Butter Paneer Masala

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Average: 5 (2 votes)
Serves 2-3

Butter Paneer Masala (also known as Paneer Makhani) is a mouth-watering rich and creamy dish, similar to butter chicken but with cubes of lightly fried paneer/cheese in place of the chicken. The dish goes best with plain steamed rice or naan.

packet of Paneer, cut into cubes
(Lightly fry the paneer cubes until nicely golden on all sides, remove and put the cubes in a bowl of warm slightly salted water. This helps keep the paneer soft and tasty).
big onion, grated
1 tsp
fenugreek leaves/kasuri methi
green chilies
fresh tomatoes, chopped
1-2 tsp
tomato paste
1 tsp
cumin seeds
cardamom pods
stick of cinnamon
1/4 cup
fresh cream
(you can use up to half a cup if you want it creamier)
2 tbsp
2 tbsp
1/4 tsp
ginger paste
1/4 tsp
garlic paste
1 tsp
1 tsp
tandoori masala or paprika powder for colour
1/2 tsp
freshly roasted and powdered cumin powder
1/2 tsp
freshly roasted and powdered coriander powder
1/4 tsp
turmeric powder
1/4 tsp
red chilli powder
1/4 tsp
garam masala
salt to taste
chopped coriander for garnishing

Heat the butter and oil in a pot, add the cumin seeds, cardamom and cinnamon. When the cumin starts to splutter, add the fenugreek leaves followed by the onions and fry until they are translucent and starting to brown. Then add the ginger and garlic paste and the green chillies, fry them for a minute then add the cubed tomatoes and the tomato paste plus the tandoori masala, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.

Cook on high heat for a few minutes, then lower to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes are mushy, fragrant and well-cooked and some oil begins to get released from the sides. Turn off the heat, and remove the cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods from the mixture. Let it cool slightly, then put the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Return the mixture into your pot, season with a bit of salt and the sugar. You can add a tiny bit of warm water at this stage if you want extra gravy. Bear in mind that the gravy will thicken slightly once the cream goes into it.

Remove the paneer cubes from the warm water and add them into the gravy. Mix well then add the cream and garam masala and simmer together for about 3 minutes until the gravy thickens and coats the paneer cubes well. Adjust seasoning. Switch off and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve over rice or with naan. You can add a blob of butter or drizzle some cream for a lovely appearance if you want when you serve the dish.



Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, it should be easily available in all desi shops or asian grocers.

Dear Renuka, As to how you will make the paneer..............boil milk and add juice of lemon to it..........when it breaks apart...........strain it and remove all excess water. Then put it in a muslin cloth and keep it covered with some sort of weight so that all the excess water drains away.Keep for about an hour or so and then remove and cut into pieces. By keeping weight on it, all the water will be drained and the paneer will be able to be cut into pieces and not crumble in any gravy. Hope that helps.

Hello.....request for the actual making of the paneer please. My paneer always never sets and crumbles and melts away when I want to fry it or use in a curry. Never had success with making paneer. Any tips are most welcomed. Thanks u for a great site.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/salaam, there is my palak aloo recipe which can be made with paneer instead of potatoes. I will be adding more soon inshAllah.

hi fauzia i really want to make this dish but the problem is i live in london so where can i get paneer??????????? here in london


slms can you give me somre more recipes made with paneer

Hi Asma, Could u please tell me the recipe to make paneer please....

Slms shukran for the wonderfull recipes!just a quick question can paneer be replaced with feta cheese?as I'm in south africa and I haven't seen it anywhere in the shops

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, no sorry feta won't work for this recipe. Try checking for cottage cheese.

i like ur recipies and tried tasts good plz i want to get the recipe of palak paneer

Hi. Can I use yoghurt in this recipe instead of cream?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, results will not be the same.

Thanks a ton Fouzia Ma'm............the recipe turned out very nice n yummy. My hubby loved it..!

Slms fauzias thanx alt fr the wonderful recipe although i didnt soak the fried paneer cubes in water n added them in the end it tasted really gd n i also fried the green peppers in the oil i fried paneer n it gave a wonderful flavour to the gravy. I also wntd to share that i gave rhe gravy a barbaque flavour by lighting a coal n giving a "dum" to it n it was delicious.would recommend trying out this recipe.jazakallah fr the wndrful recipe again

Wat cud be substitute to cream ?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

You need cream for this recipe as it is a makhani paneer dish.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, fresh cream is much lighter in consistency (and fat content) than whipping cream. It is sometimes known as cooking cream or even single cream. But you can use whipping cream, just dilute it with milk and use. And yes tomato paste is sometimes known as tomato puree in some places. :)

Salami fauzia , thank you for putting up all these great recipes..was wondering if whipping cream is wat u mean by fresh cream? And is tomato paste a must? N when u say tomato paste is it tomato puri ur referring to?

Thank you.

Salaams Fauzia, I have two questions. The first (and rather silly) one, do you use this same recipe for butter chicken, substitutung the paneer with the chicken? If not what other changes do you make? My second question, is it okmto make the gravy and then freeze it after blending (before adding paneer, cream and garam masala, and then thaw it and add these ingredients when you want to serve it? Please let me know. Thanks.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, responded on FB, lemme know if there is anything else. :)

Hey. I have to fry the paneer and then soak it in water?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, yes exactly.

But the paneer is melting when I am frying it? :s

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Could be the brand of paneer you are using, it shouldn't melt during frying.

Does freshness affect it? 'Cause I have had it since quite a few months. I bought it from Dacca sweets. It's a bakery. A good one.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes it absolutely does! I have never stored paneer for longer than a month or so.

Hi! Quick question... Is 'kasuri methi' the same as dried fenugreek leaves? Because that's what I have, and you have written 1 tsp... but usually for dried fenugreek leaves you say to only put a pinch because of its potency. *Confused*

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, kasuri methi is dried fenugreek leaves. I normally use fresh ones, thus the 1 tsp. If you are using dried then a pinch is enough.

Okay. And are the green chilis put in whole or chopped?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

You can chop them if you want the heat.

Asak fauzia maam... First off all would like to tell you that i am a huge follower. I have tried a few recipes n dey turned out amazing.. Today i tried ur butter paneer recipe and as usual initially it tatstd amazing but after some time the paneer really turned sour and bitter.. I couldnt undrstnd the reason.. You think it could be the paneers fault( it was store brought)

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes chances are high that the paneer itself wasn't right as it should not taste sour or bitter. Try a different brand and see how that turns out for you. :)