Paneer butter masala

  How to make paneer butter masala

Paneer butter masala or butter paneer masala is a rich creamy vegetarian dish of paneer in tomato onion based gravy or sauce. Lots of butter is used to temper it.
Paneer  known as cottage cheese is the  most loved food item in Indian subcontinent.
 Almost every section of society love paneer and dishes made from it. Paneer butter masala is one of such popular paneer dishes for dinner.

Paneer butter masala in serving bowl for Paneer butter masala recipe

Restaurant style paneer butter masala
In restaurants melon seeds are used along with cashewnuts while making the tomato onion puree or gravy. Dry kasoori methi is another important ingredient.
You can boil tomatoes along with some whole spices, cashewnuts and melon seeds till soft and messy. Cool down and discard the whole spices. Make a fine puree of them. Or saute the tomatoes with the spices and then make the puree. 
Heat butter with little oil and fry chopped garlic and cumin seeds till cracks. Add chopped onions and fry till light brown. Then add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder and cook for few seconds. Pour the puree and further cook along with little water. Add the paneer pieces, fresh cream, fenugreek leaves, salt, butter and a small pinch of sugar. Taste and remove. Serve topping with fresh cream and butter. 
Making paneer at home
Paneer is a fresh cheese prepared by adding lemon juice or vinegar in hot milk to separate the curds from the whey. The curds are then drained using a muslin cloth and kept hanging to press out excess water from it.
The resulting paneer is then dipped into chilled water for 2-3 hours or kept in a block by pressing to improve its texture and appearance.

Tips to make better paneer butter masala
  •  Use good quality paneer for making paneer butter masala. You can use homemade paneer for best results.
  • Don't cook the paneer very long time in the gravy . Otherwise the paneer will become hard when serving. Try to cook for one minute only.  Long time cooking paneer if not served immediately become hard and chewy
  • Use red ripe tomatoes. Don't use partially ripe tomatoes at all. It can damage the taste of paneer butter masala. 
  • Shallow fried paneer cubes for paneer butter masala recipe
    You can shallow fry the paneer cubes also before adding into the gravy. It gives a nice taste . Many people prefer a fried paneer into the gravy.  Just grease a Non stick pan with oil and butter and shallow fry the paneer cubes till brown.

Vegan tips
 How can you make paneer butter masala vegan?  You can simply make it vegan by the following methods 
  • By substituting paneer with Tofu.
  • Use vegan cooking oil or neutral oil. Also use a vegan butter instead of clarified butter.
  • You can avoid using cream . Or use a vegan cream also.

Steps to make the recipe

1. First we need to make the gravy.  For that take a pan and add 1/2 teaspoon of cooking oil and  butter cube in slow flame. Saute the ginger garlic paste till raw smell goes off. Then fry the whole spices for few seconds or till the aromatic flavour released.
2. Add the onion slices and sauteed for 2-3 minutes in medium to high flame till the onions become translucent and light brown in colour.
3. Now add the tomato slices and mix well. Cook for more 2 minutes or till the tomatoes become soft . Add 1/ 2 teaspoon of red chilli powder and cook for 30 seconds. You can add the cashew nuts and melon seeds (if using) and fry . Or mix them when making the puree.
Sauteeing onion tomato for paneer butter masala recipe
4. Turn off the flame and transfer the mixture into a bowl. Let the mixture to cool down completely. Discard the whole spices and make a fine puree using a grinder or blender.  Add little water to make the paste. Keep the paste aside to use later.
Tomato onion paste in grinder for paneer butter masala recipe
Making paneer butter masala
 5. Cut the paneer into small cube size pieces.
Cube size paneer for paneer butter masala recipe
6. Take a pan or kadai and heat  1/2 teaspoon butter with 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil in low flame . Don't heat the butter alone otherwise it will get burnt.Always use butter with oil for cooking purpose.
7. Add chopped garlic and  cumin seeds and saute then add chopped onions and fry till onion become light brown.
8. Add the red chilli powder , Coriander powder, turmeric powder and stir for few seconds. Pour little water and cook for another 30 seconds.
9. Now add the prepared onion tomato puree ( paste) into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or till it become thick.
Pouring onion tomato puree into the mixture for paneer butter masala recipe
For a good colour, you can add little bit more Kashmiri chilly powder. Don't worry it is not that hot . It gives a nice red colour only. Mix well and cook for a minute.
Add water to make desired gravy consistency. Let it boil and simmer for 2-3 more minutes on low flame heat.
10. Add the paneer pieces and mix gently. Cook for 1 minutes. Then pour the fresh cream and mix well. Sprinkle the dry fenugreek (kasoori Methi) to the gravy. Do crush the fenugreek in between your palm for  better flavour. Stir well.
Pouring fresh cream into the paneer butter masala recipe

Paneer pieces in gravy for paneer butter masala recipe
11. Add salt as per taste and check the seasoning of the gravy and add a small pinch of sugar to balance the taste if necessary.
12. Transfer the paneer butter masala into a serving bowl and garnish with 1/2 teaspoon of cream and top with 1/2 teaspoon of butter and few coriander or Cilantro leafs.

Jain paneer butter masala recipe

There are certain community faith where onion and garlic is prohibited in foods. So it good to make a paneer butter masala recipe for them without using onion and garlic.
 Just avoid onion and ginger garlic from  list of ingredients for paneer butter masala.
And keep rest of the ingredients and preparation method as same.
If you love paneer recipe then I am sure you would love the following paneer recipes as well 
Paneer butter masala is one of the best and popular dish from all recipes of paneer curry. You can make this famous paneer recipe at your home easily without any great efforts. Almost every ingredients are available in your kitchen to make a restaurant style paneer butter masala.
Paneer butter masala can be prepared without cream as well. In place of cream use milk. Use it after cooking the tomato puree or paste very well. 
In restaurant we generally use Amul fresh cream to make paneer butter masala.

Difference between a paneer butter masala, paneer makhani and paneer Tikka masala?  
•  Paneer makhani is sweet in taste and onion and garlic are not use to prepare it. It is not spicy.  You can serve paneer makhani as a Jain food.
Whereas paneer butter masala is less sweet in taste. Onion and garlic are use to prepare it . It is little bit spicy compare to paneer makhani.
And paneer Tikka masala is not sweet in taste .It is spicy and tangy due to the use of curd. Ginger and garlic is use to prepare it
Paneer pieces are roasted in tandoor first and then simmered  in  gravy  to prepare paneer Tikka masala. Read the full recipe of
Paneer Tikka for paneer Tikka masala Recipe

•  Paneer butter masala and paneer makhani are garnished using cream and butter . There is no use of Corriander leafs in paneer makhani.
Whereas paneer Tikka masala is garnished using chopped Corriander leafs. There is no use of cream or butter on its top.

 Paneer butter masala recipe 

Serving paneer butter masala in a bowl for paneer butter masala recipe

Restaurant style paneer butter masala recipe can be made at home with step by step method. Paneer cubes are simmered and cooked in a rich creamy tomato based gravy with cream, butter and other spices.
Prep time      cooking time     serving
10 min            20 min                      2
Author :- Mobasir hassan

For the gravy or sauce
  • 1/2  onion sliced
  • 3-4 medium size tomato sliced
  • 8 -10 cashew nuts( kaju)
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon melon seeds ( optional)
  • 1 butter cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil .
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
Whole spices ( khada masala) 
  • 1  bay leaf ( tez Patta).
  • 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick ( dalchini)
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1-2 pieces of cloves.
For butter masala paneer  
  • 200 gm Paneer ( cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoon fresh cream.
  • 1  butter cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil.
  • small pinch of sugar.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt ( or as per taste).
   How to make the recipe

Making the gravy
  1.  Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil and butter in a pan and fry ginger garlic paste till raw smell goes.
  2. Fry the whole spices till aromatic then add tomato slices and red chilli powder.
  3. Fry till tomato become messy. Remove and cool them completely. Discard all the whole spices.
  4. Make a fine puree or paste with cashew nuts in a grinder or mixer adding little water.

Making paneer butter masala

  1. Heat half teaspoon oil with a butter cube and fry chopped garlic and cumin seeds till cracks.
  2. Add the chopped onions and fry till they become translucent.
  3. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder corriander powder and fry for 30 sec.
  4. Pour little water and cook the masala for another 30 seconds.
  5. Now pour the prepared puree and cook for 1 minute. Add half cup water into gravy and further cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the paneer pieces into the gravy and mix gently. Cook for one more  minute.
  7. Mix fresh cream and  crushed fenugreek leaves.
  8. Add salt as per taste and butter cubes. and a small pinch of sugar.
  9. Check the thickness of the gravy and sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves.
  10. Remove in a bowl and serve. 
Video for paneer butter masala recipe 

       Nutritional value
  • Calories :- 347 kcal
  • Carbohydrate :-  11 gm | fats :- 28gm
  • Protein :- 10 gm | cholesterol :- 68 mg
  • Iron :- 6.7% | potassium :- 274mg
  • Calcium :- 34.9% | fiber :- 2 gm
                       Serving tips                           
•  It is one of the best paneer recipe for roti.
•  Paneer butter masala can be serve well  with phulka and chapatis.
•  You can have it with tandoori naan or rotis as well. I personally prefer it with butter naan .
•  Steam basmati rice or jeera rice is another options for serving paneer butter masala.
Serving paneer butter masala with jeera rice and roti for paneer butter masala recipe

Why to use melon seeds in paneer butter masala recipe?
Melon seeds is widely used in the gravy of paneer butter masala in almost every hotels and restaurants.
They use melon seeds and cashew nuts in 2:1 ratio when making the gravy. Melon seeds does not have a distinct scent but has a nutty and sweet taste. It gives a smooth fine texture when making a paste with cashew nuts.
It has its own aromatic flavour which increase the flavour of paneer butter masala. If you don't use it, I am sure you won't that restaurant style flavour of paneer butter masala at home.
My personal opinion is that try and use melon seeds with cashew nuts in your paneer butter masala gravy.
Additionally you get all the health benefits of melon seeds when using it in the gravy.
Some important benefits of melon seeds
Melon seeds are viewed as being the powerhouse of  various nutritions.
1. It's essential fatty acids are believed to be important for maintaining a healthy ❤️
2. The properties feature in melon seeds are believed to help sustain healthy skin, nails and nerves.
3. It is excellent source of folic acid, magnesium, calcium,zinc and protein. Also contains high amount of antioxidants.
4. They also reportedly feature Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron and Omega 3 fatty acids
How restaurant gravy is prepared for paneer butter masala?
(1). In restaurants, they prepared separate gravy(sauce) each for tomato , onion and cashew nuts.
For tomato, it is called tomato gravy
 For onion, it is called kandha masala or brown gravy.
 And for cashew, it is called white gravy.
2. For each gravy preparation, they seasoned with whole spices and masalas.
3. In restaurants, Kashmiri chilly paste is used to give it prominent red colour when preparing paneer butter masala.
Restaurant's three different gravy for paneer butter masala recipe
Tomato, onion and white gravy for paneer butter masala recipe
Onion,  white and tomato gravy
It become quite easy for Chefs to make quick paneer butter masala if  these three types of gravy are prepared already.
You can check some popular recipes 
Garnished paneer butter masala in a bowl with cream and butter
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  • John Stewart
    John Stewart September 18, 2019 at 3:34 PM

    I never knew tomatoes, onions and cashews had other names such as, tomato gravy, brown gravy and white gravy respectively. This recipe is very educative. The step by step guide on how to prepare paneer butter masala is excellent. Great work here.
    Am sharing this immediately.

  • sonu
    sonu October 31, 2019 at 3:50 PM

    Thank you for useful article. You have given very good information. Find out more information about andhra village style chicken curry

  • Steve smith
    Steve smith November 7, 2019 at 2:26 PM

    Loved the detailed explanation and health benefits of paneer butter masala. I have prepared paneer tikka recipe previously but your recipe looks more delicious.Appreciate your thoughtful gesture to include nutritional value and simple yet elegant additions.

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