Paneer/Tofu Dishes, Punjabi Cooking
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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.





  1. Sharmilee! :) says

    Truely delicious…luv PB masala and urs look perfect. Addition of chai masala sounds interesting n new to me

  2. Ushnish Ghosh says

    Dear Sanjana
    Thanks for the last photo and that one spoon of the dish which has my name written on it…
    Very nice..This is one dish, where I prefer paneer over chicken ( generally I dont eat chicken).. I am going to try this soon. I haven't developed taste for raw paneer so far ( I always use fried paneer, the fragrance of fried paneer is irresistible but not used in this dish )
    I will be off blog for some time.. and will make this after that..
    The commercial videos dont give measurement of all ingredients is their bread and butter..They cant afford to divulge the secrets..
    Oh yes your Paneer making process is visible again…thanks
    Take care and have a nice week ahead

  3. Imwaytoobusy says

    Wow, this looks amazing! I haven't seen anything like it before. Great post (and fantastic photos)!

  4. Cardamom Hills says

    gosh! i luv butter paneer n sanjay is my fav chef too…usually the measurement scroll on the screen as he says them out…never seen his paneer butter video though….

  5. The Mom Chef says

    Wow, that looks fantastic. I wish I could be there just to smell the aroma of all those spices. I'll bet it's fantastic. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Vaishali Sharma says

    Loooks so delicious!! My hubby is a paneer lover so I too make a lot of paneer dishes. Last week i made Kadhai Paneer in this type of gravy and fenugreek leaves! It was delicious!

    These pics wants me to get a hot butter naan and indulge myself in this delicious bowl of paneer butter masala. Yummmmy!

  7. Anukampa says

    Hey Sanjana,

    Paneer butter masala looks amazing,delicious and so soft paneer cubes. This looks like an professional work. What a great cook you are.

  8. Vandana Rajesh says

    Paneer butter masala is one of my daughter's fav paneer dishes..urs looks very creamy and delicious.

  9. The Mistress of Spices says

    I made Sanjay Thumma's recipe as well. It's so easy and absolutely delicious…the first time I got this kind of result with paneer butter masala! Your post and photos are beautiful.

  10. Kimberly Peterson says

    This looks absolutely DIVINE!! I will have one serve to take away, thank you!! 🙂

  11. Mr. P says

    WANT! Omg, how I want.

    Bring this over for dinner right now. It's £13 on National Express. I'll cover that and the nan! 🙂

  12. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal says

    It cannot get any better than this. Why was I not there when you made it. I am drooling all over it.

  13. Anonymous says

    Hi Sanjana,
    The idea of using chai masala is AWSOME!!!!
    It delivers just the right amount of subtle fragrance of the aromatic cardamom,dried ginger,nutmeg,black pepper and cloves without the heat. Sounds truely delicious. Keep up the good work – love the site – AWSOME!!!!

  14. penny aka jeroxie says

    that does look and sound amazing. Should do a iip theme based on paneer… will be interesting

  15. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says

    I love papad (in the background I believe) and this creamy curry sounds ah-mazing. Wish I could order some delivered to me :).

  16. Anonymous says

    Made it for lunch today. It turned out great, and was ready in a jiffy! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  17. meeso says

    Oh wow… I'm not a huge paneer fan but I can imagine how delicious this is and I'm sure I'd eat it up!

  18. Hi Sanjana, I'm glad to find you! I'm Gujarati too, live in Australia. 🙂 I'm definitely going to try your version of paneer butter masala. Sound interesting. Will follow ur blog from now onwards. 🙂

  19. Anumeha says

    As Lorelai Gilomre once famously quipped, "Is it possible to physically make love to a beverage?" Except instead of a beverage its this luscious paneer creation and instead of Lorelai gilmore its this hardcore carnivore that is slowly being converted to the religion of vegetarianism thanks to decadent stuff such as this! brava!

  20. Taryn Aleece says

    I made this last night and it was my first ever success of making a curry from scratch (success is defined as loving it and wanting to make it again!). I often make my own paneer and this just made it better – thank you! I'd love to see a recipe for paneer jalfrezi, if you have one. Thanks again.

  21. Nessa says

    I tried this recipe yesterday including homemade paneer and naan.
    It was delicious! Thank you!

  22. Madhavi says

    Hi Sanjana! Can you please tell me what a “Chai Masala” is?
    Thanks so much!

    • Sanjana says

      Hi. Chai masala is a blend of spices used for flavouring tea. You can buy it ready made. Read all about chai and chai masala here: Cardamom Chai

  23. Madhavi says

    Thanks so much for sharing this incredible recipe! I made this for a family get together, and it was such a hit! My husband said this is the best paneer dish he ever had 😉

  24. Pingback: How to feel rich for a quid: make cheese #2 and palak paneer | WTF Do I Eat Tonight?

  25. Ewan says

    Hello, thank you for your recipes (I make the biryani, gobi musallam, and others regularly).

    Can I just double check something about this recipe — it asks for one cup of double cream, which is about 240 ml. Is this right? — it seems like a very generous amount for four servings of a savoury dish.

    Many thanks.

  26. Jovita Cast says

    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 :'(

    • 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

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