paneer butter masala recipe | how to make paneer butter masala – restaurant style

Jump to Recipe
paneer butter masala, paneer makhani

a paneer butter masala recipe that will give you one of the best paneer butter masala. this paneer butter masala recipe is an easy recipe and yields a mildly spiced, creamy, tangy and lightly sweet delicious restaurant style paneer butter masala. if allergic to dairy or vegan, then substitute tofu for paneer or add steamed mix vegetables or sautéed mushrooms instead. also skip cream altogether or use coconut cream and use oil instead of butter. 

4.66 from 231 votes
total time:
40minutes

paneer butter masala recipe with video and 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. paneer butter masala is also called as butter paneer or butter paneer masala or paneer makhani.

paneer butter masala

this is a tried and tested foolproof 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 the recipe post, which has a lot of positive feedback and tips from readers as well as myself. if you are familiar with paneer butter masala and indian cuisine then you can directly jump to recipe.

what is paneer butter masala

paneer butter masala is a rich, creamy, tomato and paneer based gravy dish. it is one of the most famous paneer dishes along with palak paneer, kadai paneermalai kofta, paneer tikka masala and matar paneer. paneer butter masala is served in almost all indian restaurants.

tomatoes are a key ingredient in paneer butter masala recipe. the creaminess comes from the addition of cashews or cream – though adding cream can be skipped for a less rich version if you have used cashews. butter is also added which makes the curry rich and buttery. the taste of paneer butter masala is slightly sweet with some tang coming from the tomatoes. the gravy has a creamy and velvety feel to it.

what is the difference between paneer butter masala and paneer makhani

  1. basically paneer butter masala is paneer cubes cooked in a makhani gravy. according to me both paneer butter masala and paneer makhani are same. paneer butter masala recipe is made with makhani gravy. the word ‘makhani’ means buttery and is derived from the word ‘makhan’ which means butter.
  2. makhani gravy is made with butter, tomato puree, cashews or cream and a few herbs & spices. a few variations can be done in either paneer butter masala or paneer makhani by addition of more spices etc. do note that onions are not added in a makhani gravy. so there is absolutely no need to add onions to this recipe. in most authentic punjabi restaurants onions are never added in a paneer butter masala recipe.

how to make vegan paneer butter masala

1. to make a vegan paneer butter masala, use tofu instead of paneer.
2. add a neutral tasting oil or vegan butter instead of butter and skip cream altogether.
3. you can even use coconut cream, but with coconut cream the flavors of coconut will be felt in the final dish.

paneer butter masala

tips to make the best paneer butter masala

1. since tomatoes are the key ingredient, make sure to use ripe, red and firm tomatoes with a slightly sweet taste. the tomatoes should not be very sour or tangy.

2. always use homemade paneer if possible or a good quality store brought fresh paneer. its best to make paneer at home and does not take much time. for paneer recipes, i always make paneer at home. you can check the method of making paneer here – how to make paneer.

3. do make a really smooth puree from the tomatoes. if you want you can strain the tomato puree also.

4. the tomato puree has to be sautéed and cooked really well. oil or butter should leave sides of the tomato paste. if the tomato paste is not sautéed well, the raw flavor of tomatoes will be felt in the dish.

5. if the butter paneer masala gravy tastes tangy or sour, then to balance the sour taste you can add a bit of sugar or cream. but do not add too much sugar as then the gravy becomes too sweet. also, do note if you add cream in the recipe then you might have to add less sugar in the butter paneer gravy.

6. use good quality butter. you can use both unsalted or salted butter in paneer butter masala recipe.

7. to grind cashews to a fine consistency, it is better to soak them in hot water for 30 minutes.

8. if you don’t have cashews then the best alternative is almonds. soak the almonds in hot water for 30 minutes. then peel them and make a paste of almonds with little water.

9. you can fry the paneer cubes if you want and then add in the paneer butter masala recipe.

10. to get the bright orangish red color in the paneer butter masala, its best to use kashmiri red chilli powder or deghi mirch instead of artificial food colors. using deep red colored tomatoes also contribute to a lovely orange color in paneer butter masala recipe.

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 butter paneer masala. some adaptations and improvisations have happened throughout the years.

paneer butter masala has a slightly 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 both cashew paste and some cream. though you can skip cream too.

i never use any coloring agents in the food i make at home. what you see in the pics, is the way the butter paneer masala gravy actually looked. the organic tomatoes had such a beautiful red color and the final curry had beautiful tones of orangish red.

serve paneer butter masala with naan or tandoori rotis or chapatis or pudina paratha or lachha paratha. it also goes well with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.

paneer butter masala

4.66 from 231 votes
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:40 mins
a paneer butter masala recipe that will give you one of the best paneer butter masala. this paneer butter masala recipe is an easy recipe and yields a mildly spiced, creamy, tangy and lightly sweet delicious restaurant style paneer butter masala. if allergic to dairy or vegan, then substitute tofu for paneer or add steamed mix vegetables or sautéed mushrooms instead. also skip cream altogether or use coconut cream and use oil instead of butter. 
paneer butter masala, paneer makhani
Course:main course
Cuisine:north indian
Servings:4
Calories:193kcal
Author:dassana

INGREDIENTS FOR paneer butter masala (1 CUP = 250 ML)

for preparing cashew paste

  • 18 to 20 whole cashews
  • cup hot water for soaking cashews

for preparing tomato puree

  • 4 to 5 medium size tomatoes OR 300 grams tomatoes OR 2 cups of diced tomatoes - pureed

for making paneer butter masala

  • 2 tablespoons butter OR 1 tablespoon oil + 1 or 2 tablespoons 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 to 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder OR deghi mirch - if using any other chilli powder you can add ¼ to ½ teaspoon
  • 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) - optional
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon garam masala OR tandoori masala
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons low fat cream or 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream - optional
  • ¼ to 1 teaspoon sugar - optional, add as required depending on the sourness of the tomatoes
  • salt as required - check notes below for adding sugar

garnish for paneer butter masala

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves or dhania patta) for garnishing - optional
  • a few ginger julienne
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons low fat cream - optional
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons butter - optional

HOW TO MAKE paneer butter masala

preparation for paneer butter masala

  • 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.
  • then drain and add the soaked cashews in a blender or grinder.
  • add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and grind to a smooth paste without any tiny bits or pieces of cashews.
  • in the same blender add 2 cups of diced or roughly chopped tomatoes. no need to blanch the tomatoes before blending.
  • blend to a smooth tomato puree. keep aside. don’t add any water while blending the tomatoes.

making makhani gravy for paneer butter masala

  • melt butter in a pan on a low flame. add bay leaf and fry for 2 to 3 seconds or till the oil become fragrant.
  • add ginger-garlic paste and saute for some seconds 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. the tomato paste will thicken considerably and will start coming together as one whole lump. 
  • then add cashew paste and stir well. saute the cashew paste for a few minutes till the oil begins to leave the sides of the masala paste.
  • the cashew paste will begin to cook fast. approx 3 to 4 minutes on a low flame. so keep stirring non-stop.

making paneer butter masala

  • add water and mix very well. simmer on a low flame.
  • the curry will come to a boil. 
  • after 2 to 3 minutes of boiling, add ginger julienne. reserve a few for garnishing. the curry will also begin to thicken.
  • add julienned ginger and green chillies, salt and sugar and simmer till the curry begins to thicken.
  • after 3 to 4 minutes, add 1 or 2 slit green chillies. also add salt as per taste and ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar (optional). 
  • you can add sugar from ¼ tsp to 1 teaspoon or more 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.
  • mix very well and simmer for a minute.
  • after the gravy thickens to your desired consistency, then add the paneer cubes and stir gently. i keep the gravy of paneer butter masala to a medium consistency. 
  • after that add crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), garam masala and cream. gently mix and then switch off the flame. 

serving paneer butter masala

  • garnish paneer butter masala with coriander leaves and ginger julienne. 
  • you can even dot the paneer makhani gravy with some butter or drizzle some cream. 
  • serve paneer butter masala hot with plain naan, garlic naan, roti, paratha or steamed basmati or jeera rice or even peas pulao.
  • side accompaniments to paneer butter masala can be an onion-cucumber salad or some pickle. also serve some lemon wedges by the side. 

Video

paneer butter masala recipe video


Notes

tips for making paneer butter masala

  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.
  5. if you don't have cashews then the alternative is almonds. blanch the almonds. peel them and then make a paste of almonds with little water.
GOOD KARMAall our content & photos are copyright protected. as a blogger, if you you want to use this recipe or make a youtube video, then please write the recipe in your own words and give a clickable link back to the recipe on this url.
TRIED THIS RECIPE ?i would love to hear from you if have made this recipe. rate the recipe and leave a comment below OR tag us at Instagram @vegrecipesofindia

TRENDING NOW

preparation for paneer butter masala

1. soak 18 to 20 cashews in ⅓ cup hot water for 20 to 30 minutes.

making paneer butter masala

2. when the cashews are soaking, you can prep the other ingredients like chopping tomatoes, chopping and preparing the ginger-garlic paste, slicing paneer etc.

making paneer butter masala

3. crush 1-inch ginger + 3 to 4 medium-sized garlic to a paste in a mortar-pestle to a semi fine or fine paste. keep aside. don’t add any water while crushing ginger & garlic.

making paneer butter masala

4. after 20 to 30 minutes, drain the water and add the soaked cashews in a blender or grinder. also add 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh water or as required.

making paneer butter masala

5. grind to a smooth paste without any tiny bits or pieces of cashews.

making paneer butter masala

6. remove the cashew paste in a bowl and keep aside.

making paneer butter masala

7. in the same blender add 2 cups of diced or roughly chopped tomatoes. no need to blanch the tomatoes before blending.

making paneer butter masala

8. blend to a smooth tomato puree. keep aside. don’t add any water while blending the tomatoes.

making paneer butter masala

making makhani gravy for paneer butter masala

9. heat a thick bottomed pan or a heavy pan. keep the flame to a low or medium-low. add 2 tablespoons butter OR 1 tablespoon oil + 1 or 2 tbsp butter in a pan. adding oil prevents the butter from browning too quickly.

making paneer butter masala

10. if using only butter, then keep the pan on a low flame so that the butter does not melt. you can even add 3 to 4 tablespoons butter for a rich buttery version of paneer butter masala. both salted or unsalted butter can be added.

making paneer butter masala

10. keep the flame to a low. add 1 medium sized tej patta (indian bay leaf).

making paneer butter masala

11. fry for 2 to 3 seconds or till the oil becomes fragrant from the aroma of the tej patta.

making paneer butter masala

12. add the prepared crushed ginger-garlic or 1 teaspoon ready ginger-garlic paste.

making paneer butter masala

13. fry for some seconds till the raw aroma of the ginger-garlic disappears.

making paneer butter masala

14. pour the prepared tomato puree. be careful while adding the puree as it may splutter.

making paneer butter masala

15. mix it very well with the butter.

making paneer butter masala

16. begin to cook the tomato puree on a low to medium-low flame. stir at intervals.

making paneer butter masala

17. the tomato puree mixture will start simmering.

making paneer butter masala

18. in case the tomato puree splutters too much while cooking then cover the pan partly with a lid or cover fully with a splatter lid (channi lid). the tomato puree might splutter if there is more water content in the tomatoes.

paneer butter masala

19. do stir at intervals.

making paneer butter masala

20. simmer the puree for 5 to 6 minutes.

making paneer butter masala

21. then add 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder or deghi mirch. you can even add ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder.

making paneer butter masala

22. mix well and continue to stir and saute the tomato puree.

making paneer butter masala

23. saute till the butter starts leaving the sides of the pan and the entire tomato puree mixture comes together as a whole. this entire cooking and sauteing of the tomato puree takes about 14 to 17 minutes on a low flame to medium-low flame. time will vary depending on the thickness of pan, size, intensity of flame etc.

making paneer butter masala

24. now add the prepare cashew paste.

making paneer butter masala

25. mix the cashew paste very well with the cooked tomato puree and continue to stir and saute on a low to medium-low flame. stir non-stop after adding cashew paste.

making paneer butter masala

26. 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. so keep on stirring non-stop.

making paneer butter masala

27. next add 1.5 cups water.

making paneer butter masala

making paneer butter masala

28. mix the water very well with the tomato-cashew makhani masala. if there are lumps of the tomato-cashew masala, then break with a spoon. you can even use a wired whisk for mixing.

making paneer butter masala

29. let the curry simmer and come to a boil. stir occasionally.

making paneer butter masala

30. after 2 to 3 mins, add ginger julienne (about 1-inch ginger – cut in julienne (thin matchstick-like strips). reserve a few for garnishing. the curry will also begin to thicken.

making paneer butter masala

31. after 3 to 4 minutes, add 1 or 2 slit green chillies.

making paneer butter masala

32. also add salt as per taste and ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar (optional).  you can add sugar from ¼ tsp to 1 teaspoon or more 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.

making paneer butter masala

33. mix very well and simmer for a minute.

making paneer butter masala

34. after the gravy thickens to your desired consistency, then add the paneer cubes (200 or 250 grams). keep in mind the consistency you want before you add paneer as you will be cooking the paneer for some seconds. you can also fry the paneer and then add the paneer once the gravy has become creamy. i keep the gravy of paneer butter masala to a medium consistency gravy.

making paneer butter masala

35.  stir and mix the paneer cubes gently in the paneer makhani gravy.

making paneer butter masala

36. now add 1 teaspoon kasuri methi leaves (crushed) and 1 teaspoon garam masala in the paneer butter masala gravy. addition of crushed kasuri methi gives a restaurant flavor. kasuri methi is optional and can be skipped.

making paneer butter masala

37. next add 2 to 3 tablespoons of low-fat cream or 1 to 2 tablespoons of whipping cream.

paneer butter masala

38. stir gently but well and switch off the flame.

paneer butter masala

39. serve paneer butter masala hot garnished with 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves, the remaining ginger julienne. you can also drizzle some cream or dot with butter while serving paneer butter masala gravy. good combo for paneer butter masala is naan or butter naan or tandoori rotis or plain paratha or roomali roti or malabar paratha.

paneer butter masala also goes well with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice or biryani rice. i served with whole wheat roti accompanied with onion-cucumber salad. also, do serve some lemon wedges by the side.

 paneer butter masala recipe

dassana
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer || MORE ABOUT US

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


Popular Recipes

617 comments/reviews

  1. I tried so many recipes for this dish, this one is the best by far. I cooked the garam masala in the tomato sauce and used tin tomatoes.

    • thank you sophie for this best review on paneer butter masala. happy cooking.

  2. Thanks for this recipe.
    Turned out just like the restaurant style. 🙏😘

  3. There is no need to add onion know mam?

    • jayanthi, no need to add onions. if onions are added the taste will be different.

  4. Can you used canned tomato puree in this?

    • you can use canned tomato puree. but add sugar in paneer butter masala if required if the puree is too sour.

  5. Yours is the only vegetarian recipes I trust blindly. Every recipe I tried over time never ceased to amaze me. TOday it was paneer butter masala. The taste is always spot on and always super delicious. Loads of love ❤️..

    • thanks you akshatha both for this awesome feedback on paneer butter masala as well as the rating. wish you a happy diwali festival and enjoy with a lot of sweets and savories. happy festivities.

  6. THANK YOU! This recipe has helped me crack the code of how to make restaurant style gravy. My family is thrilled and we are enjoying this and your dal makhani recipe immensely!

    • thanks a lot christine. so glad to know that both the paneer butter masala and dal makhani is liked by your family. happy cooking.

  7. Hi Dassana
    Thanks so much for your lovely recipes…I tried many of your recipes…today morning I tried your banana wheat cake recipe as I wanted some healthy recipe.. … awesome… could not believe..it turned out so well…..with such simple ingredients..you rock….great job.

    • thank a lot sheetal. nice to know and read your lovely comment. baking recipes if done rightly with the correct proportions, do turn out well most of the times. thanks again. happy cooking and baking.

  8. Have been making this for quite some time now and every time it comes out lip smacking. Thank you for this paneer butter masala recipe. 🙂

    • Welcome Shilpa. Glad to know this. Thanks for your positive feedback.

  9. This was great – I did a vegan version with vegan butter, soy milk and tofu and it tastes brilliant. Thank you!

    • Welcome Tim. Glad to know the vegan variation you made for the paneer butter masala.

  10. Hey Dassana Amit ,

    This is a nice recipe I have searched on the internet for this recipe many times but didn’t able to find perfect, but I think today I got the perfect one so will surely try this thanks for sharing .
    Keep up the good work !

    you can see my see my result

    • Thanks Abhay. Glad to know that you like this paneer butter masala recipe. Do try some more paneer recipes from the website. All the recipes are tried and tested.

Comments are closed due to some technical issues. Hopefully we will try to open the comments as soon as possible