Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that marks the beginning of the Hindu new year.


Credit: Jenny Huang

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
1 hr 15 mins
Serves 8 to 10

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that represents the triumph of good over evil, is celebrated for five days in late autumn and is one of the biggest holidays in India. For Barkha Cardoz, wife of late chef Floyd Cardoz, the holiday isn't complete without paneer makhani, a creamy tomato-based curry her husband would make as part of the feast. "My sons and I will carry on making these family recipes, as it will be our way of making sure Floyd is always a part of the celebration in our home," she says. "He will live on through the food we cook every single day."

This article originally appeared in our Holiday 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a blender, working in batches if necessary, puree the tomatoes, chile, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Add the turmeric, chile powder, and honey and blend again.

  • Transfer the mixture to a large pot over medium heat. Add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the sauce thickens and has reduced by half, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add the diced paneer and season to taste with salt.

  • Add the heavy cream and butter and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fully blended into the sauce, about 10 minutes. Add the garam masala and fenugreek, if using, and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and top with cilantro. Serve with white basmati rice and roti or naan alongside.


Spice company Burlap & Barrel launched its Floyd Cardoz Masala collaboration earlier this year. Try 3 tbsp. of his Kashmiri Masala in place of the peppercorns, turmeric, and chili powder.