paneer butter masala recipe with step by step photos – an easy, quick and delicious recipe of paneer butter masala. within minutes you can prepare this restaurant style paneer butter masala at home.
this is a tried and tested fool proof recipe and is one of most popular paneer recipe on the blog. this recipe is made and loved by hundreds of readers. you can read the comments at the end of post, which has lot of tips from readers as well as myself.
paneer butter masala is one of the most famous paneer dish along with palak paneer, kadai paneer, chilli paneer, malai kofta, paneer kolhapuri and matar paneer. it is served in almost all indian restaurants.
this recipe of paneer butter masala is similar to the way i would make butter chicken many years back. for the first time i had learnt how to make butter chicken during my home science days. later i used to use the same recipe for making paneer butter masala. some adaptations and improvisations have happened throughout the years.
the paneer butter masala gravy is made of tomato puree and the regular indian herbs-spices. this tomato-cashew-butter gravy is also known as the makhani gravy. there are various recipes that can be made with makhani gravy as the base. some of the delicious restaurant style recipes i have shared are:
paneer butter masala gravy has a slight sweet taste and very mildly spiced. thus making it an excellent gravy with chapatis for kids.
generally in butter chicken or butter paneer, cream is added. in this paneer butter masala recipe to give a creamy consistency and a sweet tinge, i have added cashew paste. though you can also add cream. there is absolutely no need to add onions in this recipe. in most authentic punjabi restaurants onion is never added in paneer butter masala gravy.
i never use any coloring agents in the food i make at home. what you see in the pics, is the way the paneer butter masala gravy actually looked. the organic tomatoes had such a beautiful red color and the final curry had beautiful tones of orangish red.
so when making paneer butter masala, make sure to use ripe, red and firm tomatoes. also use good quality fresh paneer or make your own homemade paneer. making paneer at home is easy and i always use homemade paneer for my dishes. vegans can make the same recipe with tofu and vegan butter or oil as substitutes for paneer and butter respectively.
there are some variations in the genre of gravy recipes made with paneer and butter. below are some of the paneer recipes posted which come in this category:
- paneer makhanwala recipe made with onions, tomatoes, cashews, cream and spices.
- paneer makhani recipe made with tomato puree and cream. no cashews and onions added.
- paneer lababdar recipe made with onions, tomatoes, cashew paste and cream.
- no onion no garlic paneer butter masala recipe
if you are looking for more paneer recipes then do check tawa paneer masala, methi malai paneer, methi paneer, paneer pasanda, palak paneer, paneer kathi roll (wrap), paneer tikka masala (restaurant style) and paneer tikka recipe.
paneer butter masala recipe (2.25 minutes video)
restaurant style paneer butter masala recipe card below:
nutrition info is per serving
- 2 tablespoons cashew OR 18 to 20 cashews
- ⅓ cup hot water for soaking cashews
- 4 to 5 medium size tomatoes OR 300 grams tomatoes OR 2 cups of diced tomatoes - pureed
- 2 tablespoons butter OR 1 tbsp oil + 1 or 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
- 1 inch ginger (adrak) and 3 to 4 garlic (lahsun) - crushed or ground in a mortar and pestle
- ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder OR deghi mirch
- 1.5 cups water OR add as required
- 1 inch ginger (adrak) - julienned, reserve a few for garnishing
- 1 or 2 green chili (hari mirch) - slit (reserve a few for garnishing)
- 200 to 250 grams paneer (cottage cheese) - cubed or diced
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon garam masala OR tandoori masala
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cream - optional
- a few coriander leaves (cilantro leaves or dhania patta) for garnishing - optional
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar - optional
- salt as required - check notes below for adding sugar
- heat oil and butter in a pan. add bay leaf and saute for some 10-15 seconds or till the oil become fragrant.
- add ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma disappears.
add the tomato puree and stir well. cook for 5 to 6 minutes. then add kashmiri red chili powder and stir again. continue to saute till the oil starts to leave the sides of the tomato paste.
then add cashew paste and stir well. saute the cashew paste till the oil begins to leave the sides of the masala paste.
add water and stir. simmer on a low flame.
- add julienned ginger and green chilies, salt and sugar and simmer till the curry begins to thicken.
add the paneer cubes and cook them for about a minute till they become soft.
- don't cook for a long time as the paneer will become dense.
- lastly add crushed kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves & garam masala. stir.
- garnish paneer butter masala with coriander leaves. serve paneer butter masala hot with plain naan, garlic naan, rotis or steamed basmati or jeera rice. side accompaniments can be onion-lemon salad or some pickle.
tips for making paneer butter masala recipe:
1. addition of sugar depends upon your taste as well as the tanginess present in the tomatoes. if you add cream in the recipe then you might have to add less sugar.
2. for this recipe, its best to use fresh, ripe red tomatoes.
3. best to use homemade soft paneer.
4. the amount of cream can be adjusted as per your taste.
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how to make paneer butter masala:
1: soak 18 to 20 cashews in a hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. when the cashews are soaking, you can prep the other ingredients like chopping tomatoes, preparing ginger-garlic paste, slicing paneer etc.
2: then drain and add the soaked cashews in a blender or grinder.
3: add 2 to 3 tbsp water and grind to a smooth paste without any tiny bits or pieces of cashews.
4. remove the cashew paste in a bowl and keep aside.
5. in the same blender add 2 cups of diced or roughly chopped tomatoes. no need to blanch the tomatoes before blending.
6. blend to a smooth tomato puree. keep aside. don’t add any water while blending the tomatoes.
7. add 2 tbsp butter OT 1 tbsp oil + 1 or 2 tbsp butter in a pan. adding oil prevents the butter from browning too quickly. if using only butter, then keep the pan on a low flame so that the butter does not melt.
8: add tej patta and fry for some seconds till the oil becomes fragrant.
9: add ginger-garlic paste or crushed ginger-garlic (1 inch ginger + 3-4 garlic crushed to a paste in a mortar pestle). fry till the raw aroma of the ginger-garlic disappears. if using ginger-garlic paste, then use 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.
10: pour the tomato puree.
11: when the puree begins to cook, after 5 to 6 minutes, add ½ tsp red chili powder.
12: stir and continue to saute till the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan. the whole sauteing takes about 12-13 minutes on a low flame.
13: add the cashew paste.
14: saute till the cashew paste is cooked and again the oil will start to leave the sides of the masala. the cashew will begin to cook fast. approx 3 to 4 minutes on a low flame. keep on stirring.
15: add 1.5 cups water.
16: let the curry simmer and come to a boil. after 2 to 3 mins, add ginger julienne (about 1 inch ginger – julienne). reserve a few for garnishing. the curry will begin to thicken.
17: after 3 to 4 minutes, add the 1 or 2 slit green chilies, salt and sugar (optional) and stir. you can add sugar from ¼ tsp to 1 tsp depending on the sourness of the tomatoes. sugar is optional and you can skip it too. if you add cream, then you will need to add less sugar.
18: after a minute, add the diced or cubed paneer (200 or 250 grams). keep in mind the consistency you want before you add paneer as you will be cooking the paneer for a few minutes. you can also fry the paneer and then add the paneer once the gravy has become creamy.
19: stir gently and let the paneer cook in the gravy for about a minute or till they become soft and cooked. lastly add 1 tsp kasuri methi leaves (crushed). also add 1 tsp garam masala. stir very well and switch off the flame. you can also add 2 to 3 tbsp of low fat cream or 1 to 2 tbsp of whipping cream at this stage. addition of crushed kasuri methi gives a restaurant flavor and i add them in most of my restaurant style recipes like rajma masala, dal tadka, dal makhani and bhindi masala.
20: stir and serve paneer butter masala hot garnished with 1 to 2 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves, the remaining ginger julienne and dotted with butter or cream. good combo for paneer butter masala is whole wheat naan, garlic naan or butter naan or cheese garlic naan or tandoori rotis or plain paratha or roomali roti or malabar paratha or khasta roti.
paneer butter masala also goes well with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice or biryani rice or nei choru (ghee rice). i served with whole wheat rotis accompanied with onion-lemon salad and pickled carrot-beetroot from the kanji drink.