Paneer Butter Masala Recipe | Step by Step Process

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe is a popular North Indian/Punjabi curry known for its sweet and spicy flavour, creamy texture and moist cottage cheese. It is a favorite of vegetarians and is generally enjoyed for lunch or dinner. This dish is generally served with roti, chapati, naan or rice. It is made with fresh cream, butter and cheese, making it a rich and delicious curry that is loved by many.

The perception that the same gravy base is used with the same technique in North Indian or Punjabi curries is misleading. Every curry has subtle variations and nuances which make it unique. For example, in butter paneer recipe, the base is prepared with onions and tomatoes but it is handled differently from other paneer curries. This recipe also includes copious amounts of butter and fresh cream, giving it a mildly sweet and spicy taste. With minimal spices, butter paneer is enjoyed not just in India but across the world.

Paneer Butter Masala

Additionally, some tips and variations for creamy paneer butter masala: For butter paneer curry, use only paneer as the main ingredient. Optional: Add capsicum or onion petals. Butter and cream are key – be generous! Speed up cooking by making and freezing the curry base for later use. Just add the cheese when ready. Freeze the entire curry for a quick cooking option, although it won’t be as fresh.

Popular Indian Paneer Butter Masala recipe made with paneer cubes and tomato onion base, a vegetarian alternative to butter chicken curry. A rich and creamy premium curry often served for celebrations, auspicious occasions. Varieties based on region but common ingredients include paneer, cream, cashew paste, tomatoes, onions. Mild and creamy taste with options to add veggies for spicier versions.

About Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Paneer Butter Masala is a beloved Indian curry dish that is creamy, rich, and full of flavor. It’s a vegetarian alternative to butter chicken, perfect for those looking for a meat-free option. This dish is considered a premium curry due to its luxurious texture and taste, making it a special treat for celebrations and special occasions.

There are countless variations of Paneer Butter Masala, each unique to the region where it’s made. However, the core ingredients typically include paneer, cream, cashew paste, tomatoes, and onions. While the curry is known for its mild and creamy profile, there are endless possibilities for customization. Feel free to experiment by adding different vegetables or adjusting the level of spice to suit your taste buds. Make it your own!

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  • 250 grams paneer (cubed)
  • 4 tomatoes (medium-sized)
  • 2 onions (medium-sized)
  • 1-inch ginger piece
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

Step-by-Step Process for Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Make the Gravy: Heat oil in a pan or pressure cooker. Add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, and saute for a few seconds.

paneer butter masala

Add onions and saute until translucent. Add ginger, garlic, and saute for another minute.

making process

Add chopped tomatoes and cook until softened and mushy.

Puree the tomato mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Return the puree to the pan and add turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add water and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the gravy thickens. Adjust the consistency with more water if needed.

Add sugar (if using) and kasuri methi. Stir well.

Stir in heavy cream (optional) and simmer for another minute.

Fry the Paneer: Heat oil in a separate pan. Fry cubed paneer until golden brown on all sides.

fry paneer

Add the fried paneer to the gravy and simmer for 5 minutes to allow it to absorb the flavors.

Garnish and Serve: Turn off the heat, stir in butter, and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and sliced green chilies (if using).

Serve hot with roti, naan, or rice.

Tips & Suggestions:

Use ripe, red tomatoes for the best flavor.

You can adjust the spice level by adding more or less red chili powder.

For a richer gravy, use full-fat cream.

Don’t overcook the paneer, or it will become hard.

Garnish with a dollop of fresh cream for extra richness.

Add a pinch of saffron for a luxurious touch.

Experiment with different types of nuts, like cashews or almonds, in the gravy base for added flavor and texture.

If you don’t have paneer, you can use tofu or halloumi cheese as a substitute.

To make it vegan, omit the butter and cream and use vegan yogurt or plant-based milk instead.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe Ingredients and Substitutes

Paneer: Paneer is the star ingredient of this dish. It can be substituted with tofu for a vegan version.

Butter: Butter adds richness to the dish. You can use ghee (clarified butter) for a more traditional flavor. For a dairy-free option, use vegan butter or oil.

Oil: Use any neutral-flavored oil like vegetable or canola oil.

Onion: Finely chopped onions are used to add flavor and texture. You can omit them if you have an allergy or dislike them.

Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are pureed to form the base of the sauce. Canned diced tomatoes or tomato puree can be used as a substitute.

Ginger-garlic paste: This is a blend of fresh ginger and garlic. You can use finely minced ginger and garlic instead.

Red chili powder: Adds heat to the dish. Adjust the amount based on your spice preference. You can also use paprika for a milder flavor.

Coriander powder: Adds a warm, citrusy flavor. You can substitute with ground coriander seeds if needed.

Turmeric powder: Adds color and mild flavor. It can be omitted if you don’t have it on hand.

Garam masala: A blend of Indian spices that adds warmth and depth of flavor. You can make your own garam masala or use store-bought.

Cream: Adds richness and creaminess to the sauce. Use heavy cream or coconut cream for a dairy-free option.

Salt: To taste.

Coriander leaves: For garnishing. Optional, but adds a fresh flavor.


If you’re looking for a specific suggestion, how about trying a variation of Paneer Butter Masala Recipe? You could add some vegetables like bell peppers, peas, or carrots to make it more colorful and nutritious. Another option is to add a spoonful of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) for a unique flavor twist. These additions can enhance the dish and make it even more delicious!

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