Paneer Butter Masala


Paneer Butter Masala – one of the most popular Indian gravies using Paneer or Cottage Cheese. I can swear that this is one curry recipe that finds its way into road side eateries to highway dhabas to super posh restaurants – all alike. No restaurant menu would be complete without the legendary Paneer Butter Masala. Not just that, it is the safest option to order when you are not sure about a restaurant. Nothing can really go wrong with the combination of Paneer and Butter in a curry right? Right.


So there is a small story with how this batch of creamy delicious Paneer Butter Masala got made. One fine Sunday, I made fresh Paneer at home and immediately used it to whip up some really good Paneer Butter Masala to go with our rotis. For once, I was satisfied with the pictures I clicked – it was one of the days when everything fell in to place. And then I did the unthinkable. I accidentally deleted (wiped off clean) all pictures from my SD Card without having taken any backup. Sigh. I lost quite a lot of pictures (and recipes) and I can’t put in words the feeling of utter helplessness.


There was nothing I could do about it. Except that I could cook and click again. Ha! So that is exactly what I did. Albeit feeling a little bad for the lost pictures. The good thing about all this drama was we made Paneer Butter Masala twice in a week and both the times it was a super hit. Unlike many recipes that use fresh cream for Paneer Butter Masala, I don’t use any. And yet, it turns out creamy and delicious. Read on the recipe below to know more 🙂

Check out other Paneer/Cottage Cheese Recipes here.


To make Paneer Butter Masala

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

What I used –
  • Onions, 2 medium
  • Tomatoes, 2 medium (ripe)
  • Paneer/Cottage Cheese, 150-200 gms
  • Butter/Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Cashews, 6-7 whole
  • Dried Bay Leaf, 1
  • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
  • Kasoor Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves, 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder, ¾ tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder, ½ tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, a generous pinch
  • Sugar, ¼ tsp
  • Salt, as needed
  • Water, as needed


Prep Work –

1. Powder the cashews into a finely in a mixer/blender and add ½ cup of water, make a smooth paste out of it – this is the cashew cream/milk. Set aside.

2. Chop onions and tomatoes into cubes. Sprinkle some water and set them on microwave high for 4-5 mins until they are cooked and there is no raw smell. Let them cool down completely. Make a smooth puree out of it. Set aside.


3. Chop Paneer into cubes. If taken out of fridge, immerse them in hot water for 5-6 mins. Set aside.

How I made –

1. In a pan, heat butter/oil. Add dried bay leaf and ginger garlic paste. Sauté until the raw smell is gone. Add the pureed onion tomatoes. Sauté until the butter/oil starts to leave from edges.


2. Add all the masala powders – red chilli powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, sugar and salt. Mix well and cook for 3-4 mins on low flame until they are cooked. Add some water and let the gravy boil on low heat.

3. Add the prepared cashew cream/milk and mix well. Soon the gravy begins to thicken – add ½ cup of water as needed and boil the gravy for a couple of mins. Crush kasoor Methi/Dried fenugreek leaves between your palms and add it to the gravy. Add cubed paneer and mix well. On low heat boil the gravy for another 3-4 mins. Remove from heat.


4. Serve hot with rotis, kulcha, paratha or any Indian bread 🙂


Note –
  • Instead of cooking onion tomatoes in microwave, can be cooked on stove top too. Either use a tsp of oil or sprinkle some water and cook covered until they are tender.
  • I used cashew cream but instead of it, regular cream can be used too. When using fresh cream, don’t boil the gravy after adding it. There are chances of it curdling.
  • While making the cashew milk, I used my instant method of powdering them fine first followed by adding water. If you can plan ahead, soak them in some water for 30mins and then grind into a smooth paste – there is no difference in texture or taste.
  • Adding a small amount of sugar helps in cutting the tanginess of tomatoes.
  • Butter makes this gravy rich but I have made it just oil or half-half oil-butter – works well too!
  • If the paneer is straight out of the fridge, immerse it in hot water for 5-6 mins so that it is soft again.
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves or Kasoor Methi is very important for this dish. There is a slight bitterness in these leaves but they add to the taste of this gravy making it unique.
  • Always crush the Kasoor Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves before adding to the gravy to make them fragrant.
  • Adjust spices as per preference.

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13 thoughts on “Paneer Butter Masala

  1. Your butter paneer is so very beautiful, and your photos are just scrumptious! I think we have all had the SD card accidents in the past, so we can all relate to your shock! But hey, you got to eat this twice in one week! How wonderful is that? Thanks so much for sharing with us at FF! You have made me very hungry and I have just arrived at the party! 😀

  2. It must have been subliminal- you knew you wanted more but needed an excuse!
    Looks delicious! Enjoying this recipe twice in a week isn’t the worst thing ever!?

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your photos. I’ve done that before and it just sucks! I am glad though that you got to make this twice in one week because it looks delicious! I love Butter Chicken and I love Paneer so I figure I would love this recipe. I’ve book marked it. Thanks for sharing.

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