Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter masala is a rich creamy tomato onion based gravy that is served along with Naan, Kulcha, roti and phulka. This is one of the most commonly ordered items in Indian restaurants by many people.  Though there are so many gravies with paneer like Paneer tikka masala, palak paneer, Paneer Pasanda, this still has many fans. So this can be called as the king of all Paneer recipes. I have made this gravy into parts like – white base, red base, tomato puree, final step. If you have White Base and Red Base in hand, you can make this gravy in no time.  This recipe is so easy to make.  You can adjust the spices slightly according to your taste but the making of the base is standardised.


White Base

Cashews – 20

White Sesame – 1 tbsp

Poppy seeds -1/2 tbsp

Water – to boil

Red Base

Onion -2

Bedigi / Kashmiri chilli – 3

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Water – To boil

Tomato Puree

Farm tomatoes – 3

Water – To blanch


Bay leaf – 2

Cinnamon – 1 stick

Marathi mokkku – 1

Star anise – 2

Cardamom – 5

Coves – 6

Spice powder

Garam masala – 1.5 tp

Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – To taste

Other ingredients

Butter – 1 tbsp

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Onion – 1 (finely chopped)

Tomato – 1 (finely chopped)

Paneer – 200 g ( Cut into cubes )

Sugar – 1 tsp

Curd – 1 ladle (optional)

For Garnishing

Kasuri methi  – 1 tsp

Cashews – 10

Fresh Cream – 1 tsp

White Base

  • In a vessel add cashews, white sesame seeds, poppy seeds.
  • Add water and allow it to boil until the cashews become soft.  Donot add too much of water.
  • Turn off the stove and allow it to cool.
  • Grind it to a fine paste.
  • White base is ready.

Red base

  • Chop onions into big chunks.
  • Add onions, red chilli, turmeric powder into the vessel.
  • Add water and allow it to boil.
  • Once cooled down, grind it to a fine paste.
  • Red base is ready.

Tomato puree

  • Blanch the tomatoes.
  • Add water into a vessel and add the tomatoes.
  • Blanch until the skin starts coming out.
  • Allow it to cool. Peel off the skin.
  • Add the tomatoes into the mixie jar and grind it to a fine puree.
  • Tomato puree is ready.

Final step

  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, add butter and fry cashews until golden brown.
  • Remove the cashews and keep it in a separate bowl.
  • In the same pan, add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, marathi mokku, star anise and saute until you get a nice aroma.
  • Then add ginger garlic paste until the raw smell goes off. Take care and saute in medium flame else it will stick to the bottom.
  • Add finely chopped onions, saute until they turn transparent. Then add finely chopped tomatoes and saute well.
  • Into this add garam masala powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Once the onion & tomato are sauteed well, add the red base and tomato puree.
  • Allow it to cook for two minutes and add sugar.
  • At this stage we can also add curd. This is purely optional. You can also skip this step.
  • Mix well and add white base. It gives richness to the gravy.
  • Allow them to boil for three minutes and then add Paneer cubes. Mix well.
  • Finally garnish it with fried cashews and kasuri methi.
  • Serve it with Naan, Kucha, roti, chappathi, phulka.

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