Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani)

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This is the easiest way to make paneer butter masala. Mix a few ingredients together on the stovetop and you’ll have this restaurant-worthy dish ready in minutes.

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

What is Paneer Butter Masala?

Paneer butter masala might be the most popular paneer dish ever. If you haven’t heard of it, think soft paneer in a creamy and buttery, well-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 adding cashews with the paneer – it makes the sauce a little thicker and a little richer. If you don’t like cashews, you can use almonds or leave the nuts out if you want.

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

Why Use Onion Masala

The great thing about this particular recipe for paneer butter masala is that it’s easy. It takes minutes, thanks to my pre-made onion masala. All you need to do is heat the ingredients and add the paneer. That’s it.

By making a big batch of onion masala one day, you can prepare meals like this one with very little effort. You don’t need to cook down tomatoes daily, just do it once and keep the masala in the freezer and use it as needed. 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.

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

Serve this paneer makhani with Indian flatbread (naan or roti) or basmati rice. To make this more of a complete meal, add one or two of these dishes too:

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)
Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani)

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani)

4.87 from 15 reviews
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Servings 4 -5

Ingredients
 

Spices

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Helen says

    5 stars
    This was totally delicious! I used almond flour (ground almonds) instead of cashews because that’s what I had on hand. This was my first onion masala recipe and the flavour are really impressive — I can’t wait to try more!

  2. Emily says

    Love it! I hate cleaning my blender, so I make extra cashew/water blend and freeze it for next time—works great. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Hema says

    5 stars
    Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.

  4. Shadow says

    5 stars
    Basket of gratitude from England!

    I came across this recipe when looking for an authentic Indian flavor. And boy, does it get more authentic than this! You’ve put together a fantastic combination of the onion masala recipe and this. Simply can’t say enough “thank yous”. Only thing I struggled with was, being English, I had to work out what the American cups were in grams. It would be nice to have the metric measurements in brackets but this recipe is worth the extra work!

  5. Jasmine says

    So easy and quite flavorful! My family never ate paneer growing up but I made this today and they really liked it! I added mattar to this since I prefer a thicker gravy and your other recipe showed a thinner gravy. The consistency of this one was closest to a restaurant style mattar paneer I’ve ever tried (I’ve cycled through maybe 4 or 5 recipes so far). I did add about a teaspoon of sugar; in the future maybe I’ll try upping the cream? I was looking for that kind of sweet flavor that restaurant MP often has. Any idea what that might be?

    All in all, a keeper with some tweaking of spices to suit my personal tastes. 👍🏽

  6. Vidya says

    Random question: I’m not a fan of the hassle of frying anything in oil, but I feel like paneer recipes just aren’t the if not fried. Have you ever tried air fryer paneer????

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Gouri, I’ve tried cashew butter as a substitute for blended cashews and water, but for some reason, the taste isn’t quite the same. If you try it though, let me know what you think!

  7. AKB says

    5 stars
    I am so happy I stumbled on the onion masala recipe.

    Once you have the onion masala, making the paneer makhani is absurdly easy and quick. It only took about 10 minutes to put together. And it has better depth of flavor than other makhani recipes I’ve tried.

    I can’t wait to try the other onion masala recipes.

  8. Dagmara says

    5 stars
    This is a wonderful recipe, and easy once you have the onion masala! I even made my own paneer, so it’s extra-homemade 😉

  9. mary says

    5 stars
    wow this was absolutely amazing, just like everything else I’ve tried on your website! Ashley you are just incredible for sharing all of these recipes and I am sooo thankful I found your site. It’s the only site I go to now for indian food. Your recipes are spot on and easy! Whenever someone gives me credit for something I’ve made, I ALWAYS tell them to check out your blog. Thank you thank you thank you!

  10. Deepi says

    Hi Ashley, I never leave comments, EVER! But you have changed my life. My husband and I work full-time, have no family around, and have a lovely toddler at home. As vegetarians (and kids-at-heart who miss their mothers’ cooking), we just can’t survive without Indian food. We tried, but ended up eating variations of pizza/pasta and never felt satiated. I also had an instant pot, but couldn’t get the hang of it and hated scrolling the internet for recipes that may or may not work.

    Your masala series changed my life. It tastes like mom’s food, it’s SOOOO easy, and super quick. Currently, we are stuck at home during the pandemic, which means more meals together, I can’t rely on outsourced food or social eating, and we need variety. Luckily I made/froze masala before it fully hit and am pretty much using the masala series full-time. For example, after a crazy day at work and balance a child at home, I was able to throw minimal ingredients in the instant pot for langar dal and still go for a walk with my family before dinner. I couldn’t have done it without you. Keep adding to the series and then publish, I’ll be the first to buy that cookbook 🙂

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Deepi! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment and for the kind words! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the onion masala series and that you’re finding it helpful during these tough times. I hope you and your family are doing well!

  11. Gitali says

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this delicious Paneer recipe. I am not a good cook but your recipes make me feel so proud of myself. Made this recipe for our housewarming party & guests loved it. They actually took some leftovers with them. Super delicious & so quick to make. Thanks for making our lives easier with onion masala preparation too!

  12. Jenita says

    4 stars
    This recipe is so easy to make…. had 2 vegetarian friends drop in on superbowl sunday without much advanced notice and i made this recipe with firm tofu (coz I didnt have any paneer on hand) and they loved it. I served this along with Ashley’s lemon rice. Dinner was ready in 30 mins and it was delicious… I am now out of onion masala and that’s my weekend activity

  13. Lee says

    5 stars
    One word: WOW! This recipe rocks. I made a big batch of onion masala and had about a cup and just a smidge more than a quarter that wouldn’t fit in my freezer, so I decided to try this.

    And it’s amazing!! I did make it with the cashews. I didn’t have any heavy cream or coconut milk/cream, so I subbed a heaping spoonful of Greek yogurt mixed with enough milk to make it “cream-like”… and it was phenomenal. The closest taste-match I have ever gotten to my favorite Indian restaurant. I am already dreaming of leftovers… I anticipate I will make this again sooner than I should!

  14. Ash says

    Hi Ashley, I live in UK and we don’t use cups here. Any idea how much 1 cup of onion masala is, in grams? Many thanks 🙂

  15. Melanie says

    I love your onion masala and this is my favorite recipe to make with it. It tastes amazing!! Thank you so much for your recipes. 🙂

  16. Heena says

    Hi Ashley – I would like to make this recipe for 12 people for a Diwali party. Any recommendation on how to adjust measurements? Thanks

  17. Pooja says

    Hi Ashley, if I do not have onion masala already made, then what’s the quantity of onion, ginger, garlic, tomato to saute? Thanks!

  18. U Sen says

    Hi Ashley – I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m so excited to try your recipes. Do you happen to have an instant pot version of this one, or an easy formula for converting regular recipes to instant pot? Thank you!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi! Paneer really doesn’t need to be pressure cooked and the onion masala is already cooked so if you still want to make this in an IP then I’d just do everything on saute mode 🙂 Hope that helps!

  19. Kishan says

    Hey Ashley,

    Tried this recipe today and it turned out to be perfect. Well received by the family at dinner table!

    Thanks for sharing.

    – Kishan