Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Dhaba-style Paneer Butter Masala Recipe [Video Recipe]

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Paneer Butter Masala or Butter Paneer is probably one of the most comforting Indian dishes and also quick & easy paneer recipes. Cubes of Paneer (fresh cottage cheese) dunked in a luscious, buttery and slightly tangy tomato-based gravy, topped with a generous dollop of makkhan or white butter. This is how I imagine it while having it with some garlic naan or jeera rice for an exquisite dinner.

In this post, I will share the best recipe for a Dhaba style paneer butter masala with you. I will also give you alternate vegan options for this recipe for paneer butter masala.

Paneer Butter Masala Ingredients:

  • Paneer or Cottage Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Ginger & Garlic
  • Spices like Cinnamon, Dry Red Chilli, Bay Leaf, Cloves
  • Nuts & Seeds like Cashew, Almonds, White Sesame Seeds, Melon Seeds
  • Mustard Oil & Ghee
  • Cumin Powder & Coriander Powder
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves or Kasuri Methi
  • Red Chili Powder
  • Salt
  • Full Fat Milk or Fresh Cream

You will find this recipe on the restaurant menu cards so often. Also known as Butter Paneer, but not as Paneer Makhani. Very few people know the difference here.

Paneer Makhani is a ‘vaishno‘ recipe, which is like paneer butter masala without onion. Shahi Paneer is something similar to Paneer Makhani which are often made without onion and nuts.

However, most restaurants use these terms interchangeably for no better knowledge of the consumers.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

How to make Paneer Butter Masala recipe easily at home?

As much as we Indians love having this while we eat out, we also make it at home. Honestly, I haven’t called in a take-out with paneer butter masala for a long time now. Because it is THAT QUICK & EASY PANEER RECIPE to make.

Step-by-step recipe for Paneer Butter Masala

  • Let the Spices be aromatic.

    In the very first step, I have added the spices like Bay Leaf, Cinnamon, Cloves and dried Red Chili in the oil and allowed it to cook for a while on a low heat.
    This would release the aromatic oils and make the dish super flavourful. Don’t be scared of the dried Red Chili. I have used one which has low heat, the Kashmiri Red Chili.

  • Saute the Ginger, Garlic, Onion & Tomato before pureeing.

    This step is very important. Many recipes skip this step but trust me, this is the deal-breaker here.
    All you have to do is cut them in large cubes and toss them around in the oil along with the spices for a couple of minutes before grinding them into a fine puree.

  • Fry the puree back in the pan with some ghee and powdered spices

    Now comes the most important step of making that luscious and buttery gravy. Fry the puree with some ghee along with the powdered spices and rest of the ingredients.
    In the next few minutes, you will see that your gravy has thickened and is bubbling around.

  • Add the Paneer

    This is the final step where you have finalised the gravy and just need to add the paneer cubes. We do not cook it any further because that would make the paneer chewy.
    As you all know, protein hardens upon heating, paneer becomes chewy like a rubber upon over cooking. So just drop the paneer pieces in the hot gravy and turn of the heat. Let it soak for couple of minutes and there you have it, Paneer Butter Masala ready-to-serve.
    To make it richer, I added some full-fat milk in the end. You can also add fresh cream, if you wish.

How to make vegan Paneer Butter Masala

  • Replace Paneer with Tofu or any other non-dairy cheese
  • Replace Ghee with any neutral oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • Replace Fresh Cream or Milk in the end with Almond Milk, Cashew Milk or a dash of Coconut Milk

How to make nut-free Paneer Butter Masala

  • Replace Cashew and Almonds with seeds like White Sesame Seeds, Melon Seeds, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Poppy Seeds
  • If you wish to avoid both nuts & seeds, then you may add a little amount of cornflour instead to thicken the gravy. Not a very ideal thing to do, but in case you are allergic to both nuts & seeds, you might give this a try

As against to a very popular perception, recipes like Paneer Butter Masala are usually harmless if consumed in a moderation. I mean, nobody eats this kind of food everyday! But there’s no reason to avoid it completely.

As they say, everything in a moderation can be good. So, don’t be scared to try this recipe every once in a while. Replace full-fat paneer with low-fat paneer, add milk (like I did) instead of fresh cream or reduce the amount of ghee (although it is known to be a good fat) and replace that with mustard oil or EVOO. There are numerous ways of modifying this dish. And nobody is going to police you for that!

In case you are looking for more Dhaba style recipes, I have here some of the popular ones like Palak Paneer recipe, Dal Makhani, etc.

I have seen a lot of questions doing rounds about this dish of Paneer Butter Masala. I have attached a FAQ section in the bottom of the post. In case you have some queries, check out this section. In case you cannot find what you are looking for, leave it in the comments section. I will try to answer that as per the best of my knowledge.

Have you tried this recipe? I would love to hear about it.
Tag me on Instagram @speakingaloud_hashdiaries or Facebook @hashdiaries and I will share it further.

Dhaba-style Paneer Butter Masala Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Paneer Butter Masala or Butter Paneer is probably one of the most comforting Indian dishes. Cubes of Paneer (fresh cottage cheese) dunked in a luscious, buttery and slightly tangy tomato-based gravy, topped with a generous dollop of makkhan or white butter. This is how I imagine it while having it with some garlic naan or jeera rice for an exquisite dinner.

In this post, I will share the best recipe for a Dhaba style paneer butter masala with you. I will also give you alternate vegan options for this recipe for paneer butter masala.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Punjabi
Keyword: Dhaba Food, Gluten Free Recipes, Paneer Recipes, Restaurant style Recipes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 222 kcal
Author: Priyanka
Ingredients
  • 250 gms Paneer or Cottage Cheese
  • 2 Tomatoes Large – cut in cubes
  • 1 Onion Large – cut in cubes
  • 1 inch Ginger Chopped
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
  • ½ inch Cinnamon
  • 2 Dry Red Chilli
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 4 nos. Cloves
  • Nuts & Seeds Cashew, Almonds, White Sesame Seeds, Melon Seeds – Use as per your preference.
  • 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves or Kasuri Methi
  • ½ tsp Red Chili Powder
  • Salt to Taste
  • ¼ cup Full Fat Milk or Fresh Cream
  • Butter
Instructions
  1. Heat Mustard Oil in a pan and add the spices, onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Allow it to sweat till the onions become translucent.

  2. Add the nuts and seeds in this and stir. I used 8 cashew nuts and 1 tbsp white sesame seeds

  3. Allow this to cook for 2-3 minutes more on medium heat. Then turn off the heat and allow this cool down completely before turning it into a fine paste.

    Since this would be the base of the gravy, make sure it is absolutely smooth.

  4. In the same pan, heat some ghee and add this puree back. Start frying this and once it reduces a bit, add the powdered spices, kasuri methi, red chili powder and salt.

  5. Mix everything well and fry till fat starts to separate at the edges.

  6. Now, add the milk and water as per the required consistency of the gravy.

  7. Add the paneer cubes, give it a stir and turn off the heat. Serve with Jeera Rice or Butter Naan

Recipe Notes

📌Pin this Paneer Butter Masala recipe for later!

How to make Dhaba style Paneer Butter Masala recipe at home

FAQs

Is paneer butter masala good for health?

It has some good fat in it such as paneer, ghee, cashew, sesame seeds, etc. If consumed in moderation, it offers numerous health benefits. However, those with prior cardiac health concerns should consider precaution

What is butter paneer?

It is just another name for Paneer Butter Masala

What is Paneer Makhani made of?

Usually Paneer Makhani is made with tomatoes, spices and paneer. It does not use onion, garlic and nuts & seeds

What is Paneer?

Paneer or Cottage Cheese is the freshly churned cheese made by curdling the milk using some kind of acid.

Does paneer increase weight?

Paneer is known to be a good source of healthy fats and proteins. It has very little carbs hence it ist is excellent for weight loss and diabetics

Can I eat paneer daily?

Absolutely. Paneer is very healthy and in moderation, it can be consumed daily.

Can I eat raw paneer?

Yes, it can be consumed raw (uncooked) safely.

Can we add milk instead of cream in paneer butter masala?

Absolutely. In this recipe of Paneer Butter Masala, I have switched fresh cream with milk and the resultant dish is absolutely perfect.

Can Vegans eat paneer?

No. Paneer is obtained from milk, hence it is an animal product. So, it isn’t suited for veganism

Do we need to fry paneer before cooking?

Not always. You can, but you can add it the gravies uncooked as well.

Why is my paneer rubbery?

Over cooking causes paneer to turn chewy and rubbery.

Why does paneer break while cooking?

The answer lies in the process of making the paneer. If the coagulant was added to the milk before it boiled, it makes crumbly paneer.

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