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Low-Carb Paneer Makhani

4.6 stars, average of 227 ratings

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In this week's guest post, I'm excited to introduce Maria Silva, the author at Maria.Recipes, who created a delicious and easy-to-prepare vegetarian keto recipe featuring Indian-style homemade paneer cheese. For more keto recipes, don't forget to follow Maria on Instagram!

Indian food is definitely my favorite, but it is traditionally full of fat, carbs and sugar. Curries are almost always eaten with rice AND rotis (wheat flatbread), and desserts are so sweet I get a sugar rush every time. Not great for keto!

But traditional Indian recipes, when slightly tweaked, can become a delicious low-carb meal, both for people who want to find new interesting ways to cook meat, and also for vegetarians, as Indian food has a very strong vegetarian tradition.

Paneer makhani (literally, “Cottage cheese in butter sauce”) is one of the most decadent vegetarian Indian dishes. It consists of a spicy tomato-based sauce cooked in butter and then garnished with heavy whipping cream, making a creamy, spicy, tangy and sweet curry that everyone loves.

Can I Use a Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can use a slow cooker. In fact, the Instant Pot does both! To make this vegetarian low-carb Paneer Makhani recipe in a slow cooker (crockpot), brown the ingredients in a heavy-based pan and then transfer into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or on high for 1 to 2 hours.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 1 cup

Allergy information for Low-Carb Paneer Makhani

✔  Gluten free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, about 1 cup)

Net carbs7.8 grams
Protein15.6 grams
Fat40.4 grams
Calories458 kcal
Calories from carbs 7%, protein 14%, fat 79%
Total carbs10.2 gramsFiber2.4 gramsSugars6.7 gramsSaturated fat25.2 gramsSodium82 mg(4% RDA)Magnesium16 mg(4% RDA)Potassium256 mg(13% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 3 servings)

  • 200 g (7.1 oz) paneer (you can make your own paneer)
  • 3 tbsp butter (45 g/ 1.6 oz)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, roughly chopped (75 g/ 2.7 oz)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped (200 g/ 7.1 oz)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, chopped, or 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (80 ml/ 2.7 fl oz)
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
  • salt to taste
  • Suggested sides to serve: Keto Naan Bread or cauli-rice
Optional ingredients:
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • stevia to taste
  • red chili powder to taste
  • 1/3 tsp dried fenugreek leaves


  1. Add the butter to a pan over medium-high heat. Once it has melted, add the bayleaf and the cumin seeds. Let them cook for about 45 seconds.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and ginger with a pinch of salt. Cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until the onion is very soft.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, stevia, coriander powder and turmeric, as well as 1/3 cup water. Cook about 5 minutes until the tomatoes are broken down.
  4. Take out the bayleaf if you can find it, then transfer everything into a blender and blend until you have a fine paste. You can add some water if it is too thick.
  5. Put he sauce back into the pan over medium-high heat, and add the cubed paneer.
  6. Let it all simmer together for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off the stove, add the cream, garam masala and fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
  8. Garnish with coriander and eat with cauli-rice or with flax roti.

Low-Carb Paneer Makhani

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 1 cup)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
2.7 g13.9 g18.5 g231 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0.1 g11.5 g102 kcal
Bay leaf, dried
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Cumin, spices
0.1 g0.1 g0.1 g1 kcal
Onion, brown (yellow), raw
1.6 g0.2 g0 g9 kcal
Tomatoes, fresh
1.8 g0.6 g0.1 g12 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.3 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Ginger root, fresh
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Turmeric, spices (dried, ground)
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Garam masala, spice mix
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cream, heavy whipping, pouring, full-fat (30-40% fat)
0.7 g0.5 g10.1 g98 kcal
Coriander (cilantro), fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, about 1 cup
7.8 g15.6 g40.4 g458 kcal

Do you like this recipe? Share it with your friends! 

Maria Silva
Creator of


I am a recently graduated medicine student and am passionate about health, nutrition and functional medicine. Having lived through disordered eating and struggled with self image, I understand the importance of a good diet to not only look good (after all, looks are subjective!) but to feel good, vibrant and healthy.

It is my goal to help as many people as possible to discover that food can be medicine both for the body and the soul, and that a healthy lifestyle can be not only rewarding, but also delicious and fun!

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Comments (16)

Made this recipe tonight, and it was completely delicious! I will definitely make again.

Tasty! Will make again.

The macros are incorrect. I added the recipe in myfitnesspal and it comes to 16g of carb.

Hi Sujeet, My Fitness Pal (and many others) use non-verified crowd sourced entries in their calculations - this meal in particular is calculated incorrectly. We have the correct values because we use verified ingredients in all of our recipes that we share on the blog and in the app. You can read more about what we do to minimise errors which is what many apps fail to do: Barcode Scanning and Food Database in the KetoDiet App
Recently we also added "trust levels" into our app: Activity Tracking is Now Available in the KetoDiet App! - This enables users to see how reliable the sources are.

Is this 458 calories per serve?

Yes, that is correct.

You can add     clove , cardamon and pinch of cinnamon , it will bring imaging flavor !!

This looks so great. A simple homemade delicious food which is also good for health. Thanks for this recipe, I would definitely try my hands on these too.

Another great recipe 😊 I was so proud of myself to have made paneer, which was surprisingly easy! This was absolutely delicious. Thank you for having yet another wonderful vegetarian recipe! Quite good.

Seriously delicious !

Omg. This was amazing . I made it lower carb by using ginger/garlic powder, instead of fresh. Would you mind if I added a version of this to my website? I'm starting to change my opinion of healthy- and need a few really fantastic recipes to get people started...

Hi Tara, it's fine with me as long as you mention the original recipe. Thanks!

This was so delicious! I thought the video link to making home made  paneer was really helpful. FUN!!! I made cheese! My husband and I both loved this over cauli rice. I don't like stevia much so I used a little powdered erythritol instead and it worked well. Making it again tonight; it's in our rotation, for sure!!! Thanks for the yum!

I made this delicious recipe last night. I'm a big fan of Indian food and haven't had a curry since going Keto earlier year. So this was a Big Treat.  
I also made the coconut chapatis because I miss Naan bread so much. They were a little like peshwari naan as they have a lovely coconut flavour. But I need to practice them more.
I recommend this for being big in flavour and perfect for low carb.
Next time I'm trying this sauce with broccoli and cauliflower.

OMG soo yummy! I need to try this this evening! =)

I do not see stevia or tomato paste in the ingredients list with an amount I only see them written within the instructions. Looks great though!