Paneer Butter Masala is one of the most popular North Indian Paneer recipes and is available in most Indian restaurants world wide. This dish is made of soft paneer pieces soaked in a rich, creamy and smooth gravy. It pairs well with Indian flat breads like Naan,roti,paratha and even rice. Its a luscious dish so definitely heavy on the calories making it apt only for special occasions, parties, gathering and not so much for daily use.
For today’s post I’m sharing this restaurant style recipe of Paneer Butter Masala but in a simplified way. There are many versions of this dish and even I make this a couple of ways but recently have been hooked on to quick and simple ways of making meals and this is one of my go to paneer dishes. It can be made in a jiffy and yet comes out perfect every single time. For this version, I use the cream instead of cashew paste, store bought tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes. These help get that silky smooth texture which is the signature of this dish and also use of these two eliminates the grinding process which can be a huge time saver.
1 block of Paneer (350 gms)
2 tbsp butter
1 bay leaf
2-3 green cardamoms
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 cup tomato puree/tomato sauce (I’ve used organic tomato sauce)
1 cup cream
1 cup milk or water
1 tbsp homemade Punjabi Garam Masala
1 tsp kashmiri lal mirch (red chilli) powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Soak the paneer block in warm water until ready to use. This will make the paneer soft.
In a vessel, heat butter and once it starts melting add the bay leaf and green cardamoms. Saute for a few seconds till fragrant and then add the onions and saute. When the onions turn translucent and start to brown, add ginger and garlic paste. Saute till raw garlic smell disappears.
Now add the tomato puree/sauce and mix. Cook for 2 mins stirring intermittently. Then add chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and pepper powder. Cook till this mixture thickens, then add the Punjabi Garam Masala and cook stirring intermittently till mixture has thickened, reduced and starts oozing oil from the side.
Now lower the heat and add the cream and mix. Depending on the consistency you like slowly add milk (for richer gravy) or water (half cup at a time). Mix again. Crush the dry fenugreek leaves between your palms and add it to gravy. Now cut the paneer block into triangles or cubes and add it to the gravy. Gently mix and allow it to simmer to 5-7 mins and your gravy is ready.
Notes : –
- You can puree fresh tomatoes and use for this recipe or use store bought tomato puree/sauce to save time. Both ways the recipe comes out delicious, however I personally like using the store bought tomato sauce for this recipe as its gives a rich and wonderful color to the recipe.
- If using fresh tomatoes, first boil them for 5-10 mins then peel skin, puree in a blender until smooth, strain and use. 3-4 medium tomatoes should give approximately 1 cup puree.
- The key ingredient is my homemade Punjabi Garam Masala, however if for some reasons you cant make the garam masala you can still make this dish using store bought Garam Masala. I haven’t tried using store bought masala for this recipe but it might give a different taste to the gravy. You could give it a try and let me know if you do.
- This gravy tends to thicken over time, so just before serving when you heat this gravy. adjust the consistency with water or milk. Adjust salt too accordingly if needed.
That’s it, our luscious Paneer Butter Masala is ready. Serve it hot topped with some butter and coriander leaves and serve it with Indian flatbread – Naan/Roti or rice along with some Sirke Wala Pyaaz (Quick Pickled Onions) and Green Chutney for that perfect restaurant like meal at home.Enjoy!!