January 27, 2009

Paneer Makhani | Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Hello there, I have updated my Paneer Butter Masala recipes with experience and more cooking practise. If you'd like the later versions, check out the recipes below:

Paneer Butter Masala - Restaurant-Style Recipe
Paneer Makhani - Microwave Version

Paneer butter masala is something I make quite often. In fact, its one of the first paneer recipes that I tried and because I didn't use kasuri methi and because I followed a quick recipe, it didn't turn out.. well.. anything like paneer butter masala - the most popular of paneer recipes!

TH loves it and so do I, though these days I have reduced the amount of butter and cashew nuts that go into it. Even then, this is an indulgent dish, definitely not for quick fix meals over weekdays.

We like ours not too watery so I add very little water and let most of it cook away on the stove. If you have any ingredient that you add on top of all these, do let me know, I would love to experiment!

Recipe For Paneer Butter Masala

What I Used:

Paneer - 2 cups, cubed
Onions - 3 big, pureed
Tomatoes - 2 big, (blanched, peeled and pureed)
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder / malli podi - 1 tsp
All-purpose curry masala - 1 tsp (or use garam masala - grind 2 cloves, 1 green cardamom and a 1" piece cinnamon)
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Kasuri methi / dry fenugreek powder - 1/2 tsp (try not to avoid this ingredient)
Cashewnuts - 2 tbsp, grind to paste
Mustard seeds - a pinch
Butter - 2 tbsp
Cream - 1 tbsp (optional)
Fresh coriander leaves - chopped, for garnishing (I didn't have any to use)
How to make Paneer Butter Masala:

1. Heat the butter in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they pop, add the onion paste and fry for 2 mins. Then add the ginger garlic paste, chilli powder and the cashewnut paste. Saute for another 2 mins.

2. Now add the pureed tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric powder, kasuri methi, curry masala and salt. Stir well and leave on sim for about 5 mins.

3. Next, add the paneer and let cook. If the gravy seems too thick, add little water and keep cooking for about 5-6 mins.

4. Remove from fire, mix in the fresh cream if using and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

I served it with some carrot rice but this side dish goes very well with roti, nan, chapati and any rice dish.


In most paneer recipes, there are directions given to first fry the paneer cubes until golden brown. I used to do this but find that the pieces turn hard and don't absorb the gravy while cooking. An alternative method would be to fry the paneer cubes, dunk then in some water, let it soak for 2 mins and then drain before adding it to the gravy. This method is too-consuming for lazy old me and I really don't find anything wrong in adding the pieces raw to the gravy provided its cooked for atleast 10 mins in the gravy.