Paneer Butter Masala Recipe: Best Way to Guide

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Introduction of Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala is a rich and creamy North Indian dish that has captured the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts around the world. This delectable dish features soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes simmered in a luscious, tomato-based gravy, enriched with butter and cream. The interplay of spices and the creamy texture make it a favorite in Indian cuisine. It is often served with naan, roti, or rice.

History and Cultural Significance

Paneer Butter Masala, also known as Paneer Makhani, traces its origins to the vibrant culinary traditions of North India, particularly Punjab. It is a vegetarian adaptation of the famous Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani), which was created in the kitchens of the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi in the mid-20th century. The invention of Butter Chicken by Kundan Lal Gujral led to the creation of several similar dishes, including Paneer Butter Masala.

Cultural Importance
In Indian cuisine, paneer is a versatile ingredient, and Paneer Butter Masala has become a staple at both home-cooked meals and celebratory feasts. It is particularly popular during festivals, weddings, and other special occasions. The dish exemplifies the rich and diverse flavors that define Indian culinary artistry.


Primary Ingredients

Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese): 250 grams, cut into cubes.
Tomatoes: 4 large, pureed.
Onions: 2 medium, finely chopped.
Butter: 3 tablespoons.
Cream: 1/2 cup.
Cashew nuts: 1/4 cup, soaked and ground into a paste.
Garlic: 4 cloves, minced.
Ginger: 1-inch piece, minced.

Spices and Seasonings

Cumin Seeds: 1 teaspoon.
Bay Leaf: 1.
Cardamom: 2 pods.
Cloves: 2.
Cinnamon Stick: 1 small piece.
Red chili powder: 1 teaspoon.
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon.
Coriander Powder: 1 teaspoon.
Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon.
Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves): 1 tablespoon.
Salt: to taste.
Sugar: 1 teaspoon.


Fresh coriander leaves: chopped.
Fresh cream: for drizzling.

Step-by-Step Recipe


Preparing the Paneer
1. Cutting the Paneer: Cut the paneer into medium-sized cubes. If using store-bought paneer, soak it in warm water for 15-20 minutes to soften it.
2. Soaking Cashew Nuts: Soak the cashew nuts in warm water for about 30 minutes. Once softened, blend them into a smooth paste using a little water.

Preparing the Tomato Puree
1. Blanching Tomatoes**: Boil the tomatoes in water for 5-7 minutes until the skin starts to peel off. Remove from heat, let them cool, and peel off the skin.
2. Pureeing**: Blend the tomatoes into a smooth puree.

Preparing the Spice Mix
1. Spice Preparation: Gather all the spices in one place. Crush the cardamom pods slightly to release their flavor.


Sautéing the Onions and Spices

1. Heating Butter: In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
2. Adding Whole Spices: Add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom pods, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
3. Sautéing Onions: Add the finely chopped onions and cook until they turn golden brown.

Cooking the Tomato Base

1. Adding Ginger and Garlic: Add the minced ginger and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
2. Adding Tomato Puree: Pour in the tomato puree and cook for 10–12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oil starts to separate from the mixture

Incorporating Spices and Cashew Paste

1. Adding Spice Powders: Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and garam masala. Mix well.
2. Adding Cashew Paste: Stir in the cashew paste and cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Simmering the Paneer

1. Adding Paneer Cubes: Gently add the paneer cubes to the gravy. Stir to coat the paneer evenly with the masala.
2. Adding Cream and Butter: Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining butter and cream, and stir gently to combine.
3. Seasoning: Add salt and sugar, and mix well. Crush the kasuri methi between your palms and sprinkle it over the curry. Simmer for 5–7 minutes.

Final Touches

1. Adjusting Consistency: If the gravy is too thick, add a little water or milk to adjust the consistency.
2. Garnishing: Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and a drizzle of fresh cream.

Variations and Adaptations

Vegan Paneer Butter Masala
For a vegan version, replace paneer with tofu and use vegan butter, coconut cream or cashew cream instead of dairy butter and cream.

Healthier Paneer Butter Masala
To make a healthier version, reduce the amount of butter and cream. You can also use low-fat paneer and substitute some of the cream with milk.

Spicy Paneer Butter Masala
For those who prefer a spicier dish, increase the amount of red chili powder or add finely chopped green chilies along with the onions.

Serving Suggestions

Paneer Butter Masala is best enjoyed with Indian breads like naan, roti, or paratha. It also pairs wonderfully with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice. For a complete meal, serve it alongside a fresh green salad, pickles, and a cooling yogurt raita.

Nutritional Information

A typical serving of Paneer Butter Masala (approximately 200 grams) contains:

Calories: 350–400 kcal
Protein: 12–15 grams
Fat: 25–30 grams
Carbohydrates: 20–25 grams
Fiber: 3-5 grams
Calcium: 300–350 mg

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Paneer Butter Masala

Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially the paneer and tomatoes, to enhance the flavor.
Cashew Paste: For a smoother texture, strain the cashew paste before adding it to the gravy.
Tomato Puree: Ensure the tomato puree is cooked thoroughly to remove any raw taste.
Balancing Spices: Taste and adjust the spices according to your preference. The balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors is key to a perfect Paneer Butter Masala.
Simmering: Let the paneer simmer in the gravy on low heat to absorb the flavors without overcooking it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use store-bought paneer for this recipe?
Yes, you can use store-bought paneer. Soak it in warm water for 15-20 minutes before using to make it soft and spongy.

Q2: How can I make the gravy richer without using too much cream?
You can add more cashew paste or use almond paste as a substitute. Both options will add richness to the gravy without increasing the cream content.

Q3: Can paneer-butter masala be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze Paneer Butter Masala. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw and reheat gently before serving.

Q4: Is it possible to make this dish without onions and garlic?
Yes, you can make a no-onion, no-garlic version by skipping those ingredients and adding more tomatoes, cashew paste, and spices to balance the flavors.

Q5: How do I prevent the paneer from becoming rubbery?
Avoid overcooking the paneer. Add it towards the end of the cooking process and let it simmer gently in the gravy.


Paneer butter masala recipe: best way to guide
Paneer butter masala recipe: best way to guide


Paneer Butter Masala is a beloved dish that showcases the richness and complexity of Indian cuisine. Its creamy texture, aromatic spices, and tender paneer cubes make it a delight for the senses. Whether you’re preparing it for a special occasion or a comforting meal at home, this comprehensive guide provides all the details you need to create a perfect Paneer Butter Masala. Enjoy the process of cooking and savor every bite of this delectable dish!



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Ahmed Mainul

My name is Ahmed Mainul Mondal, I'm the founder of the hospitality career profile website. I'm writing blogs and news posts as per user preferences.

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