Have you met an Indian food lover who says that they don’t like paneer? I’m sure not. Paneer is basically cottage cheese and in this easy Paneer Butter Masala recipe, we will be making a rich gravy of cashew nuts and tomatoes in butter that is key to preparing a delicious Paneer Makhani Masala.
Paneer is a very popular option for vegetarians, the texture is soft like tofu but not as “melt in the mouth” type because it needs a little chewing. It is important you prepare cottage cheese/cheese well since I have eaten at some places that make it chewy and hard.
You DO NOT want to make hard paneer.
I’ve noticed that when buying fresh paneer, store it in the refrigerator and do not freeze it because it doesn’t thaw well. To make a simple paneer butter masala restaurant style, I like using paneer that comes frozen already. Simply, because you can always take how much you need and freeze the rest of the uncooked paneer for later.
So, ready to make the best Paneer Masala recipe ever?
How to Make Paneer Makhani Masala Recipe?
The first step in how to cook paneer butter masala is to saute onions and garlic in a pan. When you see the onions turning transparent, then remove them from the pan and add the tomatoes.
Saute the tomatoes until you see them turning soft. The main idea to saute both these vegetables separately is to ensure that the onions stay crispy and don’t turn soggy.
In another pan, get your spices out and roast them in a tablespoon of oil. Now, get all the ingredients together (the onions and garlic, soft tomatoes, and roasted spices) and blend them with cashew nuts.
Next in the preparation of paneer butter masala is to heat a large pot with butter and add the blended mixture to this. The butter slowly melts and incorporates with the gravy. To this, you need to add turmeric powder, salt, sugar, chili powder, and tomato paste.
If the gravy seems too thick, you can add some water. Then, add heavy cream and finally, the paneer cubes. The cream used for paneer butter masala is common brands like Nestle or Puck. See the options available in your area.
Close the lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes. You can take a cube out and taste it to see if it’s cooked well enough and serve hot with naan.
How to Make Paneer Butter Masala in Easy Steps:
Paneer Butter Masala Curry
- Pans and a pot to hold the gravy
- Standard Blender
- 300 gm paneer cut into small cubes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tomato chopped roughly
- 1 onion chopped roughly
- 4 cloves garlic chopped roughly
- 6-8 cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp kasuri methi or fenugreek powder
- 1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
- 1 dry red chilies
- 2 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup water
- coriander to garnish
- salt to taste
- In a pan, sauté onion and garlic with a tablespoon of oil until the onion turns transparent
- Remove the onion and add tomato and sauté till it turns mushy
- In another pan, sauté cinnamon stick, cardamoms, cloves, dry red chili, kasuri methi, and jeera until roasted completely
- In a blender, add the onion, garlic, tomato, and roasted spices along with cashew nuts and blend it into a fine paste
- In a large pot, add butter and then add the blended mixture
- To the masala, add turmeric powder, chili powder, salt, tomato paste, sugar and cook until it thickens
- Add some water if needed and then add heavy cream
- Cook for about a minute before adding the paneer cubes
- Close the lid and let the paneer cook for 15-20 minutes
- Garnish with coriander and serve with hot naans
Alternatives for Paneer Makhni recipe: Cottage Cheese is pretty versatile and there are tons of paneer recipes you can make when you have a bit too much of this in your freezer.
Paneer Tikka uses a simple marinade and is grilled/smoked, Matar Paneer or peas with cottage cheese is exceptionally easy and great to use if you have some frozen peas at home. Here’s a simple recipe for how to make Matar Paneer Gravy recipe
Another great dish is the Paneer Butter Chicken. No, this doesn’t have chicken but is simple the replica of Butter Chicken using the same spices and paneer instead
How to Serve Paneer Butter Masala Gravy?
It is best to serve this curry with naan or roti because you don’t want to miss all the delicious gravy!
As always, I like garnishing most Indian meals with coriander leaves which adds a nice pop of color. Don’t forget to add some cream on top!
Hope you enjoyed this Paneer Butter Masala easy recipe. Do tag us in your creations on Instagram or drop us a message here. We’d love to hear from you! 🙂
Signing off now! xx
P.S. To save and read the recipe later, here’s a pinnable version! 🙂