Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala is a popular Paneer Curry Recipe that features paneer cooked in an onion-tomato-based curry sauce with fresh cream and spices. It is popularly known as Butter Paneer. When we go out to eat and order a vegetarian dinner, paneer butter masala is one of our favorite dishes.
Similar to kadai paneer, palak paneer, matar paneer, and malai kofta, this rich and creamy butter paneer is one of the most popular dishes in Indian restaurants. As our daughter loves paneer, I frequently prepare this dish at home in addition to chilli paneer and paneer bhurji.
Paneer butter masala pairs beautifully with any Indian flatbread, as well as plain rice, pulao, or jeera rice. The best part about this gravy is that it has a moderate dose of spiciness. As a result, children can enjoy it as well.
Paneer Butter Masala Ingredients
Ingredient list might look longer but all the ingredients are easily available in your pantry.
Paneer: It is the key ingredient of this recipe. You can either use store bought paneer or make paneer at home. If you are using store bought paneer, then immerse in warm water for few minutes to get soft paneer.
Butter & Vegetable Oil: You can use either salted or unsalted butter. However, for sautéing paneer I have used vegetable oil.
Onion: It is also a key ingredient of this dish. Onions are required to produce the gravy's base, as well as to provide sweetness to the gravy.
Tomato: Ripe tomatoes add nice color to the gravy. It also gives nice flavor to the gravy.
Spices: I have used turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chilli powder.
Whole Spices: I have used few whole spices including bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove.
Others: Other ingredients for this recipe includes sugar, salt, and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves).
How to make Paneer Butter Masala
It's an easy paneer dish, although the cooking time is a little longer. But I love this paneer curry so much and sometimes I prepare the gravy base in the refrigerator and quickly make it when I am in hurry. But I love paneer curry, and if I'm in a rush, I'll make the gravy base ahead of time and assemble it quickly.
If you are using store bought paneer, then immerse it in warm water for few minutes. Paneer will turn soft. Later cut it into equal size cubes. You have the option of cutting it into larger or smaller blocks, depending on your preferences.
In a wok, heat the oil and sauté the paneer cubes with a pinch of salt, then remove them from the wok. Set things aside for now. Avoid overcooking the paneer, it will turn rubbery in texture.
Meanwhile, make a smooth paste by soaking the cashew nuts in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you forget to soak the cashew nuts, then don't worry. You can grind them without water and use the powder form of it. However, it is always better to use the paste over powder.
Add butter to the wok and once it melts add whole spices like bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove. After that, add the garlic pods and onion slices. Continue to stir until the onions have become transparent.
Add the julienned ginger, diced tomatoes, and green chilies after that. Cook until the raw tomato scent has vanished. Now add the cashew paste and half of the red chilli powder and combine well.
After that, add water and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before blending in a blender. Strain the mixture through a strainer once it has been blended.
In a separate pan, melt the remaining butter and add the coriander powder and red chilli powder. Stir for a few seconds. Next add the strained mixture into it. Mix in the fresh cream thoroughly.
Add sugar to balance the sweetness of the gravy. Adjust the salt as well. Close the lid and simmer for another 5 minutes with the sautéed paneer cubes in the sauce.
Finally, top with a dollop of butter or a drizzle of cream and crushed kasuri methi. It's now time to serve the paneer butter masala.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
Yes of course you can make it vegan by replacing few ingredients like paneer, butter, and cream. Paneer can be replaced with tofu. Alternatively, you can also use vegetables like mushroom or bell peppers or even potato in place of paneer. As a substitute for butter and fresh cream, use vegan butter and vegan cream.
Can I make paneer butter masala ahead?
Make the base gravy without cream. Allow to cool before storing in a dry glass container in the refrigerator. Sauté the paneer and set it to cool completely. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Reheat the gravy until it is hot and boiling, then add the paneer. Cook for 2 minutes before adding the cream.
More Paneer Recipes
Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala
- 200 gms Paneer cut into cubes
- 2 no Onion, medium sliced
- 8-10 no Garlic pods
- 1 inch Ginger julienned
- 3 no Tomato, medium chopped
- 2 no Green Chilli
- 5-6 no Cashew Nuts
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ cup Fresh Cream
- 2-3 tablespoon Butter
- 3 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- 2 no Cardamom
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 3-4 no Clove
- Heat oil in a wok and sauté paneer cubes with little salt and take them out from wok. Keep them aside.
- Meanwhile, soak the cashew nuts in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes and make a smooth paste.
- Add butter to the wok and once it melts add whole spices like bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove.
- Next add garlic pods and slice onion into it. Keep on stirring until the onions are translucent.
- After that add julienned ginger and chopped tomatoes and green chilli. Cook until the raw smell of tomato is gone.
- Now add the cashew paste and half of the red chilli powder and combine well.
- Later add water and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool it for some time and blend it in a blender.
- After blending strain the mixture through a strainer.
- Now heat the remaining butter in a pan and add coriander powder and remaining red chilli powder. Stir for few seconds.
- Next add the strained mixture into it. Add fresh cream and mix well.
- Now balance the sweetness of the gravy by adding sugar. Also adjust the salt.
- Add sautéed paneer cubes into the gravy and allow to cook for 5 more minutes by closing the lid.
- Finally, add crushed kasuri methi and dollop of butter or drizzle of cream on top. Now paneer butter masala is ready to serve.
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