Paneer Butter masala recipe – one of the most loved paneer recipes by readers. A remarkable creamy, mildly sweet paneer dish cooked in tomato cashew nut gravy, spices and cream in restaurant style. A different and utterly tasty recipe than the other butter paneer recipes out there, so make it now and enjoy !
Up here on the blog today, is an excellent creamy and tasty easy Paneer Butter Masala Recipe, an authentic Punjabi recipe. Indian cottage cheese known as Paneer in hindi, I can say is considered as the king in veg dishes at eating joints and restaurants, isn’t it?
After all, any easy paneer recipes are all time love for we Indians. All in all, a perfect restaurant made or dhaba flavour paneer gravy to enjoy occasionally or frequently at home. From quick family meal to dinner parties, or weekend brunch, this paneer butter masala recipe will never ever fail you.
What is Paneer Butter Masala?
Paneer Butter Masala also known as Butter Paneer is delicious, buttery, rich, creamy dish of Indian cottage cheese. The dish is the one of the most demanding vegetarian curry that is served in Indian restaurants.
In this curry, tender paneer cubes are dunked in tomato cashew nut based mildly sweet gravy with the dash of kasuri methi and fresh cream. Enjoy the remarkable meal of this dish with your favourite Indian breads and rice (or pulao).
Difference between Butter Paneer Masala Recipe and Paneer Makhani Recipe
Restaurant style Paneer Butter Masala recipe and Paneer Makhani are not exactly the same, still similar. Here, you will find a very slight difference in both even though they both are cooked in butter (makhan) or makhani gravy.
Butter paneer gravy has the base of tomatoes cooked with spices, cashew nuts and which is then pureed. While, in paneer makhani recipe, the makhani gravy has a base of onions, whole spices, seasonings and tomato puree. However, many do refer butter paneer masala as paneer makhani.
Easy Paneer Butter Masala Ingredients
- Here, I have used fresh malai paneer cubes, tomatoes and cashew nuts and of course lots of butter. Both, unsalted as well salted butter will do great to make the recipe. Use good quality butter only.
- This is followed by a piece of ginger garlic, green chilies, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaf.
- Then comes the spice powders like dhaniya powder (coriander powder), haldi (turmeric) powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, Garam masala powder and salt.
- Lastly, we need kasuri Methi. Adding little sugar to the gravy gives mild sweetness as well as spark to the gravy.
- Cream, packed as well as homemade fresh ones can also be used.
How to make No Onion No Garlic Paneer Butter Masala?
If you are looking for Jain version, a no onion no garlic restaurant style paneer butter masala gravy, the only thing you need to do is just skip garlic and proceed with rest. However, we are NOT using onion in this recipe of butter masala gravy. So, just skipping the garlic from this recipe, will solve the purpose easily.
Can Paneer Butter Masala be frozen?
Yes, we can freeze butter paneer masala in a clean airtight container for good 4 months. Before serving, thaw it well on the counter and reheat it in microwave or on stove top. Thaw it at the counter for few hours and proceed with addition of paneer to give the final touch to the gravy.
Tips to make best Paneer Butter Masala at home
- To make paneer butter masala, always use best quality fresh malai paneer cubes. You can also make malai paneer at home as well.
- Always, pick firm red tomatoes to make butter masala gravy to get the best result. You can also add tablespoon of tomato puree along with onion tomato masala. This will give more intense restaurant style flavour to the dish.
- I would strongly urge you to use Kashmiri red chilli powder along with the deep red tomatoes, if you want bright orange colour to the dish. This will also help you in abstaining from the use of red food colour.
- While making the butter masala paste, make sure that the masala paste is blended fine and smooth. This will result in smooth silky buttery gravy.
- As the name says, make the paneer butter masala recipe in BUTTER ONLY. However, you can use the mix of oil and butter to cook the curry. But, when cooked in butter, it gives authentic rich the real butter paneer masala at home.
- Before adding paneer to the gravy, in a bowl cover the paneer cubes with water and microwave it for couple of minutes. This gives the soft, melt in mouth texture to the paneer. (or if you do not have microwave, then you can add paneer cubes to the boiling water and switch off the heat. Allow it to rest for a minute or two, drain the water and use)
- Never cook paneer for too long after you add it to the gravy as it will make it chewy and rubbery. Do not cook it for more than a minute or 2 max.
Chef tip: In restaurants, they never cook paneer too much or for too long time in the gravy. Once the gravy is cooked, they add the paneer and mix everything, cover the pot and switch off the heat. Always proceed with this step to make any paneer gravy recipes.
- Personally, I love the smoky flavour in my butter paneer gravy. So, at the end once the dish is ready, I unfailingly give charcoal dhungar to the dish for the real restaurant or dhaba style version. If you love the smoky flavor in Paneer butter masala, then proceed with the charcoal dhungar following the steps that I have demonstrated in Chicken tikka masala
How to Make Vegan Paneer Butter Masala?
Are you looking for vegan butter masala recipe? Okay ! so, to make vegan curry, just swap the paneer with tofu or vegan paneer, and dairy butter with vegan butter. Also substitute fresh cream with cashew cream or coconut cream. And, vegan tofu butter masala Recipe ready for you.
Can we use other cheese to make paneer butter masala?
Yes, I love halloumi cheese and it goes great in the gravy. If you do not have paneer available in your part of the world, then swap paneer with halloumi cheese to make this dish.
What Cream goes in paneer butter masala?
Usually, I use Amul brand cream only for the gravy purpose. But, you can use any brand cream that you like. You can also opt to use homemade cream (which we call as malai) as well for the recipe.
What to serve with Paneer Butter Masala?
We can serve this restaurant version paneer butter masala with any Indian flatbread bread i.e. Roti/Phulka, Garlic Butter naan regular or Butter Tandoori Roti, butter Naan, laccha paratha and Roomali Roti.
Undoubtedly, the dish goes best with zafrani pulao, plain rice, peas pulao or Jeera rice along with salads on the side or just sliced onion rings and lemon slices.
How to make Paneer Butter Masala Recipe – step by step photos
- To begin with, in a pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. While the butter melts, add shahjeera and fry for few seconds (photo 1)
- As the shah jeera is getting fried, then add garlic, ginger and green chili for few seconds (photo2)
- Once the raw small of garlic goes off, its time to add cashews. So, now add cashew nuts and fry for a minute (photo 3)
- Then, add tomatoes and sauté on high for a minute (photo 4)
- Cook until tomatoes are soft. Once the tomatoes are soft and everything cooks well, take it off the heat and cool completely (photo 5)
- After the cooked tomatoe masala cools off completely, add it to the grinder and blend it a fine paste (photo 6)
- Important tip: you can freeze this butter masala gravy in clean freezer safe container or zip pouch easily for up to 4 months. Whenever you wish to make butter paneer or any veg gravy, just thaw it at room temperature for some time and you are good to go.
to cook paneer butter masala gravy
- Firstly, to make paneer butter masala recipe, we need to melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a pan or kadhai. While the butter melts, add bay leaf and cinnamon stick, fry for few seconds (photo 7)
- Then, lower the heat and add turmeric powder, red chilies powder and coriander powder (photo 8)
- Once the spices powders cooks well and raw smell goes off, add kasuri methi, fry for few seconds. Be sure to avoid the burning of masalas (photo 9)
- Now, add the prepared butter masala gravy, saute on high for a minute until everything mixes well (photo 10)
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until masala starts releasing the oil (photo 11)
- Then, add little water depending upon the consistency of the butter paneer gravy you need. Do not add too much water at a time. Bring it to a boil (photo 12)
- Once the gravy start boiling, add cream and mix. Cook for a minute (photo 13)
- Lastly, add paneer, garam masala powder and sugar. Mix well. Cook for only a minute. So if you wish, you may add some kasuri methi if you prefer. Easy butter paneer gravy is ready to serve (photo 14)
Some of the best Paneer Recipes you might want to try:
- Paneer Makhanwala
- Palak Paneer Kofta Curry
- Matar Paneer
- Paneer Bhurji
- Restaurant style Paneer Pasanda Recipe here if you are looking for easy restaurant style paneer recipes.
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Easy Paneer Butter Masala Recipe Card
Paneer Butter Masala
For Preparation Of Paneer Butter Masala
- 200 g Paneer cut in 1 inch cubes
- 4 tomatoes medium size, ripe and firm red tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 9-10 Cashew nuts
- 1 tsp Caraway seeds (Shajeera)
- ½ inch ginger chopped or grated
- 1 green chili chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves chopped or crushed
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 ½ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder (Kashmiri lal mirch powder)
- ¾ tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Cream
- 4 tbsp Butter
Preparation Of Paneer Butter Masala Gravy Paste
- In a pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter melts, add shajeera and fry for few seconds
- Then, add garlic, ginger and green chili for few seconds
- Now add cashew nuts and fry for a minute
- Add tomatoes and sauté on high for a minute.
- Cook until tomatoes are soft. Now, take it off the heat and cool completely
- Grind the butter masala gravy to a very fine paste.
- TIP: At this stage, you can store butter masala paste in clean freezer safe container or zip pouch easily for up to 6 months. Whenever you wish to make any paneer curry or veg gravy, just thaw it at room temperature for some time and you are good to go.
How To Make Paneer Butter Masala
- To make butter masala recipe, next we need to melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a pan or kadhai. Next, add bay leaf and cinnamon stick, fry for few seconds
- Then, lower the heat and add turmeric powder, red chilies powder and coriander powder
- Now add kasuri methi and mix.
- Then, add butter masala gravy, saute on high for a minute. Stir in between
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until masala starts releasing the oil.
- Now, add little water depending upon the consistency of the gravy you need. Do not add too much water at a time.
- Bring it to a boil. Once the gravy boils, add cream and mix. Cook for a minute or 2.
- Add paneer, garam masala powder and sugar. Mix well. Cook for only a minute.
- Add some more kasuri methi if you prefer. Proceed with the step of giving charcoal dhungar for the smoky flavour restaurant or Dhaba like flavour.
- Butter Paneer is ready to serve. Serve paneer butter masala with tandoori roti, butter naan or pulao of your choice.