Paneer Butter Masala Recipe: A Culinary Delight from India

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Paneer butter masala recipe – Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as we delve into the enticing world of paneer butter masala. This beloved Indian dish, renowned for its creamy texture and vibrant flavors, is a symphony of spices and textures that will tantalize your taste buds.

From its humble origins to its global acclaim, paneer butter masala has captured the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide. Its versatility allows for endless variations, making it a dish that can be enjoyed by all.


Paneer butter masala is a popular dish in India and around the world. It is a creamy, flavorful curry made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese), tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and spices. The dish is said to have originated in Punjab, India, in the 1950s.

It is believed that a restaurant owner named Kundan Lal Gujral created the dish by accident when he added butter and tomato puree to a paneer dish.

Paneer butter masala is a versatile dish that can be served with rice, naan, or roti. It is also a popular dish for parties and special occasions.

Interesting Facts

  • Paneer butter masala is one of the most popular dishes in India.
  • The dish is said to have been created by accident.
  • Paneer butter masala is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of sides.


Paneer butter masala is a rich and flavorful Indian dish that combines the soft texture of paneer (Indian cheese) with a creamy tomato-based sauce. The dish is characterized by its vibrant orange-red color and its aromatic blend of spices.

To make paneer butter masala, you will need the following ingredients:

Base Ingredients

  • Paneer: Paneer is a type of Indian cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It has a mild flavor and a firm texture that makes it ideal for frying or grilling.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes provide the base for the sauce in paneer butter masala. They are blended into a smooth puree and cooked with onions and garlic to create a flavorful base.
  • Onion: Onions add sweetness and depth of flavor to the sauce. They are finely chopped and cooked until they are translucent.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a pungent flavor to the sauce. It is minced and cooked with the onions.
  • Ginger: Ginger adds a warm and spicy flavor to the sauce. It is minced and cooked with the onions and garlic.


  • Cumin: Cumin is a warm and earthy spice that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It is added to the sauce whole and toasted until it is fragrant.
  • Coriander: Coriander is a citrusy and slightly sweet spice that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It is added to the sauce ground and toasted until it is fragrant.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It adds a warm and slightly bitter flavor to the sauce.
  • Red chili powder: Red chili powder adds heat to the sauce. It is made from dried red chilies that have been ground into a powder.
  • Garam masala: Garam masala is a blend of spices that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It typically includes cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg.


  • Bay leaf: Bay leaf adds a subtle flavor to the sauce. It is added whole and removed before serving.
  • Fenugreek leaves: Fenugreek leaves add a slightly bitter flavor to the sauce. They are added fresh and removed before serving.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro adds a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the dish. It is added fresh and sprinkled on top before serving.

Substitutes and Variations

There are many substitutes and variations that you can make to the ingredients in paneer butter masala. For example, you can use tofu or tempeh instead of paneer. You can also use a different type of tomato sauce, such as marinara sauce or tomato puree.

If you don’t have garam masala, you can substitute a blend of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg.

Did you know that the smooth, creamy paneer butter masala can be paired with a zesty and refreshing margarita? If you’re looking for an easy and delicious cocktail to complement your meal, check out this easy margarita recipe . Made with just a few simple ingredients, this classic cocktail will perfectly balance the richness of the paneer butter masala.

Enjoy a delightful culinary experience by pairing these two dishes!

Step-by-Step s

Crafting Paneer Butter Masala is an enchanting culinary journey that unveils a symphony of flavors. Follow these meticulously detailed s to recreate this delectable dish in the comfort of your own kitchen:

This step-by-step guide will lead you through the preparation, cooking, and finishing stages, ensuring a delectable outcome that will tantalize your taste buds.

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It’s moist, fluffy, and full of banana flavor. Once you’ve tried this banana bread, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought again. Now, let’s get back to our paneer butter masala recipe.


  • Gather your ingredients and ensure they are fresh and of high quality.
  • Rinse and drain the paneer cubes, gently patting them dry to remove excess moisture.
  • Prepare the marinade by combining the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, salt, and lemon juice.
  • Marinate the paneer cubes in the prepared marinade for at least 30 minutes, or ideally overnight, allowing the flavors to penetrate deeply.

Tips and Techniques: Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

To enhance the flavor and texture of your paneer butter masala, follow these expert tips:

The key to a creamy, flavorful sauce lies in using a combination of whole spices and ground spices. Whole spices like bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom pods release their aroma and flavor slowly, while ground spices like coriander, cumin, and turmeric provide a rich, earthy base.

Remember to toast the whole spices before adding them to the sauce to unlock their full potential.

Cooking the Paneer

For tender and juicy paneer, marinate it in a mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, and spices before cooking. This marinade helps to break down the proteins in the paneer, resulting in a softer texture. Additionally, grilling or pan-frying the paneer adds a smoky flavor that complements the creamy sauce.

Variations and Accompaniments

Paneer butter masala recipe

Paneer butter masala is a versatile dish that lends itself to numerous variations. Experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own unique version.

Add vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, or peas to the sauce for a colorful and nutritious twist. Enhance the richness by incorporating nuts like cashews or almonds into the gravy. Experiment with alternative spices like cumin, coriander, or fenugreek to create distinct flavor profiles.

Paneer butter masala is a delicious Indian dish made with paneer (a type of cheese) and a creamy tomato-based sauce. If you’re looking for a different flavor, try chow fun , a stir-fried noodle dish popular in Cantonese cuisine. It’s made with wide rice noodles, vegetables, and a savory sauce.

Once you’ve tried chow fun, come back to the classic flavors of paneer butter masala, where the soft paneer and rich sauce will surely satisfy your taste buds.


Traditionally, paneer butter masala is paired with rice or naan. However, it can also be enjoyed with other accompaniments such as roti, paratha, or even pasta.

Salads provide a refreshing contrast to the creamy sauce. Consider a simple green salad, a cucumber-tomato salad, or a raita (yogurt-based dip) to balance the flavors.

Regional Variations

Paneer butter masala has undergone regional variations as it has spread throughout India. In Punjab, it is often made with a thicker gravy and a hint of sweetness. In Kashmir, the gravy is typically lighter and infused with aromatic spices like saffron.

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So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Once you’ve tried some of our other recipes, come back and give paneer butter masala a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Cultural influences have also shaped the dish. The use of tomatoes and cream in the sauce is attributed to the influence of British colonial rule. Over time, paneer butter masala has evolved into a beloved dish that reflects the diverse culinary heritage of India.

Nutritional Information and Health Benefits

Paneer butter masala is a rich and flavorful dish, but it’s important to consider its nutritional value. This dish is high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, making it a less healthy option for everyday consumption.

However, the ingredients used in paneer butter masala offer some health benefits. Paneer is a good source of protein and calcium, while tomatoes are rich in antioxidants. The spices used in the dish, such as turmeric and cumin, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Making Healthier Versions, Paneer butter masala recipe

If you’re looking to make a healthier version of paneer butter masala, here are a few tips:

  • Use low-fat milk or yogurt to make the gravy.
  • Reduce the amount of butter or ghee used.
  • Add more vegetables to the dish, such as bell peppers, carrots, or peas.
  • Serve the dish with brown rice or roti instead of white rice.

Presentation and Serving Suggestions

Paneer butter masala is a dish that is traditionally presented in a creamy, orange-colored sauce, garnished with fresh coriander leaves. It is often served with naan or rice, and can be accompanied by other dishes such as raita or pickles.

To enhance the visual appeal of the dish, you can try the following garnishing ideas:

Garnishing Ideas

  • Sprinkle chopped nuts, such as almonds or pistachios, on top of the dish.
  • Add a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream to the center of the dish.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, such as cilantro, mint, or basil.
  • Drizzle a thin stream of cream or melted butter around the edges of the dish.

For special occasions or gatherings, you can try the following creative serving suggestions:

Creative Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the paneer butter masala in individual ramekins or small bowls.
  • Create a “paneer butter masala bar” where guests can add their own toppings, such as chopped onions, peppers, or cheese.
  • Use the paneer butter masala as a filling for naan or paratha bread.
  • Serve the paneer butter masala with a side of crispy papadums.


As we bid farewell to this culinary exploration, let the flavors of paneer butter masala linger in your memory. Whether you savor it as a main course or indulge in its creamy goodness as a side dish, this delectable creation is sure to leave a lasting impression.

So gather your ingredients, ignite your stove, and embark on a culinary journey that will transport you to the vibrant streets of India. Bon app├ętit!