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Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala

Shweta Arora
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.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 350 gms Paneer fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • ¼ cup yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon 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
  • teaspoon Punjabi Garam Masala using homemade or use 1 teaspoon store bought Garam masala with 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry fenugreek leaves
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon 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 teaspoon store bought Garam masala with 1 teaspoon 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. 
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