Paneer butter masala recipe - Learn how to make restaurant style paneer butter masala at home, with step-by-step images whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner. I learnt this recipe from one of my north Indian friend who shares all the recipes in simple as well as easy way yet turns out absolutely delicious! This is one of my very old blog post, tried and tasted by many as well as approved by folks at home. It is rich, creamy tomato based gravy with succulent Indian cottage cheese and also never fail to impress.
Paneer butter masala is typically served with Indian flatbread like Naan, Kulcha and also with mild pulaos like peas pulao or jeera rice.
Other than eating Paneer butter masala at restaurant, the recipe was first introduced to me by my friend Sangeeta.
Till then I had no clue about the creamy texture that we get in restaurants. So first of all thanks to her for the recipe.
This is the recipe I follow, as I make it weekly for Aj, it is very easy for me these days. I already have posted a microwave version.
But I know many of the readers google search specifically. So thought I should post this yummy recipe here.
Paneer butter masala also known as simply butter paneer is a popular Indian recipe. Widely known throughout the world, that is most of the Indian restaurants have this as main side dish in their menu card.
Buttery, creamy as well as rich side dish for flatbread with Indian cottage cheese Paneer is such a delight for taste buds. Besides, it is very easy to prepare this at home if you follow the steps.
Since it is widely made in Indian restaurants and households, each have it's own touch. There is no major right or wrong as long as the base remains same. Let's get started!
Paneer - Even though fresh homemade paneer is best in the gravy, you can also use fresh or frozen paneer available in Indian groceries. Though homemade are economical, fresh paneer and frozen are convenient.
Tomato - Use red ripe tomatoes for best color as well as taste. You can also substitute this with 2 to 3 tablespoon of store bought paste or ¼ cup store bought puree. Adjust with the quantity according to the tart.
Cream - Tinned nestle cream as well as cooking cream works well. Alternately, use milk instead of water to dilute if you do not have cream.
Butter - Unsalted butter won't affect the salt measurement in the recipe, for that reason, it is perfect for making butter paneer.
Do not over cook the paneer. Add to the gravy towards end and just bring to a boil after that.
I usually do not do this for butter paneer. Prefer the un fried texture than the fried ones. But it is not a mistake to do so. If you want you can go ahead and do it.
I feel frying affects the texture of paneer to more firmer texture. But just follow my rule of soaking in hot water to keep the paneer soft.
Butter paneer uses cream, butter and for that reason, it is high in calorie. So eating in moderation is the key. So, people who are watching their weight, have diabetics or cholestrol must stay away. A healthy person can eat, but make sure to portion control.
Can we use tomato puree instead of tomato in butter paneer ?
Store bought tomato puree is double tart than the fresh tomatoes, so you have to add very less and careful with the amount while adding.
I love how store bought tomato puree adds texture, taste and color that matches restaurant's butter paneer.
How to grind cashews smoothly?
I used cashews while sautéing instead of adding it in ground form.
It is usually hard to grind small amount of ground cashew required just for the recipe. So if you want to use cashew paste, I suggest soaking more quantity of cashews and keep it preserved in fridge or frozen, use as needed in the recipes.
To freeze the ground cashew , you can use the ice tray and let it be for 12 hours. Once frozen, you can put the cubes it in ziploc or airtight container. Use one or two cubes according to the quantity of the gravy.
Just add it while sauteeing the onion tomato base masala.
For soft paneer in the gravy, make sure to not over cook, keep the paneer in hot water immersed and add towards the end. Fresh paneer is softest in texture, but you can use frozen ones too. Malai paneer is better in frozen ones.
How to avoid the gravy split (curdle)?
The gravy splits or curdles when there is no binding agent in the base. So use fine cashew paste to avoid this happening.
Also the trick my friend taught me is to slowly add, stir little by little in low flame. Do not add all the cream/ milk in one go.
- You can add milk fully to make it gravy without adding any water. This way you get thicker and more creamier gravy.
- I have added garlic, ginger and cashews while sautéing.
- If you have ginger garlic paste, then you can add while you fry ground onion tomato.
- Same applies for cashew . You can saute along ground onion tomato.
Paneer butter masala keeps good for couple of days in fridge if it is left over.
Freezing - You can divide into portions and freeze paneer butter masala up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat to use it.
Some of my friends also make the base gravy over weekend and use it up in the week days. This need not be frozen but can be kept in the fridge for 5 days. You can also box it eventually.
Since this post is updated version, the old version have not much major difference in main ingredients. Only couple of difference:
- I used a mirch tadka (Temper 1 teaspoon whole black pepper, one red chilli in butter) and add on top as final touch.
- Instead of coriander powder, I use my sambar powder - which is majorly red chilli and coriander with traces of cumin, methi seeds. So totally does justice to the flavor.
Paneer butter masala method
1. To begin with, heat a pan with oil, 1 teaspoon butter. After that, add garlic, ginger and green chillies.
2. Then, tip in cubed onion and give it a fry.
3. Add cashews and saute until onion turn translucent.
4. Then, remove in a plate for cooling.
5. Meanwhile, keep paneer cubes in hot water until use.
6. Now, place the cooled items in a blender.
7. After that, add cubed tomatoes (yes, raw!) on top of it.
8. Then, grind to a smooth puree.
9. After that, heat oil and temper with Cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
10. Add the ground onion tomato masala and tip in red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, kasoori methi and saute well.
11. Continue frying the masala for 4-5 minutes in medium heat or until the raw smell goes off.
12. The onion tomato masala should be thick, shiny and ooze oil. Add oil in between if needed.
13. After that, pour milk little at a time in low heat and stir well. Repeat again until you add all the milk to masala.
14. Adjust water (I added ¼ cup) and sprinkle required salt.
15. Once it start to bubble again, add paneer drained from water.
16. Mix well and in goes the cooking cream.
17. Keep the heat in low and don't let the gravy boil vigorously. Just cook in low heat for 2 minutes and switch off the stove.
17. Garnish with 3 tablespoon of coriander leaves. Top it with remaining butter.
Paneer butter masala recipe
- 1.5 cups Paneer cubes
- ¾ cup Onion, cubed 2 small sized
- 1 cup Tomato, cubed 2 small sized
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon Ginger chopped
- 2 Green chilli medium spice
- 5 Cashew nuts
- ½ cup Milk
- ¼ cup Cooking cream
- 1 teaspoon Kasoori methi
- 1.5 teaspoon Red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon Oil Divided
- 1 tablespoon Butter Divided
- 3 tbsp Coriander leaves
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 Cardamom
- 1 Clove
- 1 Inch Cinnamon
- To start with, heat a pan with oil, 1 teaspoon butter. Add garlic, ginger and green chillies.
- Tip in cubed onion and give it a fry. Add cashews and saute until onion turn translucent.
- Remove in a plate for cooling.
- Meanwhile, keep paneer cubes in hot water until use.
- Grind it along with cubed tomatoes to a smooth paste.
- Heat oil and temper with Cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
- Add the ground onion tomato paste and give it a stir.
- Tip in red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, kasoori methi and mix well.
- Continue frying the masala for 4-5 minutes in medium flame or until the raw smell goes off.
- The onion tomato mixture should be thick, shiny and ooze oil. Add oil in between if needed.
- After that, pour milk little at a time in low flame and stir well to mix. Repeat again until you add all the milk.
- Adjust water (I added ¼ cup) and sprinkle required salt. Mix well.
- Once it start to bubble again, add paneer drained from water.
- Mix well and in goes the cooking cream.
- Keep the flame in low and don't let the gravy boil vigorously. Just mix in low flame for 2 minutes and switch off the flame.
- Garnish with 3 tablespoon of coriander leaves. Top it with remaining butter.
- I used kashmiri chilli powder (Mild spiced). Your gravy color depends on chilli powder and tomatoes you use majorly.
- If you add water, then the gravy may not be orange and will be more red.
- The cashews give a smooth and creamy texture, mild colored gravy and also prevents milk/ cream from curding.
- Butter can be omitted and made with oil alone, but remember this is butter paneer masala 😉