Sunday, May 04, 2014

Paneer Butter Masala | How to make Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala | North-Indian gravy recipe

'Paneer Butter Masala', also known as 'Paneer Makhani' is a popular North-Indian gravy which is sure to please any crowd with its lusciousness. Delicious Paneer is cooked in a creamy gravy and is a perfect blend of spiciness and creaminess, which makes it great for parties or any celebrations. My kids love this so much even with reduced butter and cream. But, here, I have shared the recipe for Restaurant-style Paneer Butter Masala, which is loaded with richness from butter, cashews and fresh cream. 

Preparation time - 15mins
Cooking time - 30-35mins
Serves - 4


Paneer - 200gm, cut into 1" cubes
Butter - 2tblsp
Oil - 6tblsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1/4" tiny piece
Cardamom - 2
Ginger-garlic paste - 1tsp
Onion - 2, medium-sized (1-finely chopped + 1- for onion paste) 
Tomato - 2-3, medium sized (or) 3/4cup Tomato puree
Cashew - 15
Milk - 3tblsp
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Coriander powder - 1-2tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1tsp
Chilli powder - 3-4tsp  
Salt - As needed
Fresh cream - 3tblsp (adjust to your preference)
Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) - 1tsp
Cilantro / Corriander leaves - a sprig, for garnishing (optional)


1.  Onion paste - Grind 1 onion with little water in a blender and make a paste. Set aside.

2.  Tomato puree - Use 2-3 tomatoes and prepare a tomato puree. Refer here for details on how to prepare the puree. This recipe uses 3/4cup of tomato puree.

3.  Cashew paste - Soak cashews in hot water for about 20-30mins. Discard the water and grind it into a fine paste with 3tblsp of milk. Keep aside.



1.  Heat 3-4tblsp oil in a shallow pan. Drop paneer cubes and let it remain undisturbed for about 1-2mins. Otherwise, you are likely to crumple the pieces. Once it gets slightly fried and firms up, gently turn it around so that all the sides get fried and turns golden brown.   Though non-stick works great for shallow frying paneer cubes with a tblsp oil, I tend to avoid non-stick cookware wherever possible. So, I used a normal pan, which requires more oil. 


2.  Drain the paneer cubes on a paper towel and transfer them to a bowl of warm water. This step helps to soften the paneer and as a bonus, removes most of the oil coated on them.

3.  Heat butter and remaining 2tblsp oil in a skillet and add jeera,cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.Once the seasonings are browned, add the finely chopped onions and continue to sauté until it is soft and turns translucent.


4.  Add ginger-garlic paste,onion paste, turmeric powder and salt and continue to sauté on a medium flame for about 7-9mins until the raw smell of the onion paste vanishes. Stir in the tomato puree and keep sautéing on medium-low for another 2mins.


5.  Stir in the cashew paste together with coriander powder, chilli powder and Garam masala.


6.  Cook on a medium flame, keeping it partly covered for 5-7mins until the gravy turns aromatic and you see oil leaves the sides of the pan. At this stage, if needed, add water according to you desired consistency let it boil for a minute.

7.  Drain water completely off the paneer cubes and add them to the gravy. Simmer it for 2-3mins until flavours are incorporated well into them.


8.  Add fresh cream and Kasoori methi and simmer it for a minute before switching it off.


Ganish with coriander leaves and serve hot with Roti, Naan, Pulao or just aside steamed rice for a rich,exotic restaurant style dining at your home. Paneer Butter Masala is sure to make any celebration extra special!

This recipe is off to Blogging Marathon's Day 2 of the first week.


1. Soaking Paneer after shallow frying is a MUST to get that soft melt-in-the-mouth Paneer. Otherwise, fried Paneer becomes hard and rubbery.

2. Check for sourness in the tomato puree.If the tomatoes are too sour, reduce the given quantity by 2-3tblsp.

3. Addition of cream not only enhances the richness, but also helps to get this lovely colour, as in restaurants. Cream can be replaced with full-cream milk. Though there may be a slight difference in colour, it tastes good as well.

4. My family likes a milder flavour from the condiments in such gravies. So, I have mentioned only that quantity above. You may wish to increase them for a stronger taste.

5. Don't reduce the quantity of chilli powder. It may seem to be very spicy in the beginning, but after adding cashew paste and cream, the spice level goes down significantly. Keep that in mind. Also, use Kashmiri red chilli powder for a deep colour.

6. If you don't have ginger-garlic paste, just add 2-3 cloves of garlic and 1/4" piece of ginger while grinding the onion paste.

7. The success of Paneer Butter Masala greatly depends of the quality of the Paneer. Homemade Paneer tastes best. As I could'nt prepare it Homemade, I used 'Kohinoor' brand Paneer cubes which tasted really heavenly in this recipe. Again, it is our personal preference and Iam sharing just for the benefit of my readers.


  1. Irresistible PBM, i can enjoy thoroughly with some rotis, soooo tempting.

  2. looks yum! who can say no this.. I can have this any time

  3. Well this one dish is my kids all time favorite..your got yours done with such lovely colour!

  4. That is such a rich and creamy curry..

  5. Thats a delectable irresistible dish. All time fav.

  6. such a delicious daughter loves this!

  7. Looks very colorful. A rich and yummy curry to go with parathas.

  8. Nice and rich gravy. Perfectly made.

  9. I like paneer butter masala. Thanks for sharing.

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