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Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani

The soft paneer soaked in the creamy buttery gravy makes one of the best sides for Naan (flat bread) , Jeera rice or pulav.  Butter masala is universal favorite be it veggie version or non-veg.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 4


  • Fresh Panner - about One cup cubed
  • Onion - 1 small finely chopped
  • Tomato - 1/2 finley
  • Cumin/Jeera/Jeeragam - 1 -2 tsp
  • Bay leaf/Tej patta/ Birinji elai - 1
  • Butter - 3 Tbs You can replace it with oil and call it Paneer masala ; )
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili - 1 tsp optional
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Kasoori methi - 2 pinches
  • Cream or whole milk to garnish

For Gravy

  • Tomato - 2 medium cubed
  • Onion - 1 medium cubed
  • Ginger - 1 small piece
  • Garlic- 3 cloves
  • Green chilis - 2
  • Whole Milk - 1 to 2 cups
  • Peprika or Kashmiri chlli powder - 1/2 tbs or any other red pepper that will add color
  • Cloves - 4- 5
  • Cardamom - 2-3
  • Mace - 1/2


  • In a pan add about 1 tbs of butter. Once butter is hot add the tomato, onion, ginger, garlic and the whole spices and saute it for a minute or two
  • Add the milk and green chilis to the veggies and let it all cook in the milk.
  • Cooking in the milk gives a good texture and consistency.
  • When the mix is cooked set it aside to cool. When cool grind it into a smooth paste.
  • Fish out the whole masala from this mixture and use later in the recipe.
  • In the same pan , add in the remaining 2 Tbs butter and let it heat.
  • Add the jeera, bayleaf and the fished out masala form the gravy mix .
  • Now add in the finely chopped onion, turmeric and tomato the tadka and cook well.
  • Add in the paprik or kashmiri chilli powders and let the mixture cook till almost fried in butter and a
  • Now add in the ground paste to this and let the mixture along with salt and garam masala and cook well. Add water as needed.
  • Once the butter separates from the gravy add in the panner pieces and let it cook for 5 mins.
  • Once heat is turned off crush and add the kasoori methi to the mix and garnish with cream. I used whole milk as I did not have cream.