30 Minute



Easy Navratri Fasting Recipe – Paneer Makhni (No Butter & Milk Cream)

Easy Navratri Fasting Recipe – Paneer Makhni (No Butter & Milk Cream)

No onion, no garlic, and not even heavy milk cream – this recipe is just right for your Navratri fasting season. Also, if you don’t eat onion and garlic, this recipe is for you. You won’t be able to resist licking the plate. It is creamy, rich, and much lighter than the regular paneer gravy recipes. You would want to make it again and again.

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What is the Navratri Festival?

Navratri (also known as Navaratri or Navrate), is a joyous Hindu festival. It is celebrated over 9 to 10 days. “Navratri” is a word from the Sanskrit language – Nav means nine and Ratri means night. This festival is celebrated two times a year, once in the spring (Chaitra Navratri) and once in the autumn (Sharad Navratri). Sharad Navratri falls during September or October and is widely celebrated all across India.

One of the main aspects of Navratri is fasting (known as Vrat or Upvas). During fasting, devotees avoid eating some foods, like grains, pulses, onions, garlic, alcohol, and non-vegetarian items. But they eat fasting food items like fruits, nuts, dairy products, etc.

Navratri fasting

What food items are allowed in Navratri?

Food items that are allowed during the Navratri season are as follows:

  1. Vegetables like potato, tomato, arbi, cucumber, carrot, bottle gourd, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.
  2. Fruits
  3. Dairy Products
  4. Coconut
  5. Nuts and Seeds
  6. Quinoa, Buckwheat, Little Millet (Samai or Samak), Water Chestnut Flour (Singhade Ka Aata).
  7. Spices like cumin seeds, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cardamom, carom seeds (ajwain), cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, etc.
  8. Rock Salt

What food items are not allowed in Navratri?

Food items that are not allowed during the Navratri season are as follows:

  1. Onion and Garlic: They are Tamsik in nature and hence not consumed.
  2. Lentils and Pulses like moong dal, chana dal, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.
  3. Grains and their flours like wheat flour, gram flour (besan), etc.
  4. Eggs, Non-Vegetarian Food Items like chicken.
  5. Alcohol (some people avoid smoking too).
  6. Salt
  7. Canned Food Items

Everybody has their own beliefs and follows their own rules during the fasting period. That is why, I suggest you adjust the recipes based on how you follow your fasting and celebrate Navratri.

Tips To Make It Right

Please follow the instructions mentioned below to make it just perfect.

  1. Gravy Color: Add red chili powder and turmeric powder with the tomato puree because it gives a nice color to the gravy.
  2. Creamy Texture: Instead of butter and heavy milk cream, make a paste of nuts and seeds. Cook on low flame. It gives a smooth and creamy texture to the gravy.
  3. Gravy Consistency: The gravy thickens as it cools down. Hence, keep the consistency needed.

Is this recipe vegan-friendly?

This recipe is not vegan because it is made with paneer (cottage cheese) and milk. These two ingredients are not plant-based or vegan. To make it vegan, use tofu (not a fasting ingredient) and nuts-seeds paste.

How to serve Paneer Gravy?

You can serve it with the following:

  1. Steamed Rice or Jeera Rice
  2. Chapati or Parathas
  3. Soft Kuttu Ki Roti (Buckwheat Flour Tortilla)
  4. Salad – cucumber, and pink radish

No onion No garlic Paneer Gravy

Can this recipe be refrigerated?

Yes. Of course. Refrigerate the leftover recipe and consume it within 2 days. It tastes even better the next day because all the flavors get infused with each other well. Re-heat while you want to eat.

More Navratri Recipes

  1. Quinoa Pulao
  2. Buckwheat Cheela (Kuttu ka cheela) – fasting recipe
  3. Beetroot Smoothie Bowl – fasting recipe
  4. Amaranth (Rajgira) Dates Energy Bars
  5. Spinach & Coconut Water Smoothie

Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this delicious and mouth-watering Indian curry – Paneer Gravy – at home. It is perfect for lunch or a weekend brunch recipe. You can enjoy it even on fasting days. Make a little extra because it tastes amazing the next day. Since it is made with paneer, cashews, and seeds paste, it is rich in proteins too.

If you try this recipe & like it too, please share the photo of your creation on Instagram and tag us @thefearlesscooking. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us


Easy Navratri Fasting Recipe – Paneer Makhni (No Butter & Milk Cream)

Creamy. Delicious. Lip-Smacking.

This No Onion, No Garlic Paneer Gravy recipe will make you lick your plate. It is creamy without any butter or heavy milk cream making it much lighter. Want to know the secret ingredient? Check and find out. 



10 min

Prep Time

40 min

Cook Time

50 min

Total Time



  1. Soak Cashews, sunflower seeds, and poppy seeds in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  2. Prepare Tomato Puree: In a blender, add roughly cut tomatoes, green chilies, and ginger. Blend until smooth. 
  3. Add a little water if needed to blend.
  4. Heat some oil in a saucepan and add tomato puree to it. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and let it cook on medium flame until it starts to release the oil. Keep stirring in between to prevent burning. 
  5. It takes around 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare a smooth paste of soaked cashews, sunflower seeds, and poppy seeds. 
  7. Add water if needed to blend well.
  8. Once the tomatoes are well cooked and all the moisture is evaporated, add the prepared cashew paste. Mix well. Cook on medium-low flame until it starts to release the oil. It takes around 7 to 10 minutes. Keep stirring.
  9. Add coriander powder, garam masala, and Kasuri methi. Mix well. 
  10. Add milk and water. Mix and lower the flame. Cook until the gravy thickens and you get the desired consistency. It may take around 15 to 20 minutes. 
  11. Once the gravy thickens, add paneer cubes, sugar, and amchoor powder. Mix well and let it cook for around 5 minutes. 
  12. Once done, switch off the flame and add ghee. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve and enjoy with some rice or chapatti. :)


What food items are allowed (or not) in Navratri?
There are two main food items that are not consumed during the Navratri season – onion and garlic. They are considered Tamsik in nature and hence to be avoided. If you are fasting then consuming lentils, grains, any grain flour like whole wheat flour, besan (gram flour), or all-purpose flour, salt, canned food, and the food prepared using onion and garlic are not allowed. Non-vegetarian food items including eggs are also not allowed. Devotees also prefer not to smoke or drink alcohol during these nine days. Apart from that, you can consume dairy products like curd, milk, paneer, vegetables like potato, tomato, arbi, cucumber, carrot, bottle gourd, eggplant, etc. You can even consume coconut, nuts, and seeds. Spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, cardamom, ajwain, etc. are also allowed.

What grains (or pseudo-grains) can be consumed during Navratri?
Following grains or their flour can be consumed during Navratri fasting season:
  1. Buckwheat or Buckwheat Flour (kuttu ka aata)
  2. Amaranth (Rajgira)
  3. Quinoa
  4. Water Chestnut Flour (singhade ka aata)
  5. Samai (samak ke chawal)

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