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 tomato gravy. It pairs well with Indian flat breads like Naan, roti, paratha and even rice.
For today's post I'm sharing this restaurant style Paneer Butter Masala recipe but in a simplified way. There are many versions of this dish and even I make this in a couple of ways. 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.
This Paneer butter masala is a luscious dish so definitely heavy on the calories making it apt for special occasions, parties, gathering and not so much for daily use or everyday cooking.
Paneer Butter Masala Ingredients
The key ingredients to make paneer butter masala restaurant style are
Paneer: Off-course duh!! You can use fresh or frozen paneer. For frozen paneer, soak it in hot water until its thawed and soft before adding them to gravy.
Butter: The name calls for butter so don't skip this, cooking onions and curry in butter adds great flavor.
Tomato Puree: Highly recommend using store bought tomato puree instead of fresh tomato puree for making this. Store bought tomato puree is concentrated and helps give the butter paneer recipe that bright color and rich flavor.
Cream: This is my paneer butter masala with cream recipe since I use heavy whipping cream instead of cashew paste. Like I said this is my quick and easy recipe so using cream saves the soaking and grinding time which is required with cashews. Plus it gives it that luscious smooth velvety texture which is the signature of this dish.
Garam Masala: The other key ingredient for this recipe is my Punjabi Garam Masala. It goes well with so many Punjabi (north Indian) recipes. Addition of this spice mix makes this dish taste restaurant like or should I say even better. Way better!!! Highly recommend making a batch of this garam masala today if you haven't already. Believe me, you wont go back to buying the store bought one again.
How to Make Best Paneer Butter Masala Recipe
Soak the frozen paneer block in hot/warm water until completed thawed and soft. This will make the paneer soft. You can skip this step for fresh paneer. Keep paneer soaked until ready to add in the gravy.
In a cooking pan or dutch oven, 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.
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.
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. That's it, our luscious Paneer Butter Masala is ready.
Serve paneer butter masala warm 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!!
How to make Butter Paneer Vegan
To make this paneer butter masala recipe vegan, simply replace the paneer with tofu, butter with vegan butter and cream with vegan or cashew cream.
More delicious curry recipes to try:
Hope you enjoy this Paneer Butter Masala recipe as much as we do!! If you give this recipe a try, we did love to hear from you ❤️ Please let us know your rating ⭐️and feedback in the comments below. Thank you!
Paneer Butter Masala
- 350 gms Paneer fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 green cardamoms
- ¼ cup yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 cup tomato puree store bought or tomato sauce (store bought) or 3-4 medium tomatoes pureed (See notes)
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup milk or water
- 1½ tsp Punjabi Garam Masala using homemade or use 1 tsp store bought Garam masala with 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder adjust to taste
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp sugar optional
- Soak the frozen paneer block in hot/warm water until completely thawed and soft. Keep it soaked until ready to use. You can skip this step for fresh paneer.
- In a dutch oven or cooking pot, heat butter and once it starts melting add the bay leaf and green cardamoms. Saute for a few seconds till fragrant .
- Add the onions and saute until translucent and start to brown. Add ginger and garlic paste. and saute till raw garlic smell disappears.
- Stir in the tomato puree/sauce and mix. Cook for 2 mins stirring intermittently.
- Add the spices - chilli powder, turmeric powder, Punjabi Garam Masala, salt, pepper powder. Cook stirring intermittently till mixture has thickened, reduced and starts oozing oil from the side.
- 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.
- 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!!
- 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. Use 1 tsp store bought Garam masala with 1 tsp coriander powder. The taste will be different that using my homemade garam masala but still delicious!!
- 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.