This is a recipe for restaurant-style paneer butter masala recipe, with step by step pictures to guide you along the steps of making it. It’s one of the most popular recipes on this blog with hundreds of people trying and liking it. A few ingredients are what truly make this recipe stand out, the actual cooking process is really simple and straightforward that even a beginner cook can ace it. So why wait, try this paneer butter masala recipe and let me know how you go!
Table of Contents
- What is Paneer Butter Masala?
- Recipe Tips and Notes
- Step by Step Pictures to Make Paneer Butter Masala
What is Paneer Butter Masala
Well, it’s one of the most popular recipes made with paneer or Indian cottage cheese around the world. Paneer is a hard, neutral “cheese” that lends itself really well to being cooked into a gravy or curry and this particular recipe for paneer butter masala is arguably the most delicious. It is creamy, delicate, has a slight tang from the added tomatoes, and has a kick from the spices.
You can adapt the flavour by adjusting the spices but in general, paneer butter masala is meant to be mild and creamy rather than a spicy curry. Paneer butter masala goes great with roti, vegetable pulao, chapati, puri, etc. You might also like matar paneer, it’s a different gravy recipe and equally delicious.
Check out other paneer recipes if you love cooking with paneer!
Paneer Butter Masala Recipe
- 2 cups cubed paneer use fresh or thawed from frozen
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste freshly made is better
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder adjust to taste, this gives a mild gravy
- 1 tablespoon canned tomato paste 1 cup of fresh tomato puree from very ripe tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon kasuri methi dry fenugreek leaves
- 3/4 cup milk more or less depending on how thin you want the gravy
- 3/4 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Salt to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a pan and lightly fry the paneer cubes until light golden, turning frequently. Do this on a low flame so as not to overcook the paneer (see notes)
- Drain the paneer and set aside
- In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and fry the onions until golden brown
- Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for another minute or so until fragrant
- Next, add the coriander powder, garam masala, chilli powder and some salt. Fry for 30 seconds.
- To this, add the tomato sauce or puree, tomato paste, ketchup and kasuri methi. Mix well until all the ingredients combine well
- Add milk to the above
- Lower heat and cook covered for 5 mins.
- Open lid, add the fried paneer/tofu and the cream.
- Mix well and simmer for 3-4 mins in the open pan. Adjust salt if needed.
- Serve hot with any main dish of your choice
Recipe Tips and Notes
This recipe is very straightforward but I do have some tips and notes for you to try it and really get a fail-proof paneer butter masala, especially if you are a beginner.
- If using store-bought paneer, buy a fresh or frozen block and cut it yourself rather than buying cubed frozen paneer. Paneer by the block tends to be more soft when cooked
- When pan-frying the paneer, take care to do it on low heat and don’t overdo it. This will ensure the paneer doesn’t get rubbery
- I have one ingredient in this recipe, the canned tomato paste, which really adds to the flavour of the dish. Try not to omit or substitute it. You need very less but the rest of the can may be used for pasta sauce, tomato soup or refrigerated until you need more so you don’t waste it
- Adding ketchup may seem weird but trust me, it really elevates the taste of the gravy of this paneer butter masala
- If you want to make a vegan paneer butter masala option, substitute the paneer with tofu and the cream with cashew cream (soaked and ground cashew paste). You can also use regular oil instead of the butter
- You can use any cooking cream for the recipe, it doesn’t matter
- The gravy will thicken as you keep it longer. Re-heating should bring the consistency back, or you can add some milk to make the gravy thinner before serving
Step by Step Pictures to Make Paneer Butter Masala
Heat a pan on low flame and add butter to it. Let it melt.
Add the cubed paneer to this..
and fry lightly until light golden brown.
Drain and set aside
In the same pan, add the oil and sliced onions. Fry until golden brown.
Add the ginger garlic paste to this and fry for another 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant.
Take care not to burn the mixture, keep heat low
Next, it’s time to add your spice powders – coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala, along with salt. Fry for 30-45 seconds.
Now add the tomato paste..
and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
Mix everything together and add the milk
Keeping heat low, simmer covered for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, get the cream ready. Use Nestle cream for this recipe usually.
Add the cream to the above along with the fried paneer
Mix everything together gently and simmer for another 3-4 minutes and your paneer butter masala is ready!
Hat tip to the original recipe: vahchef.