishes from Punjabi cuisine. . This delicate tasting buttery tomato sauce is part of quite a few dishes, Dal Makhani, mixed vegetables Makhani, Spinach machani and Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala).
 Traditionally fresh butter and cream were used to cook this basic sauce. But in my recipe I used very less butter and no cream at all. Instead of butter I replaced smart balance oil in my recipe.
This sauce keeps very well for 3 days refrigerated, for 6 months frozen. It is better to freeze it into two different containers. BUT if you want to freeze it, DO NOT add the cream and the milk. Add the cream and the milk when you want to use it to prepare the final dish.

Organic Tomato sauce                   -    6 cups
Ginger paste                                   – 3 tbsp.
Finely chopped green chilies                – 2 tsp.
Kashmiri chili powder                     –     1 tsp
Honey                                               – 2 tsp.
Kasuthuri Methti (Dry fenugreek leaves)   1 tbsp.
Butter                                              1tbsp
Cooking oil  (Smart balance)             – 3 tbsp.
Salt                                              – to taste
Cinnamon sticks                  – 2 ( broken into small pieces)
Black cardamom                      – 2 no
Green cardamom                    – 4 no
Cloves                                   – 4 no(crush)

  • Dry fry the masalas and coarsely grind them.
  • In a pan, heat oil & butter. Add the coarsely round masalas, green chilies, ginger paste and red chili powder. Lower the stove heat, Fry till the oil separates.
  • Now add the tomato sauce, Kasuthuri methi powder, salt. Cover the pan and let it cook in a lower heat.
  • Cook till reduces the tomato sauce. (Spice masala leaves the sides of the pan and the oil separates) 
  • Add honey and mix it well.  Cook for two more minutes.
  • Use immediately or pour sauce into a bowl; cover bowl and refrigerate or freeze sauce. 


  • After the sauce is done, proceed to cook whatever dish you have decided. Just you need to shallow fry the vegetables, add few amount of sauce, and add heavy cream and milk. Boil/simmer for about 10 minutes. Your Makhani is ready.
  • If you like the sauce more creamy and mild you may want to increase the amount of fresh cream added to the sauce. You may also adjust the quantity of sugar/honey in the sauce according to your taste.