paneer butter masala, paneer makhani
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4.87 from 228 votes

paneer butter masala

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. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: north indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 193kcal
Author: Dassana Amit


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


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. 



  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.


Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.3g | Protein: 9.2g | Fat: 10.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 16.1mg | Sodium: 788.4mg | Potassium: 436.8mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 4.6g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 31.4mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1.6mg