Recipe for Paneer Butter Masala

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Recipe for Paneer Butter Masala: Discover how to make the best restaurant-style paneer butter masala at home. Isn’t it exciting to make restaurant-style dishes at home? Years ago, I discovered this best paneer butter masala recipe in one of a library’s cookbooks. I attempted

My entire family became addicted to it after I tweaked it and made it for years. It’s creamy, flavorful, and absolutely delicious!! It’s delicious with butter naan, roti, plain basmati rice, or Jeera rice.

I enjoy simple recipes and cooking that require fewer ingredients and fewer steps to complete. This restaurant-style paneer butter masala recipe is always a hit due to its ease of preparation and delicious flavour. So, what exactly is it?

Paneer butter masala is a rich and creamy curry made with paneer, spices, onions, tomatoes, cashews, and butter. As the name implies, the curry is cooked in butter, which gives the dish its characteristic buttery flavour.

It is a popular dish in Indian restaurants, alongside kadai paneer, Palak Paneer, Matar Paneer, and Malai Kofta.

This paneer butter masala is every curry fan’s dream!! Sort paneer dipped in a creamy, silky, flavorful, and delectable curry. My simple recipe will teach you how to make the best butter paneer that tastes better than anything you’ll find in a restaurant. Make this once and I guarantee you’ll never order it again in a restaurant.

Except for cream, this recipe requires only pantry staples and no fancy ingredients. I’ve also mentioned some ingredient substitutes.

To begin making paneer butter masala, onions, tomatoes, and cashews are sautéed with spices. These are then blended into a silky smooth puree, which serves as the curry’s base. This is then combined with butter and spices to make butter masala.

Finally, cubed paneer and cream are added to make it creamy and incredibly delicious. A restaurant-quality paneer dish is ready in 30 to 40 minutes!

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe (Stepwise Pics)

Make the gravy

1. Fill a bowl halfway with hot water if using store-bought paneer. Rest for 15 to 20 minutes after adding paneer cubes. Drain the water and set it aside. This softens the paneer. I skip this step because I use this Homemade Paneer.

Paneer Butter Masala

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a hot pan. 2 green cardamoms and 1 cup cubed onions are optional.

Cook over a medium flame until they become transparent or lightly pink in colour. This only takes 4 minutes.

3. After that, add the following:

1 cup finely diced tomatoes

4 teaspoon salt. Sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Then cover the pan and cook until the mixture is ishy.

4. When the tomatoes and onions are completely soft and mushy, add the following ingredients:

4 teaspoons to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (low heat variety)

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)

12–14 cashews

4 tablespoons sugar (optional, to balance the flavors)

5. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat with this onion tomato masala. It should start to smell nice and aromatic. Turn off the heat.

6. Allow to cool completely before transferring to a blender. Pour in 1 cup of water. Blend until the mixture is super smooth.

To expedite the process, I pour ice cold water into the blender jar first, followed by the warm mixture.

7. Puree until very smooth and silky. If your blender isn’t powerful enough to make a fine puree, strain it into a bowl using a fine strainer.

Prepare paneer butter masala.

8. Melt 1/2 tbsp butter in a pan over low heat. When the butter has melted, add all of the spices listed below. If you don’t have them, you can skip them.

2 cardamoms, green

one bay leaf

1 teaspoon cinnamon

three cloves

9. Add 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste when the spices start to sizzle. Cook for 1 minute, or until you can smell it. The raw odour should dissipate. Cook this on a low to medium heat to avoid burning. Don’t let the paste burn.

10. Next, add the onion tomato puree. For a deeper colour, I added V4 teaspoon red chilli powder. This is entirely optional. If the flame on the stove is too high, the curry will splatter.

11. Immediately add 1/2 cup water and mix well to achieve a gravy consistency. If it’s too thick, add a little more water.

12. Cook, covered, over medium heat until the gravy thickens and becomes flavorful.

13. When the paneer butter masala gravy is done, it will have traces of fat all over it. This is the colour that you might get. Cook, with the lid off, until the gravy thickens.

Taste it and add more salt if necessary.

14. Once the gravy has reached the desired consistency, add 200 to 250 grammes paneer. Take 1 teaspoon of kasuri methi and crush it between your palms. Then combine it with the butter masala. When the gravy is still runny, do not add the paneer.

15. Incorporate thoroughly. Cook for 1 to 3 minutes on a low flame, covered. Cooking for a longer period of time may cause the paneer to become harder. Stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons cream. You should get a thick, creamy texture like the one shown below.

Transfer the Tansrer paneer butter masala to a serving bowl. 1 tablespoon cream and 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish. Paneer butter masala goes well with Jeera rice, chapathi, Paratha, roti, Butter naan, or plain basmati rice.

Suggestions for serving

Because paneer butter masala is so flavorful on its own, it can be served with just plain basmati rice. Any other non-mushy and grainy rice will work as well. On the side, some onion and cucumber slices with lemon wedges will be delicious.

If you prefer something other than plain rice, you can simply make jeera rice or ghee rice.

When they go out to eat, most Indians order paneer butter masala with butter naan, tandoori roti, or plain kulcha with sliced onions, carrots, cucumbers, and lemon. We eat it with plain soft roti or jeera rice at home.

Pro Hints

This dish’s silky smooth gravy is what makes it classic. So puree the cooked onion tomato mixture until it is very smooth. If you don’t have a strong blender, strain the puree through a strainer.

Fry Paneer

Fry paneer:

Paneer is usually added raw when making paneer butter masala. However, you can fry it first and then add it to the gravy. However, if you fry it incorrectly, it will become hard and chewy. Fry them in a little oil over medium heat until golden, then transfer to a bowl of water. Paneer absorbs water and remains soft. Simply frying it without this step makes it hard.

Cooking paneer butter masala after adding cream is not recommended. If your cream contains no stabilisers, it will most likely split when cooked with the curry.

Ingredients and alternatives

The cashews give the butter masala a mild sweet and milky flavour. They also help to thicken and stabilise the gravy. So don’t forget about them. However, almonds can be used in their place. Soak them for an hour in hot water, then peel off the skin and use them here.

Replace the nuts with your favourite seeds. More on this in the frequently asked questions section below.

If using store-bought paneer, make sure it is free of additives such as starch. Typically, store-bought paneer with added starch becomes rubbery as soon as it touches the hot curry. It’s a good idea to soak store-bought paneer in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes to refresh it. This step keeps paneer from becoming rubbery.

Paneer can be replaced with tofu, quorn, boilled eggs, or grilled mixed vegetables in this recipe.

The key ingredient in this recipe is onions, which are used to naturally sweeten the gravy.

They also help to balance out the tomato tang. If you don’t want to use onions, balance the tang with more cashews or cream.

Ripe tomatoes not only add colour to the paneer butter masala, but also a slight tang to the curry. Always use ripe red tomatoes. If they are even slightly underripe, they will alter the flavour of the dish.

Another important ingredient is butter. Use unsalted butter if possible. I believe the salted one is less fresh than the unsalted one. Make use of fresh, fragrant butter. If you don’t eat butter, you can substitute oil or ghee. However, your paneer butter masala will be devoid of true butter flavour.

I’ve made this recipe with fresh cream, whipping cream, heavy cream, cooking cream, and sterilised cream on several occasions. These are all dairy creams that work well. Use 3 tbsp more cooking cream than called for in the recipe. If using sterilised cream, whisk it with a fork in the container until smooth and uniform. After that, pour it.

Paneer Butter Masala Spices

Garam masala is the main flavouring ingredient in any Indian curry. Garam masala is not all the same. Unfortunately, most store-bought garam masala is flavourless. Their natural flavours fade as they oxidise. Please make use of a good one. Also, adjust the amount to your liking. I make my own garam masala.

Kashmiri red chilli powder gives the dish a deep colour without making it overly spicy or hot. Avoid using hotter varieties. Use any other low-heat variety, such as byadgi chilli powder or paprika.

Except for two cardamoms added with the onions, whole spices can be omitted. If you don’t have cardamoms, simply replace the whole pods with 4 to 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom. It should be added after the onions have been fried, not before.

Kasuri methi are dried fenugreek leaves that add a distinct aroma to the dish. If you cannot find them, simply skip as there is no substitute. However, the flavours of kasuri methi will be missed. This is easily available in any Indian store or on Amazon.

How do you make a one-pot dish?

In a steel pot, prepare the entire dish. Soak the cashews in hot water for 30 minutes to make it this way. All of the whole spices in the recipe should be avoided. If you want to compensate for the flavours, add more garam masala.

To begin, sauté the ginger and garlic in butter and oil. After that, add the onions. Follow the recipe exactly until the onion tomato masala is sautéed. Remove the pan from the heat and add the water as directed on the recipe card.

Blend the ingredients to a smooth puree with an immersion blender. Return the pan to the stove and continue to cook until the gravy thickens and you see traces of fat over the gravy.

From the time the curry comes to a boil, it takes about 10 to 12 minutes. However, do not cook the curry on high heat as it will splash out of the pot.

Butter paneer in the Instant Pot

Add 1 cup cubed onions, 1 2 cups chopped tomatoes, 14 cashews, 4 inch ginger, 3 garlic cloves, and 2 green cardamoms to the instant pot steel insert. Pour in 1 cup of water.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the steam valve to sealing. Set the timer for 6 minutes and press the pressure cook button.

When the pressure is released, remove the rice bowl and open the lid.

Using an immersion blender, puree this until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, strain and set aside the stock/water. Cool the onion mixture before adding it to a blender. Make a fine puree, adding as needed some strained stock/water.

2 tablespoons butter should be added to the instant pot. Press the sauté button (low). When the butter has melted, stir in 4 teaspoons red chilli powder, 4 teaspoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar.

Pour in the remaining strained water and onion tomato mixture quickly. If you don’t have a powerful blender, simply strain the mixture through a sieve or filter.

Mix everything together and add more water if necessary to achieve a gravy consistency. I pour in another half cup of water.

Allow it to cook for 7 to 8 minutes on saute (low). This is a critical step in making a flavorful paneer butter masala. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning. If the pot becomes too hot and the mixture sticks to the steel insert, switch between off and saute.

When the gravy is done, there will be traces of butter all over the curry. Taste and adjust with salt, sugar, or more garam masala as needed.

Check that the gravy is thick and smooth. After that, turn off the Instant Pot. Mix in the paneer, crushed kasuri methi, and cream. Stir well, then carefully remove the steel insert from the instant pot. Take care because it will be hot.

Cover with a plate and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve paneer butter masala garnished with cream and coriander leaves.


Is paneer butter masala nutritious?

It is a high-calorie dish, so only eat it occasionally and in moderation. Serve with whole wheat roti, chapatti, phulka, tandoori roti, or steamed rice for a healthier option.

What exactly is butter paneer?

It’s just another way of saying paneer butter masala. Paneer is also known as butter panee because it is cooked in a buttery masala (a masala cooked in butter).

Can we substitute milk for cream in paneer butter masala?

Unfortunately, milk curdles more frequently when cooked with acidic ingredients such as tomatoes. So, instead of cream, use more cashews in the recipe.

What can be used in place of cream in paneer butter masala?

To replicate the taste of cream, use cashew cream instead. Soak 15 cashew nuts in warm water for an hour before blending until creamy, smooth, and thick. After you turn off the stove, add this as the final step.

What makes paneer butter masala different from paneer tikka masala?

Paneer butter masala is made primarily of butter and has a smooth, silky curry to which raw paneer is added. Paneer tikka masala, on the other hand, is made with grilled paneer and is predominantly spicy with some texture in the curry.

Can we cook paneer in oil?

Yes, you can fry it in a tablespoon of oil until golden and then place it in a bowl of water.

This allows them to stay soft. However, frying will not enhance the flavour of the paneer.

What’s the deal with my rubbery paneer?

Paneer becomes rubbery when overcooked. Simply add it to hot gravy and leave it alone.

Cover the pan to allow the paneer to cook in the residual heat. Also, do not leave your paneer curry on a hot burner while it cooks.

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