Paneer Butter Masala – cottage cheese cooked in rich tomato gravy.

  • Yield : 500 gms
  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 35m

Mild and flavourful, this is a winner main course dish for parties.

Paneer butter masala or Paneer tikka masala,  is next only to Butter chicken when it comes to serving in parties. A favourite with vegetarians, this recipe requires very little effort to cook. No wonder it is one of the most often served Indian recipes.

A dish with rich creamy gravy, Paneer butter masala recipe is one of the simplest and can be prepared in several ways. My method however is the one that brings it closest to it’s non vegetarian counterpart, the world famous Butter Chicken.

Tip about keeping the paneer soft

You can skip deep frying the paneer and marinate directly. Frying gives it a crunch while marinating without frying will keep the paneer soft.

Paneer – Trivia

Paneer is a fresh cheese used in preparation of Indian Cuisine. It is prepared by adding food acid, such as lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or yogurt, to hot milk to separate the curds from the whey. The curds are drained in muslin or cheesecloth and the excess water is pressed out. The resulting paneer is dipped in chilledwater for 2–3 hours to improve its texture and appearance. From this point, the preparation of paneer diverges based on its use and regional tradition.

Other Cheese that are similar to Paneer are:
Anari, a fresh mild whey cheese produced in Cyprus, is very similar in taste and texture to fresh Indian paneer.
Circassian cheese is produced using a similar method and is close in consistency to paneer, but is usually salted.
Farmer cheese, dry curd cottage cheese, and firm versions of quark are similar except that they are made from cultured milk and may be salted.
Queso blanco or queso fresco are often recommended as substitutes in the Americas as they are more commercially available in many American markets. Both are generally salted, unlike paneer.

Source: Wikipedia

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala


  • Paneer 500 gms
  • Red chile powder 1/2 Tsp
  • Yoghurt 2 Tbsp
  • Ginger paste 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic paste 1 Tbsp
  • Garam masala 2.5 Tsp
  • Mustard oil 1 Tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Butter 6 Tbsp
  • Black peppercorns 8
  • Cinnamon 1" stick
  • Cloves 3-4
  • Mace 1 flower
  • Green chilies 2 seeded and finely cut
  • Cashews 10-12 (soaked and ground to a paste)
  • Tomatoes 6 large (Blanched and pureed)
  • Cumin powder 1 Tbsp
  • Honey 1 Tsp
  • Tomato Ketchup 1 Tbsp
  • Cream 4 Tbsp
  • Kasuri Methi 2 Tsp
  • Coriander 1 Tsp


Step 1

Cut Paneer into bite sized pieces and deep fry them. Keep Aside

Step 2

Dry roast cloves, cinnamon, mace and black pepper and grind it to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Step 3

In a pan heat mustard oil and fry ginger and garlic. Add 1 tsp garam masala, fried paneer, 2 Tbsp yoghurt and salt. Fry till all the liquid dries up and the paneer is well coated with the masala.

Step 4

Heat butter in a fresh pan, add chopped green chilies fry for a few seconds and add cashew nuts paste. Fry till the butter surfaces. Add cumin powder, red chili powder, ground masala (Cinnamon, black pepper and cloves), garam masala, and fry for a few seconds.

Step 5

Add the blanched and pureed tomatoes along with honey and let the tomatoes loose some of their water content. At this stage also 1 tbsp tomato ketchup. Fry till gravy leaves the side and you see butter starting to float again, add the remaining garam masala and crushed Kasuri Methi. Add salt. Remember to fry this masala very well, the oil should float on top and the colour of the makhani gravy should be nice red-orange. Taste for salt and adjust.

Step 6

After the makhani gravy is well cooked, add the fried paneer tikka to the gravy, let it cook on the stove top for about 2-3 minutes. Switch off the stove and mix half the cream. If you want your makhani gravy to be spicier, you can give a tadka of chilli powder to the gravy.

Step 7

Garnish with swirls of cream and serve with hot nan, chapati or steamed rice.

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Recipe Comments

Comments (6)

  1. posted by Sudha saini on October 11, 2016

    Very yummy …..

  2. posted by Humayun kabir on April 19, 2016

    A awesome recipe to try.

  3. posted by teg singh on April 19, 2016


  4. posted by Contestchef on June 25, 2015

    Your blog is impressive, thanks to the quality of your recipes & other content. We would be glad if you would participate on Contestchef so that your quality recipes can contest with other such bloggers/ recipe creators and win accolades from various players in the global food industry.

    Contestchef is a global forum for food/ recipe bloggers to showcase their skills to the world. This is a one of a kind concept and backed by food conglomerates around the world. Several recipe creators/bloggers are already contesting on Contestchef.
    Click to join Contestchef

    • posted by Swati Sani on June 25, 2015

      Thank you, Nandy
      I will surely participate in the contests on ContestChef.


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