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Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala
Continuing our homemade paneer theme over the weeks is just as much a treat for me as it is for you. Trust me. One of my favourite paneer dishes is Paneer Butter Masala, whereby chunks of soft paneer are folded into a creamy and sharp tomato sauce made luxurious with unadulterated butter. Hand me a teardrop sheet of puffy, soft naan to mop up all of that sauce and I’m in seventh heaven.
When I wrote the recipe post for Homemade Paneer, I took the opportunity to invite you all to complete my Big Paneer Survey. I asked you about your favourite paneer dishes and how often you like to indulge yourself with them. Well, all will be revealed when the results are posted up next week. The response has been great and I’m so excited to explore them further. If you still haven’t had a chance to complete the Paneer Survey, you can do so here. Take the Big Paneer Survey.
I saw one of my favourite chefs, Sanjay Thumma make his version of quick Paneer Butter Masala on a well-known video site and thought the method was great. Sadly, Sanjay’s video recipes don’t always give measurements. His cheeky charm makes up for that, though. I chose to go with his snappy method but the recipe below is my own. Kudos to VahChef Sanjay for his quick method; the results are stunning.
The dish Paneer Butter Masala originates from the popular Indian dish Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) in which heady spices are complimented by a wedge of butter and maybe a splash of cream, if you’re feeling extravagant. This vegetarianised version of Butter Chicken can be made with chicken if you’re a meat eater, but somehow the paneer version is even more majestic and should be tried at least once.If you’re not converted I’ll eat my hat. Or my Paneer Butter Masala. Probably my Paneer Butter Masala.
Paneer Butter Masala
(Serves 4)
3 cups paneer, cubed. Homemade paneer recipe here
2 cups passata or liquidised tomatoes
2 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
3 tbsp butter
1 cup double cream
1 tbsp coriander seed powder
2 tbsp garam masala

2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced

½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)

2-4 hot green chillies, minced (or to taste)
½ tsp chai masala (yes, really)
½ tsp cumin seed powder
2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste


1. In a bowl, whisk together the passata, coriander seed powder, cumin seed powder, garam masala, green chillies and sugar.

2. Heat the butter in a large pan and add the garlic, ginger, chillies and tomato puree. Cook this out on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the tomato and spice mixture. Bring to a boil, stir and cover with a lid. Turn the heat down to low and boil with the lid on for around 10-15 minutes.

3. Uncover, add the cream, chai masala and season the sauce with salt. Give this a good mix. Rub the kasoori methi between your hands and add this to the sauce. If you’re using homemade paneer, add it straight in and if you’re using store-bought, grill the paneer cubes on one side until golden and add them in while hot. Heat through.

4. Serve with Indian bread and basmati rice. What a beauty.

You might want to wash your hands super well with soap and water after handling kasoori methi, because it certainly aint the most alluring fragrance you’ll ever adorn your body with. Having said this, when added to rich curries it can produce the most amazing taste ever. I kid you not.


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The Paneer Survey- Results

Restaurant-Style Shahi Paneer

Thursday 16th of January 2020

[…] culture has made a joke out of the similarities between these dishes for years. Shahi Paneer, Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Makhani, Paneer Tikka Masala, Paneer Lababdar, Kadai Paneer, Nawabi Paneer, the list goes […]

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Jovita Cast

Thursday 4th of April 2019

Oh my God, Sanjana, this dish is absolutely divine! I have never before been able to make a tomato based curry without ruining it somehow. For example, when I tried making butter chicken for my husband (I'm a vegetarian so couldn't taste test it) he called it gutter chicken.

But today I made this and I had to convince him that it wasn't a ready made sauce but one I'd made from scratch! He said it was the best dish I have ever made. So thank you, thank you, thank you! You are a legend!

Any advice on how to help my toddler like Indian food? He is nearly 3 and doesn't seem interested in flavours and it breaks my Indian heart :'(


Sunday 7th of April 2019

Ahh Jovita, thank you so much for taking the time to write. I’m very pleased your family enjoyed the dish. I hope you get a chance to try it again. Gutter chicken made me laugh out loud! What a name to call a dish!

I’m in the process of weaning my one year old and he is so far enjoying it. Perhaps get him involved in cooking? Rolling out rotis, stirring things, making little samosas etc? Xx