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Butter Paneer Masala

Butter Paneer Masala


When I was in Little India (Toronto) picking up the alphonso mangoes at an Indian grocery store I took the opportunity to look for some paneer which I had been unable to find anywhere else. I was in luck as I found some bricks of the harder paneer and I picked some up right away. Over the last while I have been building a small list of recipes that I want to try that include paneer but since I had never been able to find any it just kept growing. The first recipe on my list was a butter paneer masala. The basics of a butter paneer masala seemed to be cubes of paneer that are fried in ghee until golden brown in an onion and tomato gravy with spices and ground cashews that is finished with butter and cream. One of the spices in this dish was garam masala which gave me the chance to use some of the garam masala that I had made a while ago. I decided to try to keep the dish a bit lighter and reduce the amount of butter and I replaced the cream with yogurt.

Many of the recipes that I found for the butter paneer masala called for soaking the paneer in water and I was not sure why until I had finished frying the paneer. The paneer was pretty hard after being fried and soaking it in the water softened it up a bit before adding it to the gravy. Needless to say, I tried some of the paneer before adding it to the gravy to see what it was like and it was just like a firm cheese with a crumbly texture on the inside. The paneer was pretty bland and flavourless but that was ok because it readily soaked up the flavours of the sauce that it was cooked in. The butter paneer masala was pretty straight forward and easy to make and it turned out really well. The onion and tomato gravy with cashews was nice and tasty and creamy with a hint of buttery. The paneer had a texture that I enjoyed and it had soaked up all of the tasty flavour from the sauce. I can't wait to use paneer again and now that I have more of an idea of what paneer is supposed to be I will have to try making my own.

Butter Paneer Masala

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups paneer (cut into bite sized cubes)
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion (pureed)
1 teaspoon garlic (grated)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
3 tablespoons cashews (ground)
1 cup tomato (pureed)
1 teaspoon coriander (ground)
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons yogurt
cilantro (chopped)

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a pan.
2. Add the paneer and fry until golden brown on all sides.
3. Let the paneer soak in warm water for 30 minutes.
4. Melt the butter in a pan.
5. Add the onion and saute until brown.
6. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
7. Add the chili powder, cashews, tomatoes, coriander, turmeric and garam masala and simmer for 5 minutes.
8. Add the paneer and simmer for 10 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and yogurt.

Similar Recipes:
Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
Palak Paneer
Cashew Chicken Curry
Egg Curry

75 comments:

Christina Kim said...

I'm a sucker for anything Indian, and this looks right up my alley! I love paneer, although I've never cooked with it at home. Once while out to an Indian lunch buffet with a friend, she ate a LOT of the saag paneer. She said, "This tofu is really good." I had to break it to her, it's actually cheese! Not nearly as healthy as tofu!

pinkstripes said...

OMG. I'm in heaven. This is something I would totally make/eat. I love paneer and Indian food. YUM.

meeso said...

Great recipe! Indian food is hard to resist :) Looks delicious!

Jessica said...

I love the beauty and simplicity of many of your dishes!

Suzer said...

Looks really easy and tasty...I love paneer. You should try the chickpea dish I did last week (no pics; I'm slack)...but leave out the liver.

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Your Butter paneer looks better than any I've seen Kevin! Well done. Actually, I never fry my paneer coz I think it becomes rubbery. I think they store it in water, like a lot of soft,fresh cheeses, to keep it fresh & cuc ocntact with air. I make the gravy first, & gently simmer the paneer in it in the end. Try smoking the poaneer to add a different flavout. I love that variation!

Dana said...

I love all those flavors! I love Indian food but have never cooked with Paneer before. I'll be sure to try it.

Shelly said...

This looks delicious, Kevin! I've wanted to experiment with paneer, and now I have the perfect recipe for it :)

Melissa said...

This looks great Kevin!

Gloria said...

I love Indian food Kevin, this dish is so nice and tasty!! xGloria

danamccauley said...

Kevin - paneer has been on my list as well! I have never worked with it but you've lit a fire that is going to make me prioritize an experiment like yours sometime soon!

Tessa said...

I love Indian food! Its so difficult to make here (Arizona) because the ingredients are nearly impossible to find. This looks delicious! I'm jealous you found paneer :(

Sean said...

One thing I do miss about living up in Canada (I don't miss shoveling the snow) is the local,cultural produce you could buy, especially in Toronto.

As always, I love the colors and going through the ingredient list, this sounds absolutely fantastic! Job well done Kevin!

Jaime said...

i love masala - have never had paneer though

Juliana said...

I like panner...but don't know where to but in Los Angeles area...can someone help me? Your panner masala looks so good

Soma said...

The best part of you blog is that how u experience cuisines around the world! This looks great & done in a very authentic way.

For me I never soak my paneer in water... & if I ever saute/saute it at all, i do it very lightly, & then cover & simmer in the gravy for longer, which makes it soaks up the flavor & the liquid of the gravy.

Kerstin said...

I'm so jealous you found paneer! I love Indian food and this looks so yummy.

ttfn300 said...

LOVE paneer, gotta find me some :)

Poornima Nair said...

Hey Kevin...thats the best butter paneer I've ever seen...looks so rich n creamy n I can't stop drooling.

Amanda said...

I had a terrible craving for paneer over the weekend! This is great. I might try working on making some homemade paneer.

Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

Another genius of a recipe, Kevin!

Let me share with you my recipe for quick, soft and spongy paneer: boil a liter of full cream milk; when it comes to the boil, add about a tbsp. of lemon juice; wait until the milk curdles and you get a clear whey; immediately pour into a strainer lined with muslin; hold under cool water (as for pasta)to remove the extra sourness and to stop the cooking process; tie into a tight bundle and rest for about 2 hours with a weight on top.

It always works!

Arch said...

Wow Kevin, you experiment with cuisine around the world and the results are always fantastic !! Brilliant blog !

Arch said...

and I tried your mango bread yesterday, turned out awesome...thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a marvelous dish! So falvorful and beautiful!

Cheers,

Rosa

Y said...

You seem to have a yellow/brown food theme going of late :D I haven't cooked with paneer yet, but love saag paneer. Butter paneer masala looks fantastic!

Cakebrain said...

Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my household with an inclination for Indian food. I love anything Indian! Your Butter Paneer Masala sure looks like it would hit the spot right about now. I'm craving some!

Jan said...

Ooooh YUM is all I have to say about this! Looks amazing.

homecooked said...

Wow Kevin...this looks amazing! Even better than what we get in restaurants here!

NIKKI said...

Yum! Indian food is my favorite. This looks wonderful. Good job.

Did you use canned tomato pure or fresh?

Gattina said...

Kevin, you've made my (one of) favorite dish!!! Can I bring some naan over :D :D

Krissy said...

Hi! You've got a really amazing blog here.

I'm also from Toronto, but I'm studying abroad. Reading your blog really makes me miss home and all of Toronto's diversity. (You won't be finding Little India or Chinatown in St Andrews, Scotland!)

Thanks for giving me a taste of home! :)

Happy cook said...

Paneer masala looks so yumm.
It is really easy to make paneer at home if you have time.
When i make them i make dubled portion of paner and freeze them.

Katie said...

Lovely colors, I bet it tasted great!

Bobby said...

This looks fantastic, I love Indian food!

Sara said...

This looks so interesting. I've never had anything like it before! My husband loves indian food, he'd be thrilled if I made this for him.

Ninette said...

My goodness, Kevin. You've outdone yourself. GORGEOUS!

Joanne said...

I love paneer but have never been able to find it to cook with it. This recipe is making me think that I just need to look harder!

Jeff said...

I love Indian food and learned something new about soaking paneer. I have been on a mission trying to find it and finally found a place. Unfortunately they were out but should have a shipment soon so keep your fingers crossed.

Good sub with the yogurt too.

Kelly said...

I am a real fan of Paneer. I make paneer fritters, mutter paneer, and even paneer and tandori chicken wraps. Your Butter Paneer Masala looks fantastic! All it needs is some of my homemade naan! ;)

Amanda Mae said...

oohh. I will keep my eye out for paneer. I love love Indian food, masala, curry, mmmmmm. Thanks for sharing.

oneshotbeyond said...

the flavors are all so strong and yummy...this is one of my favorite types of food. Your photographs are always so inviting...makes me want to dig in, but I can't {pout}.

Kevin said...

I like the things you're trying and I've added you to my scan list.

Bridgett said...

This looks heavenly! Just look at the color. I can imagine how delicious this is. Great recipe, Kevin.

Lisa said...

This is one of my favorite dishes. Your version looks fantastic. I've been to Little India and really enjoyed wandering around and looking through the stores. In London, I get my paneer at a nearby Indian grocery store. One of these days I will make my own.

lisaiscooking said...

The sauce looks fantastic!

Dawn said...

You are so lucky to have a little India? Oh man, no such thing here, maybe in Boston though, but it would be called really little India.
I love a good buttery (and I mean buttery) masala. Who gets to eat all your leftovers? LOL

Spryte said...

I had to look up paneer... but wow!! That looks great!!!

The Cast-Iron Darling said...

yum! i'll have to try that!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That looks fantastic and boy do I wish I had some right now. Beautiful presentation as well--I always find Indian food to be a tricky one to plate

Cynthia said...

Outstanding!

duodishes.com said...

Surely this must be spicy, creamy, buttery heaven? Surely.

Debbie said...

You're into the Indian Cooking for the last couple of weeks. :) This is the one Indian dish I have a hard time liking. Maybe because my Mother in law doesn't ever make it. Indian food is just not known for their cheese, not like the Italians right? I'm amused at how experimental you are with all ethnic dishes. I'm a frequent visitor for that reason as each time I click on your site I think to myself what else can this guy come up with? ;)

Natashya said...

I have always wanted to make this. I haven't found paneer here, I'll have to get into the city again soon. Looks delicious!

diva said...

delish!!! i am not a massive fan of curry...don't enjoy having the midnight curry sweats but they're always a treat, especially with warm naan bread. x

Kevin said...

NIKKI: I was going to use fresh but I forgot to pick them up at the grocery store. I ended up using whole canned tomatoes that I gave a whirl in the food processor.

Helene said...

What a beautiful dish. I would love to try it.

Justin Schwartz said...

whoa, this looks so good. i could eat this every day, no joke.

Muneeba said...

Ohhhhhhhh man ... I'm kicking myself for not picking up some paneer when I was at the indian grocery store yesterday! Kevin, your recipes haven't let me down yet ... so I'm pretty sure this tastes as great as it looks.

Kirby! said...

I LOVE cooking Indian food, and I LOVE paneer, but I have never used paneer in my own Indian cooking. I don't know why because it looks so delicious and simple!

Yasmeen said...

I made this spicy paneer dish for my brother recently,he just loves paneer. Paneer is lot like firm tofu in texture and soaks in all the yummy flavors.

eatme_delicious said...

OOo yum! I definitely have to try this. I've never thought of making butter paneer masala but it's such a great vegetarian option!

Rabbittrick said...

awesome! Indian food with a soul. Where Chinese food uses tofu with their dishes, paneer is of just the right texture for curry and all.

Brandi said...

I used your recipe with a few substitutions:
tofu for paneer, diced tomatoes for pureed, and sour cream instead of yogurt. I added more cashews at the end because the dish needed some texture.
Overall, a great dish! Thanks for sharing :)

Jeanne said...

That looks beautiful! I'm not a huge fan of paneer (just tooooo bland for me!) but ths sauce looks fantastic and I'm sure you could substitute chicken for the paneer too...

Kevin said...

Jeanne: Paneer is pretty flavourless but it has an amazing texture and is absorbs all of the flavours from the sauce.

Girl Foodie said...

Just gorgeous. I love paneer and this looks like a beautiful way to prepare it. I really will try this.
*bookmark*

Nisa Homey said...

Hi Kevin, first time here....A big hi from Kerala, South India...yes you are right paneer hardens after frying and we always soak in water...but to be on the healthier side for everyday cooking I omit the frying part...paneer butter masala looks yummmy...happy to follow u...visit my space for more Indian foods...http://nisahomey.blogspot.com

Jacki said...

mmm, sounds yummy! I make a similar dish but it has fenugreek leaves in the sauce. So yummy!
Also, do you make your own paneer? I always do mine, so easy! I made some tonight as a matter of fact! Delish!

Kevin said...

Jacki: Yep, I make my own paneer.

almostveg said...

I also make my own paneer. Since you like paneer, you might like this recipe with shah jeera - it has a very different aroma from other Indian spices and worth a try. The dish is very light despite the royal spice http://omnivore-almostveg.blogspot.com/2011/06/paneer-and-shahjeera-royal-match.html

Kevin said...

almostveg: Sounds good! Thanks! I am always looking for new ways to enjoy some home made paneer.

PURVA GUPTA said...

Hi Kevin, This is a very nice Paneer recipe. For all the folks who can't find Paneer. Below is a very easy way to prepare it at home.
Take a packet of milk, and bring it to boil. Turn the flame down and add some yogurt until the milk starts to seperate. Once that is done..drain the water and what you are left with is homemade Paneer.

Kevin said...

PURVA GUPTA: Thanks! I will have to try that!

Anonymous said...

such a confusing way of writing the recipe..It is a simple dish if you are a good cook.3 times you refer to 1 tablespoon of butter instead of writing 3 tablespoons of butter...

Kevin Lynch said...

Anonymous: I prefer to write the ingredients in the order that you use them in the recipe to avoid confusion.

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