Paneer Butter Masala

This classic Indian dish is a favorite for many, with its rich and creamy tomato-based gravy that pairs perfectly with soft and succulent cubes of paneer.

Paneer Butter Masala

This restaurant-style paneer butter masala is a delicious, creamy and smooth gravy. It is best served with rotis, naan, and parathas. It is originally a mild spice gravy but my husband likes spicy food, So I added a bit of my own spicy touch! You may also like my other paneer recipes such as Kadai Paneer, Paneer Lababdar, Paneer 65, Paneer Manchurian, Paneer Korma and  Shahi Paneer.

Welcome to our delicious recipe for paneer butter masala! This classic Indian dish is a favorite for many, with its rich and creamy tomato-based gravy that pairs perfectly with soft and succulent cubes of paneer. In this post, we will guide you through the steps to create this flavorful and aromatic dish right in your own kitchen. Stay tuned to learn more about the unique flavors and cooking process of this beloved paneer butter masala recipe.

What Is Paneer Butter Masala?

  • Paneer butter masala is a classic Indian dish that features tender paneer cubes cooked in a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy. This dish combines succulent paneer with a blend of Indian spices, creating a flavorful and aromatic dish that is beloved by many.
  • - The combination of the main ingredients, including paneer, onions, tomatoes, and cashew nuts, along with a unique blend of spices such as garam masala, turmeric, and fenugreek leaves, results in a delicious and satisfying meal that is perfect for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Whether enjoyed with naan, rice, or roti, paneer butter masala is a dish that is sure to delight the taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Why You'll Love Paneer Butter Masala?

  • Deliciously Creamy Texture: This recipe offers a rich and creamy texture that is sure to satisfy your craving for comfort food. The creaminess of the butter, cream, and blended puree makes this dish irresistible.
  • Protein-Packed Paneer: Paneer is a rich source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth. It also helps in keeping you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods of time.
  • Healthy Fats from Butter and Olive Oil: While it may seem indulgent, the use of butter and olive oil in this recipe provides healthy fats that are good for your overall well-being.
  • Loaded with Essential Spices: The use of various spices like garam masala, turmeric, and coriander not only add flavor but also come with their own set of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Vitamins and Minerals from Tomatoes and Onions: The combination of tomatoes and onions in the puree provides a good dose of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium.
  • Good for Bone Health: The addition of fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) not only enhances the flavor but also provides calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

By incorporating this recipe into your meal rotation, you can enjoy not only the delightful taste but also the array of health benefits it offers.

Ingredients for Paneer Butter Masala

  • Paneer cubes: Paneer is a type of Indian cheese that adds a creamy and rich texture to the dish. It also provides a good source of protein for the recipe.
  • Onion: Onions give a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes provide a tangy and slightly sweet flavor, as well as a rich red color to the gravy of the dish.
  • Ginger garlic paste: The combination of ginger and garlic adds a strong, aromatic flavor to the dish, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Cashew nuts: Cashew nuts add a creamy and nutty flavor to the dish, as well as a thickening agent for the gravy.
  • Spice powders (coriander, red chili, turmeric, garam masala): These spice powders provide a blend of flavors such as earthy, spicy, and warm, adding depth and complexity to the dish.

How To Make Paneer Butter Masala?

Paneer Butter Masala is a popular Indian dish that is loved by many for its rich and creamy texture. Here's a brief outline of the steps to create this flavorful dish.

  • To start, immerse the paneer cubes in hot water until you cook it to ensure they are soft and ready to absorb all the flavors of the dish.
  • Next, saute the onions until they turn transparent, then add ginger and garlic paste, tomatoes, and all the spice powders, and cashew nuts. This step is important to build the base flavors of the dish.
  • After sauteing the mixture, it is crucial to blend it until smooth. This will ensure a creamy and luscious texture to the paneer butter masala.
  • The next important step is to saute the blended puree until the paste becomes thick and oozes oil from the sides of the pan. This helps to intensify the flavors and create a rich and aromatic base for the dish.
  • Lastly, adding in the paneer cubes, tomato ketchup, and cream, and allowing it to cook over low heat ensures that the paneer absorbs all the flavors and becomes tender.

By following these key steps, you can create a delicious and aromatic Paneer Butter Masala that will surely be a hit at the dinner table. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair with Basmati Rice: Serve the delicious paneer butter masala with fragrant and fluffy basmati rice for a classic combination.
  • Accompany with Naan or Roti: Enhance your meal by serving paneer butter masala with warm, freshly made naan or roti.
  • Serve with Mixed Vegetable Salad: Add a healthy and refreshing touch to your meal by pairing the rich flavors of paneer butter masala with a side of mixed vegetable salad.
  • Complete the Meal with Raita: Balance the spiciness of paneer butter masala with a cool and creamy raita as a refreshing side dish.
  • Enjoy with Pickle and Papad: Add an extra layer of flavor and texture by serving paneer butter masala with tangy pickle and crunchy papad.
  • Garnish with Fresh Coriander: Elevate the presentation and add a burst of freshness by garnishing the paneer butter masala with freshly chopped coriander before serving.

Tips for Making Paneer Butter Masala

  • Preparation Duration: It's important to ensure that you have all the ingredients ready before you start cooking. Prepping the paneer butter masala should take approximately 5 minutes, allowing you to efficiently move on to the cooking process.
  • Cooking Techniques: When cooking the spices and blending the tomato mixture, be sure to cook until the raw smell of the spices leaves and the tomato mixture becomes thick. This will ensure that the flavors are well-developed and the sauce has a rich consistency.
  • Garnishing for Presentation: Garnishing the paneer butter masala with a dollop of butter and a drizzle of cream not only adds a visual appeal but also enhances the flavors. It's the final touch that takes the dish to the next level.
  • Paneer Cubes: When adding the paneer cubes, make sure to gently mix them with the sauce and cook them for just a few minutes. This helps the paneer absorb the flavors without becoming too soft or losing its texture.
  • Cream: The addition of cream towards the end of cooking is crucial for a creamy and luxurious texture. Be sure to mix it in well and cook for a couple of minutes over low heat to incorporate it perfectly into the dish.
  • Serve Fresh: Paneer butter masala is best served fresh and hot. Be sure to transfer it to a serving plate immediately after cooking and garnish it with butter and cream for that final touch.

Variations for Paneer Butter Masala

  • Vegetable Substitutions: For a healthier option, try substituting the paneer with vegetables like cauliflower, bell peppers, or even mushrooms. This not only adds variety but also makes the dish more nutritious.
  • Spicier Version: If you prefer a spicier kick, increase the amount of red chili powder or add some chopped green chilies to the mix. You can also experiment with different types of chili powder for a unique flavor.
  • Creamy Coconut Twist: For a creamy and nutty flavor, replace the cream with coconut milk and add some coconut paste to the sauce. This variation adds a tropical touch to the dish and is perfect for those who prefer dairy-free options.
  • Fresh Herb Infusion: Add a burst of freshness by incorporating fresh herbs like cilantro or mint into the dish. Sprinkle some chopped herbs on top of the paneer butter masala just before serving for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Nutty Delight: Experiment with different nuts like almonds, pistachios, or even peanuts to add a crunchy texture to the dish. You can either blend the nuts with the sauce or sprinkle them on top as a garnish.
  • Tangy Twist: To add a tangy twist, substitute the tomato ketchup with a splash of tamarind paste or a squeeze of lemon juice. This variation adds a delightful tanginess to the rich and creamy paneer butter masala.

How to Store Paneer Butter Masala

  • Storing Leftovers: After preparing this delicious paneer butter masala, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help maintain its freshness and allow you to enjoy it for another meal without compromising the taste.
  • Keeping Paneer Fresh: To maintain the freshness of the paneer cubes, it's best to store them in a container filled with water and keep it in the refrigerator. Change the water every day to ensure the paneer stays fresh and doesn't become dry.
  • Preserving Spices: Store your spice powders in airtight containers in a cool, dark place to maintain their flavor and potency. This will ensure that your paneer butter masala is always packed with the right amount of spice and aroma.
  • Proper Storage of Cream: Once opened, make sure to tightly seal the cream container and keep it in the refrigerator. This will prevent the cream from spoiling and ensure it's ready to be used for your next batch of paneer butter masala.
  • Tomato Ketchup or Sugar: If you have any leftover tomato ketchup or sugar, make sure to keep them in their respective containers in a cool, dry place. This will ensure they are ready to be used for your next cooking adventure.
  • Maintaining Freshness of Fenugreek Leaves: Store your crushed fenugreek leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to preserve their flavor. This will ensure that your paneer butter masala has that distinct fenugreek aroma in every bite.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I adjust the spice level in paneer butter masala?

  • If you prefer a milder taste, you can reduce the amount of red chili powder in the recipe. You can also add more cream to balance out the spice level.

Can I substitute paneer with tofu in this recipe?

  • Yes, you can definitely substitute paneer with tofu if you prefer. Make sure to drain and press the tofu before using it in the recipe.

What can I serve with paneer butter masala?

  • Paneer butter masala goes well with naan, roti, or steamed rice. You can also serve it with some pickled onions and a side of cucumber raita.

Can I make paneer butter masala in advance?

  • Yes, you can make paneer butter masala in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just reheat it before serving.

How do I ensure the paneer cubes stay soft in the dish?

  • To keep the paneer cubes soft, immerse them in hot water until you're ready to add them to the dish. This will prevent them from becoming tough.

Is there a vegan version of this recipe?

  • Yes, you can make a vegan version of paneer butter masala by using tofu instead of paneer and coconut milk instead of cream. You can also use vegan butter or oil instead of regular butter.

Recipe Card

Paneer Butter Masala

Serving Size: 3

Prep Time: 00:05

Cook Time: 00:25

Total Time: 00:30


  • 200g paneer cubes
  • 1 medium sized onion (roughly chopped)
  • 150g tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 8 cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp crushed fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or any other oil
  • 15g butter (1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup or 1/2 tsp sugar

To Temper

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods


  1. Immerse the paneer cubes in hot water until you cook it.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan with oil over medium heat, fry onions until they turn transparent.
  3. Add ginger and garlic paste, tomatoes with salt and cook until it turns soft and mushy.
  4. Add all the spice powders and cashew nuts and saute until the raw smell leaves. Turn off the heat.
  5. Once the mixture cools, place it in a blender with 1/2 cup of water, blend until smooth.
  6. Heat a pan with butter, add in cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaf, fry until they splutter. Pour the blended puree, saute until the paste becomes thick or it oozes oil from the sides of the pan.
  7. Add crushed fenugreek leaves and saute well.
  8. Add paneer cubes with 1/2 cup of water, mix well and cook over low heat for 3 mins.
  9. Add tomato ketchup and mix well until incorporated.
  10. Add cream, mix well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes over low heat.
  11. Transfer the paneer butter masala to a serving plate and garnish it with some butter and cream.

Enjoy your delicious Paneer Butter Masala!

You may also like my other Indian Curries posts and recipes like Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy, Kadai Paneer Recipe, Mutton Peas Curry, Kadai Paneer Masala, Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry, Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry, Palak Paneer Recipe, Omelette Curry, Indian Fish Curry, Liver Recipe, Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe, Mutton Chukka Recipe, Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe, Chole Bhature / Chola Poori, Nandu Masala / Crab Masala, Chettinad Egg Curry, Matar Paneer Masala, Indian Mutton Curry Recipe, Soya Chunks Kurma, Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes .

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Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry
Palak Paneer Recipe
Omelette Curry
Indian Fish Curry
Liver Recipe
Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe
Mutton Chukka Recipe
Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe
Chole Bhature / Chola Poori
Nandu Masala / Crab Masala
Chettinad Egg Curry
Matar Paneer Masala
Indian Mutton Curry Recipe
Soya Chunks Kurma
Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes

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