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Paneer butter masala with step by step photos. Paneer butter masala is a rich and creamy dish of paneer (cottage cheese) in a tomato, butter and cashew sauce (known as makhani sauce).

The dish has a lovely tang from the tomatoes and with a slightly sweet, creamy and velvety texture.

Serves 4


for or SAUCE

1 tablespoon oil

2 onions, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

¾ teaspoon salt or to taste

¾ teaspoon sugar (optional)

12 cashew nuts

1 teaspoon red Kashmiri chilli powder

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 cup of water

for the CURRY

1 small bay leaf

small piece cinnamon stick

2 green cardamom (optional)

3 cloves

1½ tablespoon Butter

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon garlic paste

250 grams paneer, cubed

1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves

1/2 cup of water

3 tablespoon double cream

2 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro finely chopped) (for garnish)


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and add the onions. Fry stirring often until they turn transparent to light pink. Next add the tomatoes the salt. Saute for 3 minutes.

2. Cover and cook till the onion and the tomatoes turns soft & completely mushy. Now add the garam masala, coriander powder, 12 cashew nuts, kashmiri red chilli powder and the sugar (optional).

3. Fry this till the onion tomato masala turns aromatic. This takes 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a blender with 1 cup water. Blend to a really silky smooth puree. Set this aside.

4. Heat 1.5 tablespoons of butter in the same pan. When the butter melts, add the cinnamon, cloves, green cardamoms & 1 small bay leaf.

5. Reduce the heat to low, add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for 1 minute. It should begin to smell good and the raw smell should go away. Do not burn this as it will leave a bitter taste.

6. Pour the blended onion tomato puree and ½ cup water, mix well. Cover and cook on a medium heat until the sauce thickens & traces of butter or oil is seen on top. Keep checking in between and give it a good mix.

7. When the sauce is done, it will turn thick and traces of fats will be visible on the sauce. Taste and add more salt if needed. Now Lower the heat, and add the paneer cubes. Take1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves to your palm and crush it in between your palms and sprinkle in to the sauce.

8. Mix and cook covered on a low heat for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream and stir. Garnish with 1 tablespoon cream & 2 tbsps chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with butter naan, steamed rice or roti.

Making A Vegan Version

1. Tofu: to make a vegan paneer butter masala, replace paneer with tofu. 2. Vegan butter or oil: add a neutral-tasting oil or vegan butter and skip cream altogether. 3. Coconut cream: you can also use coconut cream, but you will be able to taste the coconut in the dish.


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