Best Paneer Butter Masala Recipe to Wow Your Guests

 Paneer Butter Masala Recipe in Simple Way

Paneer butter masala recipe is a mouthwatering dish from India. It's a true delight for both paneer lovers and those who appreciate rich and creamy curries.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Imagine tender cubes of paneer, which is a type of Indian cottage cheese, cooked in a luscious tomato-based gravy. The paneer becomes incredibly soft and absorbs the flavors of the aromatic spices used in the dish. It's like biting into a piece of heavenly goodness.

The secret behind paneer butter masala's irresistible taste lies in the harmonious combination of ingredients. The tomatoes are cooked down to a smooth puree, and then comes the magical touch of cream and butter. These additions lend a velvety texture and a rich, buttery taste that makes the dish utterly indulgent.

The spice blend in paneer butter masala is typically mild, allowing the flavors of the paneer and the creamy sauce to take center stage. Common spices include cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala, which add a warm and earthy undertone to the dish. This aromatic medley creates a symphony of flavors that will have you coming back for more.

Paneer butter masala is often served with fluffy naan bread or fragrant basmati rice, creating a perfect balance of textures and tastes. The combination of the soft paneer, the creamy sauce, and the slightly charred naan or fluffy rice is simply divine.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Whether you're a vegetarian or simply looking to explore the diverse world of Indian cuisine, paneer butter masala is a dish that will leave you satisfied and craving for more. It's a celebration of flavors, a comfort food that warms the heart, and a true culinary masterpiece that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

To prepare paneer butter masala recipe, you will need the following Ingredients:

1. Paneer: 200-250 grams of paneer (Indian cottage cheese), cut into cubes.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

2. Tomatoes: 3-4 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

3. Onion: 1 large onion, finely chopped.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

4. Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste (you can make a paste by blending equal amounts of ginger and garlic).

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

5. Green chilies: 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped (adjust according to your spice preference).

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

6. Cashew nuts: 10-12 cashew nuts (optional, for a creamy texture).

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

7. Butter: 2-3 tablespoons of butter (traditionally used, but you can substitute with oil if desired).

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

8. Fresh cream: 2-3 tablespoons of fresh cream or heavy cream.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

9. Red chili powder: 1 teaspoon (adjust according to your spice preference).

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

10. Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

11. Garam masala: 1/2 teaspoon.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

12. Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

13. Cumin powder: 1/2 teaspoon.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

14. Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves): 1 teaspoon (crushed between your palms for enhanced flavor).

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

15. Salt: To taste.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

16. Water: As needed for the gravy consistency.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

17. Fresh coriander leaves: A handful, finely chopped (for garnishing).

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

These ingredients will help you create a delicious and authentic paneer butter masala. Adjust the spice levels and ingredients according to your personal taste preferences. Enjoy cooking and savoring this delightful dish!

Steps to make Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Certainly! Here's a step-by-step procedure to prepare paneer butter masala:

1. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and stir until they are golden brown.

2. Once the onions are cooked, add the ginger-garlic paste and green chilies to the pan. Sauté for a minute or two until the raw smell disappears.

3. Now, add the finely chopped tomatoes or tomato puree to the pan. Cook the mixture until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy, stirring occasionally.

4. If you're using cashew nuts, you can add them to the pan along with the tomatoes. The cashews will provide a creamy texture to the gravy. 

5. Allow the mixture to cool down a bit and then transfer it to a blender. Blend it into a smooth paste. You can add a little water if needed to facilitate blending.

6. In the same pan, add another tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Add the blended tomato-onion mixture back into the pan.

7. Now, it's time to add the spices. Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt to the pan. Stir well to mix the spices well in the dish with the tomato onion gravy mixture. Cook for a few minutes so that the flavors meld together perfectly.

8. Add water to the gravy to adjust the consistency accordingly. Start with half a cup and then add more if needed. Stir well and let the gravy come to a gentle boil.

9. Reduce the heat to low and add the paneer cubes to the gravy. Gently mix them in, making sure they are coated with the sauce. Make sure that cubes of paneer do not break apart..

10. Crush the kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) between your palms and sprinkle it over the gravy. This will add a distinct flavor to the dish. Stir gently.

11. Finally, add the fresh cream or heavy cream to the pan and give it a good mix. Let the paneer sit in the gravy for some time so that the gravy gets into the paneer cubes well.

12. Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, you can add a pinch of sugar or honey at this stage.

13. Turn off the heat and garnish the paneer butter masala with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Your paneer butter masala is now ready to be eaten! Enjoy it with naan bread, roti, or steamed rice for a delightful and satisfying meal.

Commonly Asked Questions for Paneer Butter Masala Recipe 

How to make paneer butter masala ahead?

Paneer butter masala can be made ahead by preparing the gravy and storing it separately. Cook the onion-tomato base, blend it into a smooth paste, and refrigerate it. When you're ready to serve, heat the gravy in a pan, add paneer cubes, spices, and finish with cream. This way, you can save time and still enjoy a freshly made dish.

How to make this recipe vegan?

To make a vegan version of paneer butter masala, you can replace the paneer with tofu or other plant-based alternatives. Instead of butter, use a vegan butter substitute or coconut oil. For creaminess, coconut cream or cashew cream can be used as a dairy-free alternative. Adjust the spices and flavors to your liking, and you'll have a delicious vegan twist on this classic dish.

Can this recipe be used to make butter chicken?

Paneer butter masala and butter chicken are similar in terms of the rich and creamy tomato-based gravy, but they differ in the main ingredient. While paneer butter masala uses paneer, a type of Indian cottage cheese, butter chicken typically uses chicken. The cooking techniques and spices may also vary. If you're looking for a recipe specifically for butter chicken, it's best to find a recipe tailored to that dish.

Why are nuts and seeds used in paneer curry?

Nuts and seeds, such as cashews, are often used in paneer curry to enhance the creaminess and richness of the dish. When blended or cooked, they contribute to a thick and luscious texture, adding depth of flavor. They also provide a subtle nutty taste that complements the spices and balances the overall taste profile of the curry.

What are the best substitutes for nuts, and how can they be used?

If you're looking for alternatives to nuts in paneer curry, you can try using coconut cream or coconut milk to achieve a creamy texture. Silken tofu or plant-based yogurt can also be used for a similar effect. These substitutions will provide a creamy element without the nuttiness. Adjust the quantity based on your preference and dietary requirements.

Is paneer butter masala and paneer makhani dal the same?

Paneer butter masala and paneer makhani are very similar dishes, often used interchangeably. Both feature paneer in a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy. While the exact recipes may vary, the main difference lies in the spices and preparation techniques used. Paneer makhani is typically prepared with a greater emphasis on the use of butter, cream, and spices, resulting in a richer and more indulgent flavor profile. However, the distinction between the two can vary depending on regional and personal preferences.

What kind of paneer should be added to the paneer butter masala?

For paneer butter masala, it's best to use fresh and soft paneer. You can either buy paneer from the store or make it at home by curdling milk with lemon juice or vinegar. Ensure that the paneer is cut into cubes and is not too firm or crumbly. Soft and smooth paneer will absorb the flavors of the gravy beautifully and provide a creamy texture to the dish.

Is there any special kind of Tomato to be used in this gravy?

For the gravy of paneer butter masala, it's ideal to use ripe and juicy tomatoes. You can choose any variety of tomatoes that are available to you, such as Roma tomatoes or vine-ripened tomatoes. It's important to use tomatoes that are flavorful and not overly sour. If desired, you can remove the seeds before using them in the recipe to reduce the tanginess of the gravy.

How to achieve the bright red color for  paneer butter masala?

The bright red color in paneer butter masala primarily comes from the tomatoes used in the gravy. To enhance the red color, you can add a pinch of Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika. These varieties of chili powder provide a vibrant red hue without adding too much heat. Adjust the amount according to your preference for color and spice level.

Can we skip cream in paneer butter masala?

Yes, you can skip the cream in paneer butter masala if you prefer a lighter or dairy-free version of the dish. The cream adds richness and creaminess to the gravy, but it is not essential. You can substitute it with coconut cream, cashew cream, or plant-based yogurt to achieve a similar texture and taste. The dish will still be flavorful and delicious without the addition of cream. Adjust the quantity based on your preference and dietary needs.

"Remember, cooking is all about experimentation and adapting recipes to suit your taste and dietary requirements. Feel free to customize and make adjustments as per your preferences while preparing paneer butter masala."

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