“Authentic Paneer Butter Masala Recipe: How to Make Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala at Home”

“Authentic Paneer Butter Masala Recipe: How to Make Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala at Home”


Paneer Butter Masala, a beloved classic of Indian cuisine, is a dish that never fails to impress with its rich, creamy, and flavorful profile. Often found on the menus of Indian restaurants around the world, this dish is known for its luxurious gravy, velvety paneer cubes, and a perfect blend of aromatic spices. But what if you could recreate that restaurant-style magic in the comfort of your own kitchen? In this post, we will guide you through an authentic Paneer Butter Masala recipe that is both easy to follow and delightfully satisfying.

Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner eager to try your hand at Indian cooking, this recipe has something for everyone. We’ll explore various methods, from a quick and easy preparation to a healthier, low-calorie version, ensuring that you can tailor the dish to your preferences and dietary needs. With our step-by-step guide, you’ll discover the secrets to achieving the perfect texture and taste, making this dish a staple in your culinary repertoire. Get ready to dive into the world of Paneer Butter Masala, where every bite is a celebration of flavor and tradition.

Ingredients Needed

To make a delicious Paneer Butter Masala, you’ll need a mix of fresh ingredients and fragrant spices. Here’s a comprehensive list to get you started:

Main Ingredients:

  • Paneer: 250 grams, cut into cubes (use store-bought or homemade)
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons
  • Cream: 1/2 cup (for a rich and creamy texture)

For the Masala Base:

  • Tomatoes: 4 medium-sized, pureed
  • Onions: 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
  • Garlic: 4 cloves, minced
  • Ginger: 1-inch piece, grated


  • Cumin Seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
  • Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves): 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

Additional Ingredients:

  • Cashews: 10-12, soaked in warm water and blended to a paste (optional, for extra creaminess)
  • Green Chilies: 2, slit lengthwise (optional, for extra heat)
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves: a handful, chopped (for garnish)


  • Paneer Butter Masala without Onion and Garlic:
  • Skip the onions and garlic.
  • Add a pinch of hing (asafoetida) to the cumin seeds for a similar depth of flavor.
  • Healthy Paneer Butter Masala without Cream:
  • Replace cream with 1/2 cup of milk or yogurt for a lighter version.
  • Vegan Alternative:
  • Substitute paneer with firm tofu.
  • Use plant-based butter and coconut cream instead of dairy.

By gathering these ingredients, you’ll be well-prepared to create an authentic and flavorful Paneer Butter Masala that can be customized to suit various dietary needs and preferences.

Step-by-Step Recipe Guide

Follow these detailed steps to prepare a mouthwatering Paneer Butter Masala right in your kitchen:

Step 1: Preparing the Paneer

  1. Cutting the Paneer: Slice 250 grams of paneer into cubes. You can adjust the size based on your preference.
  2. Frying the Paneer: In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the paneer cubes and sauté them until they turn light golden brown on all sides. This step adds a nice texture to the paneer. Once done, remove the paneer cubes and set them aside.

Step 2: Making the Masala Base

  1. Tempering: In the same pan, add another tablespoon of butter. Once melted, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  2. Sautéing Aromatics: Add 2 medium-sized finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown. Then, add 4 cloves of minced garlic and a 1-inch piece of grated ginger. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  3. Adding Spice Powders: Lower the heat and add 1 teaspoon of coriander powder, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of red chili powder (adjust to taste), and salt to taste. Stir well to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices, releasing their flavors.

Step 3: Cooking the Paneer Butter Masala

  1. Adding Tomato Puree: Pour in 4 medium-sized pureed tomatoes and mix everything well. Cook the mixture on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the oil begins to separate from the masala. This process intensifies the flavors.
  2. Enhancing Creaminess: Once the masala base is cooked, add the fried paneer cubes back into the pan. Optionally, you can add a paste made from 10-12 soaked cashews for extra creaminess.
  3. Simmering: Pour in 1/2 cup of cream (or substitute with milk or yogurt for a lighter version). Mix gently to coat the paneer evenly with the masala. Let it simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Step 4: Final Touches and Serving

  1. Adding Finishing Touches: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) over the dish and gently crush it between your palms before adding. This step enhances the aroma and flavor of the dish.
  2. Garnishing: Garnish with a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves for a burst of freshness.
  3. Serve Hot: Serve Paneer Butter Masala hot with naan, roti, or steamed basmati rice. Enjoy the creamy, aromatic goodness of this classic Indian dish!

By following these steps, you’ll be able to create a restaurant-style Paneer Butter Masala that’s sure to impress your family and friends. Adjust the spice levels and ingredients to suit your taste preferences and dietary requirements for a personalized culinary experience.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Paneer Butter Masala

Mastering Paneer Butter Masala requires attention to detail and a few insider tips to elevate your dish to restaurant-quality. Here are some valuable tips and tricks:

  1. Quality Ingredients: Use fresh and ripe tomatoes for the tomato puree and high-quality paneer for the best texture and taste.
  2. Paneer Preparation: Lightly fry the paneer cubes until golden brown before adding them to the masala. This step adds a delicious texture and prevents the paneer from crumbling.
  3. Balancing Flavors: Adjust the amount of red chili powder to suit your spice preference. For a milder version, reduce the chili powder and add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
  4. Creaminess: For a richer dish, use full-fat cream. If you prefer a lighter version, substitute cream with milk or yogurt. Alternatively, blend soaked cashews with water to create a creamy paste.
  5. Spice Enhancement: Toasting the spice powders (like coriander, garam masala, and turmeric) in butter enhances their flavors. Be careful not to burn them, as it can lead to a bitter taste.
  6. Layering Flavors: Allow the masala base to cook until the oil separates, indicating that the spices are well-incorporated and the tomatoes are cooked down. This step intensifies the flavors of the dish.
  7. Kasuri Methi Magic: Crush kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) between your palms before adding it to release its aroma. This herb adds a unique and aromatic flavor to Paneer Butter Masala.
  8. Garnishing: Freshly chopped coriander leaves not only add color but also freshness to the dish. Sprinkle them just before serving for a vibrant presentation.
  9. Resting Time: Let the prepared Paneer Butter Masala sit for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more harmonious taste.
  10. Storage and Reheating: Paneer Butter Masala can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of cream or milk to restore its creamy texture.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to prepare a tantalizing Paneer Butter Masala that rivals your favorite restaurant’s version. Experiment with these suggestions to tailor the dish to your taste preferences and enjoy the rich flavors of this classic Indian recipe!

Serving Suggestions for Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala pairs wonderfully with various accompaniments, enhancing its rich flavors and creamy texture. Here are some serving suggestions to elevate your dining experience:

  1. Indian Breads:
  • Naan: Serve warm, fluffy naan bread alongside Paneer Butter Masala to scoop up the creamy gravy.
  • Roti: Soft and thin whole wheat rotis complement the richness of the dish.
  1. Rice Dishes:
  • Steamed Basmati Rice: The fragrant and fluffy texture of basmati rice balances the creamy masala.
  • Jeera Rice: Cumin-flavored rice adds a subtle aroma and pairs well with the spiced flavors of the dish.
  1. Side Dishes:
  • Salad: A fresh, crisp salad with cucumber, tomatoes, and lettuce provides a refreshing contrast to the rich paneer curry.
  • Raita: A cooling side dish made with yogurt, cucumbers, and spices helps balance the heat of the spices in Paneer Butter Masala.
  1. Pickles and Chutneys:
  • Mango Pickle: Tangy and spicy mango pickle adds a punch of flavor that complements the creamy masala.
  • Mint Chutney: Fresh mint chutney enhances the freshness of the dish and adds a burst of herbaceous flavor.
  1. Garnishes:
  • Fresh Coriander: Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves on top of the Paneer Butter Masala for a vibrant color and added freshness.
  • Cream: A swirl of cream on top just before serving adds a luxurious touch and enhances the creamy texture.
  1. Beverage Pairings:
  • Lassi: A traditional Indian yogurt-based drink, both sweet and salty lassi varieties complement the spiciness of the dish.
  • Masala Chai: A warm and aromatic cup of masala chai tea balances the richness of Paneer Butter Masala with its comforting spices.
  1. Presentation Tips:
  • Serve Paneer Butter Masala in a traditional copper or ceramic bowl to retain its warmth and enhance its visual appeal.
  • Garnish the dish with a sprinkle of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) or a pinch of garam masala for an extra layer of flavor and aroma.

By incorporating these serving suggestions, you can create a complete and satisfying meal centered around Paneer Butter Masala, ensuring a delightful dining experience for yourself and your guests.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Paneer Butter Masala

Here are some common questions and answers to help you master the art of making Paneer Butter Masala:

  1. Can I make Paneer Butter Masala without cream?
  • Yes, you can substitute cream with milk or yogurt for a lighter version of Paneer Butter Masala. Alternatively, you can blend soaked cashews with water to create a creamy paste that mimics the richness of cream.
  1. How do I make Paneer Butter Masala without onion and garlic?
  • To make Paneer Butter Masala without onion and garlic, skip the sautéing step for these ingredients. Instead, increase the quantity of tomatoes or add extra cashew paste for thickness and flavor.
  1. Can I freeze Paneer Butter Masala?
  • Yes, Paneer Butter Masala freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating gently on the stove or in the microwave.
  1. What can I serve with Paneer Butter Masala?
  • Paneer Butter Masala pairs well with Indian breads such as naan or roti, as well as steamed basmati rice or jeera rice. Accompany it with a side of fresh salad, raita, and pickles for a complete meal experience.
  1. How spicy is Paneer Butter Masala?
  • The spiciness of Paneer Butter Masala can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. Adjust the amount of red chili powder or green chilies used in the recipe. You can also deseed the green chilies to reduce their heat.
  1. Can I make Paneer Butter Masala ahead of time?
  • Yes, you can prepare Paneer Butter Masala ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of cream or milk to restore its creamy texture before serving.
  1. How do I make Paneer Butter Masala vegan?
  • To make a vegan version of Paneer Butter Masala, substitute paneer with firm tofu and use plant-based butter or oil instead of dairy butter. Replace cream with coconut cream or a non-dairy milk of your choice.
  1. What is the difference between Paneer Butter Masala and Paneer Tikka Masala?
  • Paneer Butter Masala is typically creamier and milder in spice compared to Paneer Tikka Masala, which features marinated and grilled paneer pieces in a spicier tomato-based gravy. Both are popular North Indian dishes with rich flavors.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, you can enhance your understanding of Paneer Butter Masala and confidently prepare this delicious dish with variations to suit different dietary preferences and needs.


Paneer Butter Masala, with its creamy texture and rich flavors, embodies the essence of traditional North Indian cuisine. Through this guide, you’ve discovered how to create this beloved dish right in your own kitchen, whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out on your culinary journey.

By following the step-by-step recipe and incorporating tips to enhance its flavors, you can achieve restaurant-quality results that will delight your taste buds and impress your guests. From adjusting spice levels to exploring vegan or lighter versions, Paneer Butter Masala offers versatility to suit various dietary preferences without compromising on taste.

So, gather your ingredients, embrace the aromas of spices filling your kitchen, and embark on a culinary adventure that celebrates the richness and warmth of Indian flavors. Whether served with freshly baked naan, steamed basmati rice, or a side of refreshing raita, Paneer Butter Masala promises a memorable dining experience that brings people together.

Explore, experiment, and savor every bite of this iconic dish, knowing that you’ve mastered the art of making Paneer Butter Masala – a true classic that never fails to delight. Enjoy the journey of creating and sharing this culinary masterpiece with those you cherish.

Here’s to many more delicious moments around the dining table, celebrating the magic of Paneer Butter Masala.

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