Paneer butter masala-1

Make Dhaba style paneer butter masala at home

Paneer butter masala is said to be one of the most popular gravy recipes. This butter paneer recipe is prepared with cottage cheese cubes in creamy tomato gravy. The tangy taste of this dish makes it lip-smacking. If you are fond of paneer butter masala then check out this video where you will get step-by-step guidance and enjoy your favorite dish at home. By following this guide, you can prepare Dhaba style paneer butter masala recipe at home. 

Paneer butter masala recipe is a rich creamy dish with cashew and butter along with tomato puree. It is also known as Paneer Makhani gravy. The tomato in the gravy gives it a tangy taste and cashew gives it a creamy and velvety feel. Here, you will find some super easy and quick tips that will help you preparing restaurant style butter paneer masala within few minutes. 

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This paneer butter masala which is known for many other names such as cottage cheese butter masala, paneer makhani, etc is said to be one of the most popular Indian paneer dishes. Being a popular dish, it is served in many Indian restaurants. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s check out the recipe first. 

Ingredients you need for making this recipe 

  • Red juicy tomato puree: Tomato is the key ingredient for making this paneer butter masala recipe. For preparing the makhani sauce, this is the most important thing. This sauce is prepared with fresh ingredients like cashew, butter, and tomato. if you wish you can add onions to it. However, while making tomato puree, you need to make sure that you use only ripe tomatoes and must have a slight amount of sweetness in them. Avoid adding green tomatoes or tomatoes which are sour. 
  • Cashew: Another important ingredient for making paneer butter masala is cashew which adds a rich creamy texture to the dish. The sweetness of cashew also manages the tanginess of tomatoes. Generally, while making paneer butter masala or butter chicken, the cream is required. But if you are not interested in using cream, you can add cashew to give it a creamy consistency. 
  • Cream: Apart from cashew, you can add a bit of cream to thicken the gravy and gives it a rich flavor and look. However, if you are looking for a less rich version of the gravy, you can skip the cream. 
  • Butter: Just because this recipe is called paneer butter masala recipe, it doesn’t mean you have to put a huge amount of butter in preparing this dish. This butter paneer recipe requires a limited amount of butter which makes the gravy both buttery and rich. In the end, you can place a cube of butter over it for garnishing. 

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  • Paneer: For making a butter paneer masala recipe, you must make sure that you use only soft and fresh paneer. Paneer is the main thing that can make or break the dish. So, you have to be very careful while choosing a paneer. While eating this dish, what we mainly look for, mainly look soft paneer cubes coated with smoother buttery tomato gravy. You can choose to use either homemade paneer or good quality store-bought paneer. The choice is yours. 
  • Herbs and spices: The list of herbs or spices is not so long. If you would like to give a vibrant red color to the gravy, you need to add Kashmiri red chilli powder. You can team it up with paprika or cayenne pepper. You need garam masala powder and dried Kasuri methi for giving it a good flavor. For garnishing, fresh cilantro should be finely chopped. 

Check out the list of ingredients for its vegan version 

If you are a vegan don’t worry you can also enjoy eating the vegan version of paneer butter masala. You can substitute the dairy ingredients with some vegan alternatives and make a delicious dish. Let’s check out the ingredients first –

  • Vegan oil or butter: You can add a neutral-tasting vegan oil or butter and skip the cream part. 
  • Coconut cream: If you want, you can add coconut cream but using coconut cream, you will get the flavor of coconut in the dish. 

How to make paneer butter masala?

For preparing this delicious paneer butter masala Dhaba style, you need some preparations. Let’s start with soaking cashews, making tomato puree and blending soaked cashew. 

Preparation

  1. Soak 20 to 25 cashews in half a cup of hot water for at least 20 to 30 minutes
  2. While your cashews are soaking, you can prepare other ingredients of the recipe such as chopping tomatoes, making tomato sauce, preparing ginger-garlic paste, slicing paneer into cubes, and so on. 
  3. Take a small amount of ginger and 3 to 4 medium-size garlic into a mixer grinder and make a fine paste. Once it is done, keep it aside for later use. Don’t use water while preparing the ginger-garlic paste. 
  4. After 20 to 30 minutes, drain the water completely and add the soaked cashews to a blender, add 2 to 3 spoons of water and make a fine paste. Now remove the cashew paste in a bowl and set it aside. 
  5. Now, in the same blender, it’s time to add 2 cups of diced tomatoes. There is no need to blanch the tomatoes before blending. 
  6. Now place a heavy pan over the stove and heat it. Keep the flame to medium-low or low. Add 2 tablespoon of butter or 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. 
  7. Adding oil helps to prevent the butter from browning too fast. If you want, you can add 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter for creating a rich creamy gravy. You can use either salted or unsalted butter. 
  8. Keep the flame low and now add 1 medium size bay leaf. Fry it for at least 2 to 3 seconds till the oil in the pan becomes fragrant with its aroma. 
  9. Crush ginger and garlic and prepare 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste. 
  10. Fry the paste for some time till the aroma of ginger-garlic disappears. Now pour the tomato paste which you have prepared earlier. Be careful while adding the tomato puree as it sometimes may splutter. Mix it well with the butter. 
  11. Cook the tomato puree on a low medium flame and stir frequently until the mixture starts simmering. 
  12. Add 1 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chilli powder or ½ teaspoon of paprika or any other type of red chilli powder.  Mix it well and continue to stir to prevent it from burning

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  1. Mix the cashew paste well with the tomato puree and continue to stir it and saute on low flame. Make sure you stir the gravy continuously after adding the cashew paste. 
  2. Cook the cashew paste until the masala starts leaving oil. The cashew paste cooks very fast. It takes around 3 to 4 minutes. So, keep stirring continuously. 
  3. Now add one and a half cups of water. Mix the water with masala. If there appear lumps of the tomato-cashew paste, then break it with a spoon. If you want you can use a wired whisk for mixing purposes. 
  4. Now let the curry simmer for some minutes and when it comes to boil, stir occasionally.
  5. After 2 to 3 minutes, add finely chopped ginger to it and keep a few for garnishing at the end. keep it on a medium flame for at least 2 minutes until the curry will start to thicken. 
  6. Now it’s time to add 1 or 2 slit green chilies. 
  7. Add salt as per your taste and 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional). You can add 1 teaspoon or ¼ tsp depending on the sourness of the tomatoes. 
  8. If you are adding cream, then you need to add less amount of sugar. 
  9. Mix it well and simmer for a minute
  10. Once the gravy reaches the desired consistency level, add the paneer cubes
  11. Keep in mind the consistency level of the gravy before adding paneer as you need to cook the paneer for some seconds.
  12. You can fry the paneer and add them once the gravy becomes a bit creamy. In restaurants, the gravy is maintained to a medium consistency.
  13. Add paneer cubes and stir the gravy frequently. You can switch off the heat at this point of time.  
  14. Now add 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi leaves and 1 tsp of garam masala to the gravy. It will give a nice aroma to it. However, Kasuri methi is optional and you can skip adding it to the gravy. 
  15. Add 2 to 3 tsp of low-fat cream and 1 or 2 tsp of whipping cream.
  16. Stir it gently and switch off the heat. 
  17. Garnish paneer butter masala with chopped coriander leaves and the remaining chopped ginger. You can drizzle some cream or a scoop of butter while serving. 

What to serve with paneer butter masala?

  • Eat with Indian beard “roti”: As this masala paneer has a bit slight sweet taste and mildly spicy, it makes an excellent pair with chapatti or roti. 
  • Enjoy this recipe with other bread options: Another great combination for this dish is tandoori roti or naan bread, paratha, or roomali roti. 
  • Relish your taste buds combining paneer butter masala with rice: It goes really well with jeera rice or steamed rice. 

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Some expert tips

  • Tomatoes: Since tomato is the key ingredient for this recipe, make sure to use only ripe and firm tomatoes with a slightly sweet taste. The tomatoes should not be too sour or tangy. 
  • Paneer (cottage cheese): Try to use homemade paneer or if possible use good quality store-bought paneer. Make sure it should be fresh. Still, it is best to use paneer at home and it does not take much time. 
  • Tomato puree: Make sure you prepare a smooth tomato puree and for this, you can strain the tomato puree. 
  • Cooking tips for tomato puree: the tomato puree should be sauteed and cooked well. Oil or butter must leave from the tomato puree which ensures that it is properly cooked. If the tomato puree is not cooked well, the raw flavor of the tomatoes can be felt in the gravy. 
  • Butter: Try to use good quality butter. You can use either salted or unsalted butter. You can add both while or yellow butter. 
  • Cashew paste: To prepare a fine paste of cashew, it is better to soak cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Replacement for cashew: if you don’t want to add cashew paste to the gravy, you can replace it with almonds. Make sure you soak the almonds in water for at least 30 minutes, then peel them off and blend to a fine paste adding a little amount of water. 
  • Taste and flavor: if the gravy tastes sour or tangy, then balance the sour taste of the gravy adding a bit of cream or sugar. But you don’t add too much sugar otherwise the gravy may taste too sweet. Also if you are using cream then add less amount of sugar to the gravy. 
  • Frying paneer: If you want, you can fry the paneer cubes first and then add them to the gravy or sauce. 
  • Color: To get the bright red color of the gravy, it is best to use Kashmiri red chili powder instead of artificial food color. Using red color tomato also gives a bright orangish color to the gravy. 

Frequently asked questions 

1. What is butter paneer?

Ans: Butter paneer is just another name for paneer butter masala. They both are the same dish. 

2. What is the basic difference between paneer butter masala and paneer tikka masala?

Ans: Paneer butter masala is a rich gravy-based dish and tasted mild sweet with tomatoes, butter, cashews, spices, and paneer. And paneer tikka masala is a kind of robust dish with yogurt marinated paneer cubes in a spicy aromatic tomato and onion combination gravy and in this recipe, paneer is grilled in a grilling pan.

3. Can I add onions?

Ans: No onions are not required in this recipe as it changes its taste. But if you still want to add them, add about 1/3 cup of finely chopped onions and saute them until they turn a golden brown color. 

4. Should I apply cashew raw or roasted?

Ans: If you are making cashew paste, using raw cashews are the best option. You don’t need to roast them. 

5. What can I substitute with cashews?

Ans: You can use unsweetened butter in place or cashew or you can use almonds as alternatives. However. You need to soak almonds for at least 30 minutes. After that remove the peels and blend them to a fine paste adding a little amount of water to maintain its thick consistency. 

6. Can I add canned tomato puree?

Ans: Yes, you can use canned tomato puree but not to forget to add sugar in the gravy if the gravy tastes too tangy or sour. 

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