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Recipe: Paneer Butter Masala | How to make Paneer Butter Masala
Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

This paneer butter masala has onion in it, that’s how it is different from the paneer makhani which is usually made without onions. You can also make this paneer butter masala without onion and garlic, just skip them and follow the recipe. The only thing you would miss is the amount of gravy, yes recipes that don’t use onions yield lesser gravy.To get the right color without using food colors, choose red ripe tomatoes and good kashmiri red chili powder.

This paneer butter masala recipe needs sauteing the onions and tomatoes in oil first and blending which gives a unique flavor to the dish. This also gives a delicious tastes than the one made using raw onion paste or tomato puree.


Recipe Type Veg.


  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 cups cubed onions, 3 medium (optional)
  • 1.5 cups finely chopped tomatoes (3 large)
  • salt as needed
  • 10 to 12 cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • ½ to ¾ tsp. garam masala powder
  • ½ to ¾ tsp. kashmiri red chilli powder (adjust for best color)
  • ½ tsp. sugar(optional)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste (or ¾ tsp ginger paste)
  • 250 grams paneer (2 heaped cups)
  • ½ tsp. kasuri methi
  • 3 tbsp cream( for restaurant style)
  • few coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Heat a pan with oil, fry onions until they turn transparent.
  2. Fry tomatoes with salt for 3 minutes. Cook covered till the mixture turns soft and mushy.
  3. Add garam masala, coriander powder, cashews, red chili powder and sugar if using. Fry until the mix gets roasted well and it should begin to leave the sides of the pan. Switch off the heat.
  4. When the mixture cools, blend it with 1 cup water in a blender to very smooth.
  5. Add butter to the same pan, add dry spices and fry for one to 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the blended puree, add red chili powder, if desired ¼ to ½ cup of water. Cook for 4 minutes. Let the gravy reach the desired consistency before you add paneer.
  7. Add paneer kasuri methi . Stir well and cook for 3 minutes. Can add cream if desired.
  8. Transfer butter paneer to a serving bowl and garnish with cream or crushed pepper or coriander leaves.


You can skip using garlic and onion and make a no onion no garlic paneer butter masala recipe.

Use sugar only if needed to suit your taste. Onions, cashews and tomatoes lend a sweet flavor and taste to the gravy naturally, so if desired use ¼ to ½ tsp.

Step by step Paneer Butter Masala recipe:

1.. A) If you do not have coriander powder in hand, add 1 ½ tsp. Coriander seeds and ½ tsp. garam masala to a blender jar and make a fine powder. Using a strong garam masala doesn’t make the dish taste good. We need mild garam masala powder hence adding coriander powder.

B) If desired you can lightly fry paneer in oil or butter and set aside. I prefer not to so I skipped.

C) Add 1.5 tsp oil to a hot pan, Saute cubed onions on a medium flame until they turn lightly pink in color. This takes just 3 to 4 minutes.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

2.. Add finely chopped tomatoes and salt. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, cover and cook till mushy.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

3.. Add red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cashews and half tsp sugar if using.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

4.. Fry till the mix begins to leave the sides of the pan. You will begin to get a nice aroma of the mix. Off the stove.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

5.. Cool it and add it to a blender along with 1 cup of water and blend to smooth. To speed up the process, I added ice cold water to the jar first and then transferred the mix.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

6.. Blend to a very smooth paste, adding little more water if needed. If the mixture is not very smooth and silky, i suggest use a filter to strain the mixture. Pass the puree through a colander or sieve and collect it to a bowl.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

7.. Heat the pan on a low flame with 1 ½ tbsp. butter and add 3 cardamom, 1 bay leaf, 1 small cinnamon stick and 3 cloves. Fry till they are lightly roasted just for a minute.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

8.. Add ginger or ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off. If the raw smell of ginger garlic doesn’t go away or it gets burnt the entire dish will spoil. So take care to fry this on a low to medium flame until the raw smell goes off.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

9.. Add the pureed onion tomato mix, little more red chili powder and if needed ¼ to half cup of water to bring it to the desired consistency. You can adjust the quantity of red chili powder to get a good color. If you are not using onion in this recipe, then you can also skip using red chili powder now.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

10.. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on a medium flame to get a nice color. This is the color you may get. Open the lid and cook until the gravy turns a bit more thick.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

11.. Make sure the gravy reaches the desired consistency then add paneer and kasuri methi.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

12.. Stir, cover and cook just for 3 minutes. Cooking for longer can make the paneer harder. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. cream and stir.

Recipe Paneer Butter Masala

13.. You can add 1 tbsp cream, also finely chopped coriander leaves or ginger julienne for garnish. Serve with naan, roti, butter naan or jeera rice with a veg salad.


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