Saturday, 11 June 2011

Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani

A recipe to treasure – Paneer butter masala is similar to butter chicken by taste and one of my favourites. It is a popular Punjabi dish, that you would come across any Indian restaurant and is generally loaded with cream to bring that buttery goodness. It is also known as paneer makhani, Paneer is Indian cottage cheese and makhan stands for Butter. I usually skip butter as we get that buttery taste just by adding cream. That is from my observation from numerous trials of making butter chicken and paneer butter masala. This recipe uses minimal cream, I just use 2 tablespoon, but you can add more if you wish.

N.B: Sorry I have to bore you with loads of pics, It's just that I am confused and can't decide which pic to choose!

Paneer Butter Masala
Serves 3-4
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 - 25 minutes

250 gm paneer cut into 1”cubes
160g, 1 medium-large onion sliced thin
200g, 1 ½ large tomatoes or 2 medium size
25g, ¼ cup cashew soaked in ¼ cup hot water
2 tablespoon – 1/3 cup heavy cream
2-3 teaspoons red chilli powder (I used Kashmiri chilli powder. You can use cayenne, paprika or a mixtureof chilli powder to adjust the heat).
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 - 1 ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
2 teaspoon dry kasuri Methy leaves (fenugreek leaves)
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 whole cloves
3 green cardamoms
2 small pieces cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoon chopped garlic
Oil/butter - as required.
Water – 1 ½ - 2 cups
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
Red food colour – few drops
Salt to taste


1. Soak cashews in ¼ cup of hot water for around 15-20 minutes and grind them to fine paste.

2. Puree tomatoes in a blender to fine paste. Mix both and keep them aside. Also mix chilli powder, cumin powder, salt, 1/2 - 1 teaspoon garam masala powder, kasury methi, sugar into this tomato puree.

3. In a frying pan, heat 3 tablespoon of oil and fry paneer until golden, stirring them occasionally. This can be done in couple of batches.

4. In another sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter (I used the oil that I fried paneer) and sauté the chopped onions until translucent and soft. Grind this also into a fine puree.

5. Heat couple of tablespoons of butter/veg oil in the same pan you sautéed onion and add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add cardamons, cloves, cinnamon and sauté until they leave aroma.

6. Lower the heat and sauté minced ginger garlic until the raw smell goes off. Add pureed onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until it starts to change colour and is void of moisture.

7. Add in tomato puree mixture and sauté till it becomes thick and oil clears from sides, around 10 minutes.

8. Add 1 ½ - 2 cups boiling water, and bring to boil, You can also add 1 ½ cups water and ½ cup milk here. (Here I added 1 ½ cup water first, the mixed colour to rest of the water and added slowly to get the right colour I wanted).

9. Add in paneer, reduce the heat and gently simmer for 5-7 minutes until the gravy thickens a bit

10. Add cream (room temperature) and cook for further 2 minutes. Sprinkle rest of garam masala and coriander leaves and serve hot with naan, paratta etc.

N.B: Food colour is optional. I added here to bring some colour to the dish, which otherwise is a bit boring. If food colour is not added, the colour will be orangish.

Few other great recipes that I came through:

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