Paneer butter masala recipe – Indian cottage cheese in smooth, creamy and delicious restaurant style gravy. Paneer butter masala is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes from Indian cuisine. Isn’t it fun to recreate restaurant style dishes at home? I found this paneer butter masala recipe years ago in one of the best cookbooks in a library. I tried it and then made this for years and my entire family got hooked to this dish.
I love simple recipes and easy cooking that calls fewer ingredients and fewer steps to follow. This restaurant style paneer butter masala recipe is a winner, roughly adapted from Chef Sanjeev kapoor’s cookbook.
Over the years i have simplified it for ease of cooking. It’s so simple and easy to make that is creamy and delicious. It is best served with roti, naan, paratha or any rice varieties like Jeera rice, ghee rice, pulao or biryani rice.
This paneer butter masala recipe uses onion, that’s how it is different from the paneer makhani which is usually made without onions. You can also make this paneer butter masala without onion and garlic, just skip them and follow the recipe.
The only thing you would miss is the amount of gravy. Yes recipes that don’t use onions yield lesser gravy. To get the right color without using food colors, choose red ripe tomatoes and good kashmiri red chili powder.
This paneer butter masala recipe needs blanching or sauteing the onions and tomatoes in oil first and then blending which gives a unique flavor to the dish. This also gives a delicious taste than the one made using raw onion paste or tomato puree.
Restaurant style paneer butter masala recipe
Paneer butter masala recipe | How to make paneer butter masala
Paneer butter masala recipe - One of the popular & delicious paneer dishes from the North Indian cuisine. This recipe will give you the best paneer butter masala that tastes very delicious and creamy. Serve it with rice, roti or paratha.
Ingredients (240 ml cup used)
Ingredients for paneer butter masala
- 250 grams paneer (2 heaped cups)
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 cup onions cubed, 3 medium (optional)
- 1½ cups tomatoes finely chopped (3 large)
- salt as needed
- 10 cashew nuts
- 1½ tbsp Butter
- ¾ tsp sugar (optional)
- 1½ tsp ginger garlic paste (or ¾ tsp ginger paste)
- ½ tsp kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves)
- 3 tbsp cream (for restaurant style)
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves for garnish
Spices for paneer butter masala
- 1 bay leaf or tej patta
- 1 cinnamon or dalchini
- 3 green cardamom or elaichi
- 2 to 3 cloves or laung
- ½ to ¾ tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder or daniya powder
- ½ to ¾ tsp red chilli powder kashmiri (adjust for best color)
How to make the recipe
Preparation for paneer butter masala
Heat a pan with oil. Fry onions until they turn transparent.
Next add tomatoes and fry them with salt for 3 minutes. Cook covered till the mixture turns soft and mushy.
- Add garam masala, coriander powder, cashews, red chili powder and sugar if using.
Fry until the mix gets roasted well and it should begin to leave the sides of the pan. Turn off the stove.
- When the mixture cools, blend it with 1 cup water in a blender to very smooth.
How to make paneer butter masala
Heat butter in the same pan.
Add dry spices and fry for one to 2 minutes. Add ginger garlic paste and then saute well until the raw smell disappears.
Next pour the blended puree, then add red chili powder. If needed pour ¼ to ½ cup of water.
- Cook until the gravy thickens and you see traces of butter or oil. Let the gravy reach the desired consistency before you add paneer.
Add paneer and kasuri methi . Stir well and cook for 3 minutes. You can add cream if desired.
Transfer paneer butter masala to a serving bowl and then garnish with cream & coriander leaves.
Video of paneer butter masala recipe
Recipe notes for paneer butter masala
you can skip using garlic and onion and make a no onion no garlic paneer butter masala recipe
Use sugar only if needed to suit your taste. Onions, cashews and tomatoes lend a sweet flavor and taste to the gravy naturally, so if desired use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.
Preparation for paneer butter masala
1. If you do not have coriander powder in hand, add 1 ½ tsp. Coriander seeds and ½ tsp. garam masala to a blender jar. Then make a fine powder. Using a strong garam masala doesn’t make the dish taste good. We need mild garam masala powder hence adding coriander powder.
2. You can lightly fry paneer in oil or butter and set aside. I prefer not to so I skipped.
3. You can either blanch the onions and tomatoes or will have to saute them. Sometimes onion paste lends a bitter taste. So blanching or sauteing is very much needed. I go ahead sauteing as it gives a nice flavor. Add 1.5 tsp oil to a hot pan. Saute 1 cup cubed onions on a medium flame until they turn lightly pink in color. This takes just 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Transfer 1.5 cups finely chopped tomatoes and salt. Again fry for 2 to 3 minutes, cover and cook till mushy.
5. Add ½ to ¾ tsp red chili powder, ½ to ¾ tsp garam masala, 1 tsp coriander powder, 10 to 12 cashews and half tsp sugar if using.
6. Fry till the mix begins to leave the sides of the pan. You will begin to get a nice aroma of the mix. Off the stove.
7. Cool it and add it to a blender along with 1 cup of water and blend to smooth. To speed up the process, I added ice cold water to the jar first and then transferred the mix.
8. Blend to a very smooth paste, adding little more water if needed. If the mixture is not very smooth and silky, i suggest use a filter to strain the mixture. Pass the puree through a colander or sieve and collect it to a bowl.
How to make paneer butter masala recipe (gravy in a restaurant style)
9. Heat the pan on a low flame with 1 ½ tbsp. butter. Add 3 cardamoms, 1 bay leaf, 1 small cinnamon stick and 3 cloves. Fry till they are lightly roasted just for a minute.
10. Add ¾ tsp ginger paste or 1.5 tsps ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off. If the raw smell of ginger garlic doesn’t go away or it gets burnt the entire dish will spoil. So take care to fry this on a low to medium flame until the raw smell goes off.
11. Next add the pureed onion tomato mix, little more red chili powder and if needed ¼ to half cup of water to bring it to the desired consistency. You can adjust the quantity of red chili powder to get a good color. If you are not using onion in this recipe, then you can also skip using red chili powder now.
12. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on a medium flame to get a nice color. You will also see traces of fats over the gravy at this stage. This is the color you may get. Open the lid and cook until the gravy turns a bit more thick.
13. Make sure the gravy reaches the desired consistency then add 250 grams cubed paneer and kasuri methi.
14. Stir well. Cover and cook just for 3 minutes. Cooking for longer can make the paneer harder. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. cream and stir.
You can add 1 tbsp cream, also finely chopped coriander leaves or ginger julienne for garnish.