this paneer butter masala recipe is easy and quick to make. within minutes you will have a restaurant style paneer butter masala ready. paneer butter masala is one of the most famous paneer dish served in almost all indian restaurants.
this recipe of paneer butter masala is also 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 butter paneer. some adaptations and improvisations have happened throughout the years.
the butter paneer masala gravy is made of tomato puree & the regular indian herbs-spices. again as in the garlic bread recipe, here i have used nutralite instead of butter. here the paneer used is organic paneer.
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.
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 & firm tomatoes. also use good quality fresh paneer or make your own homemade paneer. vegans can make the same recipe with tofu and use vegan butter as substitutes for paneer and butter respectively.
lets start step by step paneer butter masala recipe:
1: add oil and butter in a pan. adding oil prevents the butter from browning too quickly.
9: add water. you see whitish colored water. the jar i used to make cashew paste… in the same jar i added water and blended so that the remaining cashew paste stuck to the bottom and sides of the jar gets mixed with the water. thus you don’t need to scrape the sides and bottom of the jar.
12: after a minute, add the diced or cubed paneer. 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.
good combo for paneer butter masala is garlic naan or butter naan. paneer butter masala also goes well with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice. i served with whole wheat rotis accompanied with onion-lemon salad and pickled carrot-beetroot from the kanji drink.
paneer butter masala recipe below:
- 200 or 250 gms paneer/cottage cheese, cubed or diced
- 2 tbsp cashew – soaked if you have time and then ground with some water to a smooth paste. if less time, then just grind the cashews to a smooth paste.
- 4-5 medium size tomatoes – pureed
- 1 or 2 green chili, slit (reserve a few for garnishing)
- 1 inch ginger and 3-4 garlic – crushed or ground in a mortar & pestle
- 1 inch ginger – julienned (reserve a few for garnishing)
- 1 tbsp oil + 1 or 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp kasuri methi/dry methi leaves
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala or tandoori masala
- 1 bay leaf/tej patta
- 1.5 cups water
- a few coriander/cilantro leaves for garnishing (optional)
- salt and sugar as required – check notes below for adding sugar
- heat oil and butter in a pan.
- add bay leaf and fry for some 10-15 seconds or till the oil become fragrant.
- add ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw aroma disappears.
- add the tomato puree and stir well.
- add red chili powder after 2-3 mins and stir again.
- saute till the oil starts to leave the sides of the tomato paste.
- 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 2-3 minutes 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 and 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