Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani


Dinner parties are incomplete without a sumptuous Paneer Dish and here is my favorite. Easy but simply Delicious.

Melt-in mouth grilled Paneer cubes in a rich onion-tomato-cashew gravy.

Tofu can also be substituted in place of Paneer/Cottage Cheese


  • Paneer (cottage cheese): 250 gms
  • Tomato: 3-4 medium size
  • Onion: 2 medium
  • Whole Red Chilies: 4-5
  • Ginger & Garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Cashew nut paste: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
  • Fennel seeds (saunf): ¼ tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander leaves chopped: 1 tsp for garnishing
  • Kasoori methi crushed: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Butter: 1 tbsp (Ghee or Clarified butter may also be used)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar: ¼ tsp
  • Cream: 1tbsp (optional)
  • Milk: ½ cup
  • Curd/Yogurt:  2 tsp
  • Water: ½ cup


Cut Paneer into slabs and leave in hot water for 10 minutes.

(Note: Test the Paneer for its softness.If it is very soft, it is better to shallow fry to grill before using in the recipe else it will break in the gravy)

Take out the paneer slabs and grill on a pan using some butter until the paneer becomes golden brown. Sprinkle some salt and chili powder. Cut into cubes and keep aside. (Paneer cubes can be used without grilling too if the cubes are not very soft)

Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, chopped onion, whole red chilies & sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and ¼ tsp sugar and sauté for 3 minutes more.

Cool and grind into a paste.

Now take some oil and butter or ghee in the same pan and add ginger garlic paste and the onion tomato paste. Add chili powder, salt, turmeric and coriander powder and stir.

Cook till the oil separates.

(Note: Cooking till the oil separates is the most important thing to note. This may make or break your efforts. Also, before adding milk or cream it is important for the tomatoes to get cooked properly else the milk will curdle.)

Add cashew paste and mix well.

Follow with cream, milk and curd. Stir immediately to avoid curdling.

Add water and cook till the gravy becomes thick.

Add Paneer pieces to the masala gravy, mix well and cook for 2-3 mins.

Sprinkle kasoori methi and mix in lightly.

Garnish with cream, coriander leaves and chili flakes.

Enjoy with Puris, chapati or Naan.


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3 thoughts on “Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani

  1. Dimple@shivaaydelights August 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm Reply

    I love this recipe…do come over and join us at the new vegetarian foodie group “Sharing food with Shivaay Delights”

    Can’t wait to see you there

    Regards D 🙂


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