Friday, November 14, 2014

Paneer Butter Masala.....Cottage Cheese in a rich creamy gravy

Paneer Butter Masala.......Whenever I hear this name a clear view of Paneer cooked in bright orange colored rich creamy gravy runs through my mind which looks so inviting.  Anyway let me stop my day-dreaming and return to the post.

I am a great fan of North Indian cuisine may be that's because I have spent 7 years of my life in Punjab, India. So ask me anything vegetarian, I would say it's Paneer Butter Masala. A very popular North Indian dish which has now secured its place in the menu card of most of the Indian restaurants around the globe. As the name is self explanatory Paneer (Cheese) cooked in Butter and flavored with various spices. The gravy is thickened by using cream and cashew nut paste (though optional) which serve as the base of the gravy.

I love each and every preparation of Paneer whether its Palak Paneer, Matar Paneer, Paneer Paratha, Paneer Bhurji and the list goes on......

I don't find much difference between "Paneer Butter Masala", "Paneer Makhani" and "Shahi Paneer" where all these dishes are made with onions, tomatoes, butter, cream and nuts. It solely depends upon the preference of the cook to add or subtract the ingredients. Whatever the case is, the end result is scrumptious and mouth watering dish served on your plate.


1. Paneer (Cottage Cheese): 250 gms
2. Onions (roughly chopped): 1 cup
3. Garlic(finely chopped): 2 tbsp
4. Ginger (juliennes): 1 tbsp
5. Tomatoes (large): 3
6. Cashew nuts: 7-8
7. Green Cardamoms: 2-3
8. Mace (Javitri): 1 floret
9. Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
10. Kashmiri red chili powder: 2 tsp
11. Garam Masala Powder: 1 tsp
12. Kasuri Methi: 1 to tbsp
13. Salt to taste
14. Sugar to taste (optional)
15. Butter: 4-5 tbsp
16. Green Chilies: 2-3 (adjust to your requirement)
17. Cilantro for garnishing


1. Cut the Paneer (Cottage Cheese) in whatever shape you like. I like to cut it in triangles and soak them in warm water.

2. Soak the cashew nuts in warm water and grind it into thick paste.

3. Place a pan on medium heat and add in the butter. Let it melt; add green cardamoms and mace. Once you get a nice aroma add chopped onions and fry them till they get a nice brown color. 

4. Add garlic and fry them for 1-2 mins. Now add chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, kasuri methi, salt and sugar. Mix all these spices together. Cover the lid and cook till tomatoes gets mushy.

5. Let the mixture cool down and then make a smooth puree, strain it well to discard the seeds of cardamoms or pieces of mace.

6. In the same pan add rest of the butter, as the butter melts add julienned ginger and green chilies. Let it cook for 1-2 mins and then add the strained puree. Cover the lid and let it cook for 8-10 mins.

7. Add paneer pieces and cashew nut paste. Adjust the consistency of the gravy, if it looks too thick add few tbsps of hot water. Let it cook for 2-3 mins. 

8. Now its time to add fresh cream and stir gently. Check the seasoning and adjust it as per requirement. Cook for another 5 mins. Garnish it with cilantro.

9. Your Paneer Butter Masala is ready to serve. Enjoy it with naan, paratha or fried rice.


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  1. Great recipe...thanks for sharing. I tired it few weeks back it came out really great. My hubby liked it the most, this one surely goes to my favorite recipes :)
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    1. Thanks dear. It feels so good when your hard work gets appreciated :)

  2. Wow!.. this one looks really good! I am sure it tastes heavenly as well. I recently tried this recipe by switching paneer with the best fish for sale in Mumbai. Tasted really good.