Paneer Butter Masala is essentially one of the simplest yet satiating Indian accompaniments made using dollops of fresh cream, paneer, and spices. This paneer recipe can be easily made at home and the result is quite rewarding.
Out of all the Paneer Recipes, this Paneer sabji is our favorite at home and the best part is that it is super easy to make as well. Here is how to make it at home.
Be it summer, winter or monsoon, if you run out of ideas for a curry of the day but if you have a slab of paneer at home then you know that your worries would not last long at all.
On countless occasions, I have ended up relying upon this one ingredient – PANEER and it has never ever failed me.
Right from those warm home parties till instant meals for the family, whenever I feel like serving them something simple, Indian yet delicious my mind thinks about paneer recipes without a doubt.
And as Paneer is so versatile, you will find many delicious dishes in the North Indian restaurants too.
His sweet requests have kind of have convinced me to try out other Paneer Recipes more often such as Lahsooni Methi Paneer, Shahi Paneer, Punjabi Saag Paneer, Mughlai Paneer Korma, Paneer Jalfrezi, Palak Paneer, Paneer Masala and even today’ recipe Hotel Style Paneer Butter Masala.
This Butter Paneer Masala is just like your fav restaurant version and it tastes fabulous with the creamy texture and super flavorful curry.
Perfect for your weekend lunch or for those dinner parties, this Paneer Recipe will be a new favorite at your home.
About This Recipe
Paneer Butter Masala or Butter Paneer is a very popular curry where Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer cubes are simmered in a mildly rich and sweet tomato cashew nut based gravy.
This curry goes very well with Indian bread and is a popular dish on the restaurant’s menu.
No restaurant or dhaba menu is complete without this dish. This Indian curry has won many hearts and is a fav veg option for parties or get-togethers.
Butter paneer has this fresh flavor of butter, onion, cashew nuts, tomatoes, and a dash of garlic, ginger and green chilli.
I love the way the gravy blends and nicely fuses with the tender pieces of paneer while you are sautéing the sabzi and the result turns out to be incredibly lip-smacking.
Finally, when it is served, just dunk the fresh chunk of your choice of flatbread in this luscious, slightly sweet yet pungent paneer loaded sabzi and you know that you are having an awesome meal!
Serve it for lunch or dinner with any Indian bread of your choice.
Pro Tips by Neha
Use canned tomato puree to maker Paneer Butter Masala. The taste of the canned puree is much intense which cannot be replicated by homemade puree.
Grind the masala to a fine paste. The gravy should be silky smooth. You can even pass the masala through a soup strainer to get really creamy curry.
Add the cream and honey at the end of cooking. If you plan to freeze the gravy, skip adding honey and cream and add them at last when you are ready to serve.
You can freeze this gravy in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months. Just thaw over the countertop for 3-4 hours and then heat again in a pan and add honey and cream before serving.
You can also give a smoky flavor to this curry by keeping a piece of red hot charcoal on an aluminum foil and sprinkling some ghee on it. Close the lid immediately for the curry to soak the flavor of the smoke.
Use fresh soft paneer to make this recipe. Since the paneer cubes are not fried, they must be very fresh.
If the paneer is old, boil it for 2-3 minutes in water. Discard the water and then use the paneer.
You will need butter and a little oil to start the recipe. Oil is added so that the butter doesn’t burn while cooking.
Adding whole spices like cloves, cardamom, etc add a very nice flavor to the dish.
I have used very little onion, you can choose to skip it. Other than that, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and green chillies go into making the gravy. Make sure to choose the ripest of tomatoes because it’s them that gives the taste and color to the final dish.
Grind the onion, tomato masala to a very fine paste. While grinding, do not add too much water otherwise the paste will not become fine.
Spice powders like coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, etc will be needed.
Store-bought tomato puree and tomato ketchup is a must to make this recipe. Since they are much concentrated than the homemade ones, they give a very characteristic restaurant like taste to the dish.
Finally, do not forget to add honey and lemon juice to balance the flavors and no Paneer Butter Masala is complete with Kasuri Methi.
How is it different from Paneer Makhani?
If you have ever had Chicken Butter Masala and Chicken Makhani, you will definitely understand the difference between Paneer Butter Masala and Paneer Makhani too.
While both the recipes have almost the same set of ingredients, Paneer Butter Masala uses onions, tomatoes, and cashews, while Makhani has only tomatoes along with cashews.
Paneer Butter Masala sometimes also uses poppy seeds and melon seeds, whereas we don’t use the same ingredient in Makhani.
Which cream to use for making this recipe?
I have used Amul cream to make paneer butter masala. You can use any low-fat cream that is available in your part of the world for this recipe.
You can also use homemade Cream or Malai collected over milk in place of fresh Cream.
How to make this Vegan?
To make Vegan paneer butter masala, you can swap paneer with tofu.
Butter with any vegan butter of your choice and cream with cashew or coconut cream. the taste still remains fabulous, so not shy away from trying out a vegan version of this butter paneer curry.
How to make a Jain Version (No Onion No Garlic)?
To make a Jain version of this recipe, just skip adding onion, ginger, and garlic.
All the other ingredients are allowed in Jainism and since we have added very little of onion and garlic in the recipe, it will not affect the taste much.
What to serve with it?
Other Paneer Recipes that you may like:
Paneer is a fav ingredient in Indian Vegetarian Cooking and many recipes can be made using Paneer as the star ingredients.
I have a good collection of Paneer Recipes on the blog which is loved by the readers. Sharing some of the Paneer Recipes from the blog here.
- Paneer Burji
- Palak Paneer
- Shahi Paneer
- Matar Paneer
- Achari Paneer
- Kadai Paneer
- Paneer Lababdar
- Palak Paneer Paratha
How to make it ahead of time?
I will advise you to make the gravy without adding cream and store in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days.
When you want to serve it, just heat the gravy, add in cream and paneer cubes, your dish is ready to serve.
Can I use frozen Paneer?
If you are using frozen paneer to make this dish, thaw the paneer over the kitchen counter until it comes to room temperature.
Cut it onto cubes and then soak in warm water for 20 minutes.
Now use this paneer in the recipe.
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Step by Step Recipe
Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
Once the butter is hot, add cloves, black cardamom and green cardamom. Fry for a few seconds.
Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until they turn transparent.
Add chopped tomato, ginger, garlic and green chilli and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add cashew nuts and cook for another minute. Remove the pan from heat and let the mixture cool.
Grind the onion tomato mixture in a grinder to make a smooth paste. Do not add too much water while making the paste.
Heat the remaining 3 tbsp butter in the same pan.
Add the ground masala in the pan. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, tomato puree, tomato ketchup and salt.
Now add paneer cubes and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add more water if required.
Add garam masala powder, fresh cream, honey and kasuri methi. Cook for another minute.
Paneer Butter Masala Recipe
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 to 3 Cloves
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 2 to 3 Green Cardamom
- ¼ cup Onion (Chopped)
- 1 cup Tomato (Chopped)
- 1 inch Ginger (Chopped)
- 5 to 6 Garlic cloves (Chopped)
- 2 Green chilli
- 20 to 25 Cashew Nuts
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- ¼ cup Tomato Puree
- 2 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
- Salt to taste
- 400 grams Paneer (Cut into cubes)
- ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- ¼ cup Fresh Cream
- 1 tsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Kasuri Methi
- Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
- Once the butter is hot, add cloves, black cardamom and green cardamom.
- Fry for a few seconds.
- Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped tomato, ginger, garlic and green chilli and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add cashew nuts and cook for another minute.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the mixture cool.
- Grind the onion tomato mixture in a grinder to make a smooth paste.
- Heat the remaining 3 tbsp butter in the same pan.
- Add the ground masala in the pan.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, tomato puree, tomato ketchup and salt.
- Now add ½ cup of water and cook for 2-3 minutes until oil starts to separate on the sides.
- Add paneer cubes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add more water if required.
- Now add garam masala powder, fresh cream, honey and kasuri methi.
- Cook for another minute.
- Garnish with fresh cream.
- Serve hot with Naan or Laccha Paratha.