Paneer Butter Masala

This recipe is there on the blog from day 1, June 19, 2006, to be exact. If you are wondering, why I’m reposting it, there is nothing wrong with the recipe, just the picture. But the thing is, the picture had two fold effect on me, positive and negative.

Let’s start with the positive one, it made me realise how far I’ve come in the last 11 years, so it was a good reminder to keep me going. Now, the negative one – it’s been forever on my to do list to update the old pictures and I never got around to it. To be honest,  off late, I’ve been kinda ignoring the blog related work.

Anyways, here I’m finally with a better picture of the dish and I also took step by step pictures. Made some minor modifications on the recipe part too.

About the recipe: I guess this is the most famous and sought after Paneer recipe. I generally like this kinda dishes with rich gravy. It certainly is a rich and thick gravy, packed with flavours and a good amount of butter and cashew nuts. If you like Paneer, you must try this dish at least once.

Here is the recipe…

Heat oil in a deep and wide pan. Add sliced onion and cook till it browns. Let it cool…

Drain the water from cashew nuts. Grind together browned onion, cashew nuts and 3 tbsp water to a smooth paste…

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In the same pan, melt butter. Add bay leaf. Fry for a min and add crushed ginger & garlic. Fry for 2-3 mins or till the raw smell goes…


Add tomato puree. Cook till water reduces and oil starts appearing…

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Add kashmiri chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder & salt. Fry for 2-3 mins or till oil starts appearing. Add 1-2 tbsp water to bring the masala together…

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Add onion cashew paste and mix well…

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Add 1.5 cups hot water and bring to boil. Add crushed kasuri methi…

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Reduce flame to lowest and add Paneer. Mix well…

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Cover and cook for 7-8 mins. Do a taste test and add more salt or sugar, if required, to balance the flavours. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves…

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Recommended side dishes: Plain Rice, Ghee Rice, Veg Pulao, Jeera Rice, Roti

If you like Paneer dishes, check out Paneer Makhani, Paneer Peas Masala, Paneer Biriyani, Chilli Paneer, Paneer Mango Curry

Paneer Butter Masala
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Paneer Butter Masala

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Servings: 4 -5
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 200 gms Paneer
  • 2 med -big Onion (sliced)
  • 15 Cashew nuts (soaked in 2 tbsp hot water for 10-15 mins)
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 1 tbsp Crushed ginger & garlic (each)
  • 1.5 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 big Tomato (pureed)
  • 40-50 gms Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Kasuri methi
  • 1/4 cup Coriander leaves (chopped)
  • Oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • Salt

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a deep and wide pan. Add sliced onion and cook till it browns. Let it cool. Drain the water from cashew nuts. Grind together browned onion, cashew nuts and 3 tbsp water to a smooth paste.
  • In the same pan, melt butter. Add bay leaf. Fry for a min and add crushed ginger & garlic. Fry for 2-3 mins or till the raw smell goes.
  • Add tomato puree. Cook till water reduces and oil starts appearing. Add kashmiri chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder & salt. Fry for 2-3 mins or till oil starts appearing. Add 1-2 tbsp water to bring the masala together.
  • Add onion cashew paste and mix well. Add 1.5 cups hot water and bring to boil. Add crushed kasuri methi. Reduce flame to lowest and add Paneer. Mix well. Cover and cook for 7-8 mins. Do a taste test and add more salt or sugar, if required, to balance the flavours.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Notes

Though I havent used cream in this recipe, if you prefer a creamier and rich restaurant style paneer butter masala, you can add 1/3 cup of cream (whipping cream, cooking cream or nestle cream) in the end. Make sure you dont boil the curry after adding the cream.
You can use salted or unsalted butter for this dish. If using salted butter, be careful while adding salt to the dish.
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  • hi,

    ur recipes r really superb!!!!!!especially for beginners like me…i would like to know that can we cottage cheese instead of paneer for paneer related dishes..like paneer butter masala,malai kofta…
    pls reply

    • Hi Aishwarya

      Thanks for dropping in :)

      I think you can use cottage cheese instead of paneer. Thats what I understood when I googled the same :). I think the diff is that cottage cheese is salted and paneer is unsalted.

      Please try out the recipes and let me know how it comes out.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • hi maria,
    I tried your paneer recipe it came out very well.
    Instead of mutter i added capsicum and i didn’t use any cream still it came out very good.keep it up. thank u for the wonderful recipe……..

    by,
    soumya george

    • Soumya dear

      thanks again for trying out the recipes from here. I have tried capsicum and paneer combo in another recipe, paneer masala. its a great combo alle?

      Hope all is well at ur place…

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi Maria..got some great looking bell peppers the other day the market..please please try and give me a recipie what to make with it? :-) Thanks…..Smitha

  • Hi Maria….its me again…..i think mariasmenu has become THE place….i tried Paneer Butter masala yesterday and it came out really good. I have not made this surry so well before…there was always something missing or over . But yesterday I was so happy !!Thanks Maria :-)

    • Hi Smitha,

      Thanks a lot dear :)

      Regarding the bell peppers recipe, am sorry dear. I usually dont cook any main dishes with bell peppers. I generally use it along with some other veggies. My husband is not a big fan of it, thats why…

      I’m sure there will be many good recipes out there on the net. Hope you find something interesting.

      All the best!

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi,
    I need your help in finding out whether Paneer Butter Masala and Paneer Makhani are same or different. I have appointed a new chef and since then he has changed the recipe for Paneer Butter Masala and Makhani which was understood to be the same. Please help to clarify this issue.

    Thanks and regards,
    Bhawartha

    • Hi Bhawartha,

      Let me make something clear, I’m not an expert in north indian dishes.

      However I did a small research and found out that in most cases the name is used interchangeably. But in some places they’ve mentioned minor differences in the preparation of the both.

      I suggest you ask an expert about the same, I’m sorry that I cant be of much help to you :(

      Best wishes!

      Cheers
      Maria

  • HI MARIA just wanted to clarify a doubt.wats d difference betn tomato puree and tomato paste.i mean d ready made toato paste.r dey interchangebale.thanx
    nitasha

    • Hi Nitasha,

      I guess you can interchange that. However from my experience I feel the ready made tomato paste is a bit more stronger than homemade puree, so I recommend using a smaller amount of the paste initially and do a taste test & add more if required.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hey Maria,

    I have the ready made tomato puree with me. Thought I’ll use that in the recipe. If so, how much do you think I should use? Its definitely stronger than the fresh tomatoes pureed.

    Love, Donna

  • Dear Maria,

    I did not understand the quantity of paneer that you have used in the recipe. Can you please clarify that for me. (in grams preferably)

    Thanks.

    Love, Donna

    • Hi Donna,

      You can use around 200 gms of paneer (approx) for this recipe. About the tomato puree, I think 2 tbsp should be enough. You can add on later, after doing a taste test :)

      Hope you’ll like it.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi Maria,
    I made this recipe without the nuts ,cream and coriander leaves..I should say it still tastes yummy..What is this nuts could you be more specific as i was confused on what to add to it..Thanks for sharing this recipe..

    Regards,
    Vinita

    • Hi Vinita

      Thanks for trying this recipe & its good to hear that you liked it. Cashew nuts is added in this recipe. Thanks for pointing it out, I’ll update the recipe also.

      Thanks again for your comment :)

      Cheers
      Maria

    • Hi Prerna,

      You can add sugar along with onion paste, salt & all. Tomato sauce gives a good colour & a nice texture also. However, if you dont want to add it, just adjust the qty of tomato puree accordingly.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hello Maria,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful recipe.
    I have tried this one and its a success.. Cheers!!!!
    Sharing the picture of the dish :)

    Rohith

    • Hi Rohith,

      The pic of your Paneer butter masala looks superb! After seeing this pic, I was so craving for a plate of this :((

      Btw, I’ve added this pic on MM FB page, hope you saw that.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • hi maria,

    i used to visit ur site regularly. i posted comments on ur recipes too.
    nowadays ur site seems to be too slow. i m nt at al able to open it from mobile. from laptop also it is too slow. it is taking several minutes to open a single page. please look into it ..

    Jesna

  • Hi Maria,

    Should the paneer be added as raw or roasted? Because, whenever I try this recipe I get some odd taste while biting paneer even though the gravy tastes fine, not sure if I need to do anything with the paneer before adding it to the gravy.
    I’m going to try this recipe this weekend and would definitely give my feedback. Please give me a response to this.

    Thanks,
    Beena

    • Hi Beena,

      I’m sorry for the delayed reply. I was away on a short trip.

      I usually add raw paneer to the gravy. Hope you got to try this recipe and it didnt disappoint you.

      Cheers
      Maria

      • Hi Maria,
        Thanks for your time in responding me.

        I have tried it and this time paneer didn’t taste odd and my 4 year old son (who usually says ‘no’ to food) liked it so much and he demands for paneer butter masala everyday.

        Going to try out more and more recipes in your way!

        Thank you! :)
        Beena.

  • hi
    i tried ur reciepe it came out well and liked by all. i want to know the recipe from kerala that is muttumala it was a sweet dish had it once in kerala. pls reply

  • hi maria
    I tried your recipe it was wonderful liked by all. I wanted the recipe for muttumala a sweet dish from Kerala had it once but liked it instantly. waiting for ur reply

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