You are going to want to swim in this creamy and buttery sauce…
Paneer butter masala might just be the most popular paneer dish ever. If you haven’t heard of it, then think: soft paneer in a creamy and buttery spiced tomato based sauce. You may also know this dish by another name: paneer makhani.
Paneer butter masala is similar to my popular butter chicken recipe and my butter chickpeas recipe, but it’s also a bit different in that I add cashews to this sauce. I like the addition of cashews to this paneer dish – it makes the sauce a little thicker and a little richer. If you don’t like cashews, you can use almonds or you can leave it out if you want.
The great thing about this dish is that it’s so simple to make, especially if you have my pre-made onion masala handy. You just heat up the ingredients and add the paneer. Simple and tasty.
This recipe is part of my onion masala series called: Onion Masala LOVE. This series started out with me sharing recipes using this masala all throughout the month of February but it has been so popular that I’m going to keep it going as long as there’s interest! My goal: to show you how easy it is to prepare Indian food on a daily basis.
Click on the image below to find out how to make onion masala, how to store it and to find other recipes that call for it!
I like using onion masala in this recipe because it adds a lot of flavor and there’s also no need to cook down the tomatoes. If you don’t have onion masala handy then you can try using canned tomato sauce as that’s already cooked down though I haven’t tested it this way for the blog.
I haven’t shared many paneer recipes on my blog but that’ll have to change as we eat a lot of paneer these days. If you’ve been a blog reader for awhile, then you know that I used to follow a pretty strict paleo diet when I first started this blog almost five years ago. Now, I am still gluten-free but I do eat dairy and legumes and pretty much everything else. If you are paleo, then you should know I actually have a dairy-free paneer recipe in my first Indian eBook which has 100+ paleo Indian recipes (if you decide to use dairy-free paneer, just add it in at the very end so it doesn’t melt!).
Nowadays I typically use store-bought paneer because it’s so easy to find at my local Indian store. I’ll share a recipe for homemade paneer some time over the summer though!
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup unsalted/raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 1 ¼ cups (frozen or thawed) onion masala
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon paprika or kashmiri chili (for color)
- ¾ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne, adjust to taste
- Pinch of dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi
- 1 (14 ounce) block Paneer, cubed
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream OR full-fat (unsweetened) coconut cream, to taste
- Add the water and cashews to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside for now.
- Add the ghee, onion masala and spices to a saucepan over low heat and allow it to simmer for a couple minutes (if using frozen masala then simmer until the masala melts).
- Pour the blended cashews into the saucepan along with the paneer and cook until the paneer is heated through.
- Stir in the cream and serve.
- This recipe is part of my onion masala series – be sure to check it out!