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Paneer butter masala best recipes of paneer curry

How to make paneer butter masala recipe  |  masala paneer | butter paneer masala

Paneer butter masala in serving bowl for Paneer butter masala recipe
Paneer butter masala

Paneer butter masala or butter paneer masala is a rich creamy vegetarian dish of paneer  in butterly tomato based gravy or sauce .

Paneer also 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.

For more paneer related recipe :-

Palak Paneer recipe

Paneer chilli complete recipe guide

Ginger Honey Paneer Recipe

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.

If you have been to some renewed hotels and restaurants, you can find paneer butter masala, paneer makhani and paneer Tikka masala in their Menus.

So what is the difference between a paneer butter masala, paneer makhani and paneer Tikka masala? Are they all same ?

Difference between paneer butter masala, paneer makhani and paneer Tikka masala

Nope, no they are not same. They have some huge difference in their taste, texture and appearance. Though three are prepared using rich creamy gravy or sauce. They have some differences.

Below I am sharing the differences according to  fine dine restaurant method of preparation.

Paneer makhani is sweet in taste and onion gravy is not use to prepare it. It is not spicy. No use of ginger garlic at all. You can serve it as a Jain food.

Whereas paneer butter masala is less sweet in taste and onion gravy is use to prepare it . It is little bit spicy compare to paneer makhani. Ginger Garlic is use to prepare it.

And paneer Tikka masala is no sweet in taste at all . It is spicy and cubes of paneer is used to prepare it is  roasted in Ovalclay charcoal Tandoor. It has a Tangy flavour also. Ginger Garlic is use.

Paneer Tikka for paneer Tikka masala Recipe
Paneer tikka

Though these three has almost identical appearance, you can differentiate them with the use of  garnish also.

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.

So now it is almost clear for us about the differences in between them. We can now start to make our favorite dish paneer butter masala at home in a restaurant style.

How to make paneer butter masala recipe ( butter paneer masala) at home

Preparation time :- 10 minutes

Cooking time :- 20 minutes

Difficulty :- Easy

Serve :- 2 servings

Ingredients for paneer butter masala :-

For the gravy or sauce :-

* 1 big onion chopped.

* 3-4 medium size tomato ( roughly chopped)

* 8-10 cashew nuts( kaju)

* 2 teaspoon melon seeds ( optional)

* 1/2  teaspoon butter ( clarified).

* 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil .

Chopped onion and tomato for paneer butter masala recipe
Chopped onion and tomato

Butter, melon seeds and cooking oil for paneer butter masala recipe
Butter, melon seeds and cooking oil

Cashew nuts for paneer butter masala recipe
Cashew nuts

Whole spices ( khada masala) :-

* 1 medium bay leaf ( tez Patta).

* 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick ( dalchini)

* 1 black Cardamom.

* 1-2 pieces of cloves.

Whole spices for Paneer butter masala recipe
Whole spices

For butter masala paneer  :-

* 200 gm Paneer ( cottage cheese).

* 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.

* 1)2 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves( kasoori Methi )

* 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder ( preferably Kashmiri chilli powder)

* 1/3 teaspoon Coriander powder.

* 2 teaspoon fresh cream.

* 1 teaspoon clarified butter.

* 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil.

* 1 small pinch of sugar.

* 1/4 teaspoon salt ( or as per taste).

Paneer for paneer butter masala recipe
Paneer (cottage cheese)

Red Chilli powder, fenugreek leaves and kitchen king masala for paneer butter masala recipe
Red chilli powder, kitchen king masala, fenugreek leaves

Ginger Garlic paste,sugar and Coriander powder for paneer butter masala
Ginger Garlic paste, sugar and Coriander powder

Butter and fresh cream for paneer butter masala recipe
Butter and fresh cream

Method of preparation :-

* First we need to make the gravy or sauce. Take a pan, add 1/2 teaspoon of cooking oil and 1/2 teaspoon of butter in slow flame.

*  Add the chopped onions and sauteed for 2-3 minutes in medium to high flame till onions become translucent and light brown in colour.

Sauteing chopped onion in pan for paneer butter masala recipe
Sauteing onions

* Add the cashew nuts and melon seeds and  saute for 1 minute till roasted and brown in colour.

Sauteing and roasting melon seeds and cashew nuts with onions for paneer butter masala recipe
Sauteing onions melon seeds and cashew nuts

* Add the tomatoes 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 one minute.

*Turn off the flame and transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl. Let the mixture to cool down.

* Make a smooth paste of the mixture using a grinder or blender. If needed add little water to make the paste. Keep the paste aside for later use.

Tomato onion paste in grinder for paneer butter masala recipe

How to make paneer butter masala step by step instructions :-

* Cut the paneer into small cube size

Cube size paneer for paneer butter masala recipe
Paneer cubes

* Take a pan or kadai, heat  1/2 teaspoon butter with 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil in low flame . Don't add the butter alone, it will get burn while cooking.  Always use butter with cooking oil for cooking purpose.

* Add the whole spices and saute for 1 minute or till you get a nice aroma of the spices.

Sauteing whole spices in pan for paneer butter masala recipe
Sauteing whole spices

* Add ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute or till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away.

* Add the red chilli powder , Coriander powder, kitchen king powder and stir for few seconds.

* Now add the prepared onion tomato paste into the kadai or pan and cook it for 2-3 minutes or till it become thick.

Sauteing onion tomato paste with whole spices for Paneer butter masala recipe
Sauteing tomato onion paste with whole spices

* For a nice red colour, you can add little bit more Kashmiri chilly powder. Don't worry it is not that hot . It is just 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.

* Now add the dry fenugreek (kasoori Methi) to the gravy. Do crush the fenugreek in between your palm for  better flavour. Stir well.

* Add the paneer pieces and mix gently. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add the fresh cream and mix well.

Paneer pieces in gravy for paneer butter masala recipe
paneer in gravy

* Check the seasoning and add a small pinch of sugar to balance the taste if necessary.

* 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.

Garnished paneer butter masala in a bowl with cream and butter
Garnished with cream and butter

                 Serving tips :-
What to serve with paneer butter masala?

* 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
Serving paneer butter masala with jeera rice and roti

What are the nutritional value for paneer butter masala :-

               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

How can you make paneer butter masala vegan?

                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.

How to make paneer butter masala suitable for Jain community?

                 Jain Paneer butter masala recipe :-

How to make paneer butter masala without onion and garlic?

There are certain community faith where onion and garlic is prohibited in foods. You can make a paneer butter masala without onion and garlic.

Ingredients :-

 You can avoid onion and ginger garlic paste from above list of ingredients for paneer butter masala.

And keep rest of the ingredients as same.

Step by step method for paneer butter masala Jain :-

* The easy method is first roughly chopped the tomatoes and boil them till soft .

* In mean time ,  soaked the cashew nuts in light warm water.  If using melon seeds then mix with cashew nuts.

* When the tomatoes become cold, blend or grind them into a fine paste using a blender or mixer grinder without adding water.

* Similarly make a paste of the cashew nuts. If necessary add little water to make a fine paste.

* Take a pan and heat half teaspoon cooking oil with 1/2 teaspoon of butter in medium flame.

* When heated add half of the fenugreek leaves and the whole spices and saute for 30 seconds.

* Pour the tomato paste or puree and cook for 3-4 minutes till oil start to separate . Add the cashew nuts paste and further cook for 2 more minutes.

* You can notice the gravy starts to bubbling .

* Rest of the steps to make Jain paneer butter masala is as same as I mentioned above. Just follow the above steps and prepare your Jain paneer butter masala recipe.

For Jain paneer butter masala, it is best  to use or order paneer makhani instead of paneer butter masala when visiting  a restaurant.

       Melon seeds in paneer butter masala

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 to make better paneer butter masala?.

Useful tips to make better paneer butter masala

1. Use good quality paneer for making paneer butter masala. You can use homemade paneer for best results.

2. 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, it become hard and chewy.

3. Don't use Garam masala, instead use kitchen king masala. Garam masala can change the aromatic flavour and colour also. Kitchen king masala is easily available in grocery store.

4. Use red ripe tomatoes. Don't use partially ripe tomatoes at all. It can damage the taste of paneer butter masala.

5. If possible try to make separate tomato paste, onion paste and cashew melon seeds paste for use.
You can add a particular  gravy more  if necessary to balance the taste of paneer butter masala.

6. You can easily store these paste in deep freezer for many days in future use. When making separate paste of tomato and onion, seasons with red chilli powder, Coriander powder for better taste.

7. 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.

Shallow fried paneer cubes for paneer butter masala recipe
Shallow fried paneer

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 :+

Delicious Butter Chicken recipe

  Excellent Aloo paratha recipe

  How to make samosa


  1. 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.


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