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Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala – A Delicious Creamy Indian Delight

Table of Contents

Introduction about the dish

Step into the world of aromatic and delectable Indian dishes, where each bite is a harmonious blend of flavors, spices, and culinary heritage. Today, we’re immersing ourselves in the world of Paneer Butter Masala, a cherished North Indian classic that has won the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts around the globe. In this user-friendly guide, we’ll unveil the secrets of preparing Paneer Butter Masala in your kitchen. From the soft paneer cubes to the velvety tomato-based gravy, we’ll show you how to create this iconic dish that’s not just a meal but a culinary experience.

Why Paneer Butter Masala?

Before we dive into the ingredients and techniques that make Paneer Butter Masala extraordinary, let’s explore why this dish holds such a special place in Indian cuisine. Paneer Butter Masala, also known as Paneer Makhani, is a symphony of textures and flavors. It’s a rich, creamy, mildly spiced dish combining tender Paneer with a luscious tomato and butter-based gravy.

Paneer Butter Masala isn’t just about taste; it’s about the comfort and joy a well-made dish can bring. It’s a testament to the versatility of Indian cuisine and the art of creating decadent vegetarian dishes. This dish transcends boundaries, appealing to vegetarians and those seeking a break from meat-based meals.

What sets Paneer Butter Masala apart is its versatility. It can be the star of your vegetarian feast, a comforting family dinner, or a delightful dish to impress guests. Pair it with naan, roti, or steamed rice, and you have an indulgent and satisfying feast.

What Sets Our Recipe Apart?

You might wonder, “Why make Paneer Butter Masala at home when available at Indian restaurants?” The answer is simple: Crafting paneer Butter Masala in your kitchen allows you to customize the flavors to your liking, use fresh ingredients, and control the spice level.

Our user-friendly Paneer Butter Masala recipe ensures you’ll recreate the authentic taste and experience effortlessly. We’ll guide you through each step, share pro tips, and provide insights to ensure your Paneer Butter Masala turns out creamy and delightful, just as it should be.

Join Us in the Kitchen

This guide will provide easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions to make your Paneer Butter Masala adventure enjoyable. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to Indian cuisine, our recipes are well thought out and designed to guarantee your success.

So, gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and let’s embark on a culinary journey that will transport you to the aromatic kitchens of North India. Let’s create a plate of Paneer Butter Masala that’s not just a dish; it’s a celebration of tradition, a symphony of flavors, and a culinary masterpiece that will leave you craving more.

Serves: 4 People (Approx.)
Marinate Time
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

What ingredients do I need to make them?

For Paneer Marinade:

For Gravy:

Step-by-Step Guide to Making This Paneer Butter Masala

Marinate the Paneer:

  • Combine yogurt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed PaneerPaneer and coat it evenly. Allow it to marinate for 15 minutes.

Sauté the Paneer:

  • Heat 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a pan. Add the marinated paneer cubes and sauté until they turn golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.

Prepare the Gravy:

  • In the same pan, add the remaining butter and oil. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add minced Garlic and grated Ginger. Sauté for a minute until they release their aroma.

Add Onion and Tomatoes:

  • Add finely chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent. Then, add the tomato puree and cook until the oil separates from the mixture.

Spices and Cream:

  • Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes. Then, pour in the heavy cream and water. Stir to combine.

Simmer the Gravy:

  • Allow the gravy to simmer for 5-7 minutes until it thickens and becomes aromatic.

Add Paneer:

  • Gently add the sautéed paneer cubes into the gravy. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes to let the PaneerPaneer absorb the flavors.

Adjust Seasoning:

  • Taste the gravy and adjust salt and spice levels according to your preference.


  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Tips for an Efficient Preparation of this dish

  • Use pre-cut PaneerPaneer to save time on chopping.
  • Prepare the tomato puree in advance.
  • Make extra and freeze for quick meals later.

What is the Nutritional content of this dish?

350 kcalCalories
15 gCarbs
27 gFats
10 gProteins
2 gFibre
15 gSFA
60 mgCholesterol
700 mgSodium
350 mgPotassium
5 gSugar

Note: Nutrition values can vary depending on ingredients and portion sizes, so it’s essential to check specific labels or recipes for accurate nutritional information.

Conclusion: Enjoying Your Homemade Food

Paneer Butter Masala is ready to be served! This creamy and indulgent dish pairs perfectly with naan, roti, or steamed rice. It’s a delightful treat for your taste buds, combining the richness of butter and cream with the subtle spices of Indian cuisine. Enjoy this restaurant-style dish in the comfort of your home, and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Paneer Butter Masala is typically known for its mild to medium spiciness. The dish usually incorporates a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy with a delicate balance of spices. While it does have some heat from the herbs, it is not traditionally considered a very spicy dish. However, the level of spiciness can vary depending on the recipe and individual preferences of the cook. If you prefer a milder version, you can adjust the amount of red chili powder or other spices accordingly. Conversely, if you enjoy a spicier flavor, you can increase the quantity of red chili powder or include some spicy green chilies to elevate the heat level to your liking.

Paneer Butter Masala offers several potential health benefits, primarily due to its nutritious ingredients and cooking methods. While it is a flavorful and rich dish, it also provides various nutritional elements that can contribute to a balanced diet. Some of the potential health benefits of Paneer Butter Masala include:

  1. Protein: Paneer, the primary ingredient in this dish, is a rich source of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, promoting muscle strength, and maintaining overall health.
  2. Calcium: Paneer is also a good source of calcium, which is crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Adequate calcium intake supports bone density and can help prevent osteoporosis.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals: The dish’s tomatoes, spices, and other ingredients contribute to the overall vitamin and mineral content. Tomatoes, for instance, are rich in vitamins A and C and various antioxidants.
  4. Healthy Fats: While the butter in Paneer Butter Masala adds flavor, it is essential to consume it in moderation. Ghee, often used in Indian cooking, contains healthy fats and has been linked to various health benefits when consumed in controlled amounts.
  5. Balanced Diet: When enjoyed as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables, grains, and other nutrients, Paneer Butter Masala can contribute to a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Consuming Paneer Butter Masala in moderation and as part of a diverse and well-rounded diet is essential to reap its potential health benefits.

Yes, tofu can be used as a substitute for paneer in Paneer Butter Masala, especially for those following a vegan or dairy-free diet. While tofu has a different texture and taste than paneer, it can provide a similar creamy and substantial element to the dish. When preparing Paneer Butter Masala with tofu, it’s essential to consider the following tips:

  1. Firm Tofu: Use firm or extra-firm tofu to achieve a texture that is more akin to that of paneer. Extra-firm tofu tends to hold its shape better during cooking and can better absorb the flavors of the sauce.
  2. Drain and Press: Drain the tofu thoroughly and press it to remove excess moisture before cooking. This process helps the tofu absorb the flavors of the sauce and prevents it from becoming soggy during the cooking process.
  3. Marination: Consider marinating the tofu before cooking it in the sauce. This step can help infuse the tofu with additional flavors and enhance its overall taste and texture.
  4. Cooking Time: Tofu requires less cooking time compared to paneer. Add the tofu toward the end of the cooking process to prevent it from becoming overly soft or mushy.

Following these guidelines, you can successfully substitute tofu for paneer in Paneer Butter Masala, creating a delicious and satisfying vegan version of this classic Indian dish.

Paneer Butter Masala, a popular Indian dish, has its own set of pros and cons. Here is a brief overview:


  1. Rich Flavor: Paneer Butter Masala is known for its rich, creamy, and flavorful taste, making it a favorite among many for its indulgent and satisfying flavors.
  2. Versatility: It can be enjoyed with Indian bread such as naan, roti, or rice, making it a versatile dish suitable for different meals and occasions.
  3. Nutritious Elements: Paneer, the main ingredient, is a good source of protein and calcium, providing essential nutrients that contribute to a balanced diet.
  4. Comfort Food: Its creamy texture and comforting taste make it a popular comfort food choice, providing warmth and satisfaction.
  5. Familiarity: Paneer Butter Masala is a well-known and beloved dish in Indian cuisine, evoking a sense of nostalgia and tradition for many.


  1. High Caloric Content: Due to its rich and creamy nature, Paneer Butter Masala can be high in calories, making it a less suitable option for those watching their calorie intake.
  2. Dairy Content: The dish contains dairy products, making it unsuitable for individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.
  3. Preparation Time: Making Paneer Butter Masala can be time-consuming, involving several steps and preparing the sauce and the paneer separately.
  4. Richness: The dish’s rich and creamy nature might not appeal to those who prefer lighter or less heavy meals.
  5. Ingredient Availability: Some ingredients required for Paneer Butter Masala might not be readily available in all regions, making it challenging to prepare for areas with limited access to Indian ingredients.

While Paneer Butter Masala offers a delightful culinary experience, it is essential to consider these factors to make an informed decision about its inclusion in your diet.

Yes, several vegetarian or vegan alternatives for the cream typically used in Paneer Butter Masala exist. Here are a few common substitutes:

  1. Coconut Milk: Coconut milk can be used as a dairy-free alternative to achieve a creamy texture in the dish. It adds a subtle coconut flavor that complements the spices and creates a rich and creamy sauce.
  2. Cashew Cream: Soaked and blended cashews can create a creamy texture similar to dairy cream. Cashew cream adds a nutty flavor and a velvety consistency to the dish.
  3. Silken Tofu: Silken tofu can be blended into a smooth paste and added to the curry to create a creamy and rich texture. It is a popular option for those seeking a low-fat, plant-based alternative.
  4. Dairy-Free Yogurt: Dairy-free yogurt, made from plant-based ingredients like soy, almond, or coconut, can add a creamy and tangy element to the dish.

These alternatives can help you achieve a similar texture and taste to the traditional Paneer Butter Masala while catering to dietary preferences or restrictions. Experiment with these options to find the one that best suits your taste and nutritional needs.

To make Paneer Butter Masala less creamy or rich, you can consider the following adjustments and modifications:

  1. Yogurt Substitution: Consider incorporating plain yogurt or Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream or cashew paste. Yogurt adds a tangy flavor while reducing the overall richness of the dish.
  2. Milk Alternative: Opt for a lighter milk alternative, such as almond or low-fat milk, to replace heavy cream. This adjustment can help reduce the overall fat content while maintaining a creamy texture.
  3. Tomato Base: Increase the proportion of tomatoes or tomato puree in the gravy. Tomatoes can add a natural thickness and tanginess, reducing the reliance on heavy cream for texture.
  4. Cashew Reduction: If the recipe includes cashew paste for richness, consider reducing the amount of cashews or omitting them entirely. This adjustment can significantly decrease the dish’s overall richness.
  5. Spice Balance: Increase the use of spices and herbs, such as ginger, garlic, and coriander, to add more depth and complexity to the dish, reducing the focus on the creaminess.
  6. Butter Control: Limit the quantity of butter used in the preparation. Adjusting the amount of butter can help reduce the dish’s richness while maintaining its flavor profile.

By implementing these adjustments, you can tailor Paneer Butter Masala to your preferred level of creaminess and richness, creating a lighter and more balanced version of this classic Indian dish.

Paneer Butter Masala pairs exceptionally well with various side dishes, enhancing the overall dining experience. Here are some recommended accompaniments that complement the rich and creamy flavors of this dish:

  1. Naan or Roti: Soft and fluffy naan or whole wheat roti is a classic choice to soak up the flavorful gravy of Paneer Butter Masala, offering a delightful contrast in texture.
  2. Jeera Rice or Saffron Rice: Fragrant cumin (jeera) rice or aromatic saffron-infused rice provides a flavorful and aromatic base that harmonizes perfectly with the creamy and mildly spiced Paneer Butter Masala.
  3. Vegetable Biryani: The complex flavors of vegetable biryani, with its spices and assorted vegetables, create a delightful contrast when paired with the creamy and mildly spiced Paneer Butter Masala.
  4. Raita: A refreshing side of cucumber or mixed vegetable raita helps balance the dish’s richness, offering an excellent and tangy contrast that complements the creamy texture of Paneer Butter Masala.
  5. Green Salad: A simple green salad with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce, lightly dressed with lemon juice or a tangy vinaigrette, adds a refreshing touch and freshness to the meal.

By pairing Paneer Butter Masala with these recommended side dishes, you can create a well-balanced and satisfying meal that caters to various tastes and enhances the overall dining experience.

Yes, Paneer Butter Masala can be made ahead of time and reheated when ready to serve. To ensure the best results when reheating, follow these simple steps:

  1. Store properly: Allow the Paneer Butter Masala to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Ensure that it is stored in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness.
  2. Reheat gently: When ready to serve, gently reheat the Paneer Butter Masala in a pan over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating and prevent the bottom from burning.
  3. Adjust consistency: If the gravy has thickened in the refrigerator, you can adjust the consistency by adding a little water, milk, or cream while reheating. This helps to restore the desired creamy texture of the dish.
  4. Handle the paneer with care: Be gentle when stirring to prevent the paneer from breaking apart while reheating. Add the paneer towards the end of the reheating process to ensure it remains soft and retains its shape.

By following these steps, you can enjoy a delicious serving of Paneer Butter Masala even when prepared ahead of time, allowing you to savor its rich and creamy flavors without compromising its taste and texture.

Yes, several regional variations of Paneer Butter Masala are found in Indian cuisine, each with its unique twist and flavor profile. Some of these regional variations include:

  1. North Indian Paneer Butter Masala: This version typically features a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy with a balanced blend of spices and a generous amount of butter, giving it a luscious and indulgent taste.
  2. Punjabi Paneer Butter Masala: Hailing from the Punjab region, this variation often incorporates a vibrant mix of aromatic spices, including garam masala and kasuri methi, adding an extra layer of fragrance and depth to the dish.
  3. South Indian Paneer Butter Masala: In southern India, this dish might include the addition of coconut milk or grated coconut, infusing a subtle coconut flavor into the creamy gravy and lending a distinct South Indian touch.
  4. Maharashtrian Paneer Butter Masala: The Maharashtrian version might include the use of Goda masala, a traditional Maharashtrian spice blend, which imparts a unique and earthy flavor to the dish, distinguishing it from other regional variations.

These regional adaptations showcase the diverse culinary traditions across India, highlighting the use of locally available ingredients and cooking techniques that contribute to the distinct regional flavors of Paneer Butter Masala.


At Recipe2eat, we’re passionate about home cooking and its numerous benefits. We understand that cooking at home is not just about preparing delicious meals; it’s about nurturing a healthier lifestyle, fostering creativity in the kitchen, and bringing families and friends together over a shared meal. Our mission is to inspire and guide you on your culinary journey, making home cooking a delightful and rewarding experience.

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