Paneer Butter masala (Restaurant style) recipe | Paneer Makhani recipe with detailed notes, tips and recipe video. Rich and creamy, mild spicy this delicious tomato based creamy gravy is made with cashews, onion free and of course butter! Make this easy restaurant style paneer gravy at home to impress your loved ones.
What I learned while I stayed in Pune ? – To eat, cook and live life to the fullest. Really, one of the best times of my life with amazing friends. After work, we used to cook every evening, and wait for all 9 of us to be back home, and then have dinner together. We usually make South Indian food almost all days. Thanks to the cravings and when one of us begins to talk about yummy food, missing home, Chennai restaurants, filter coffee, there we go – immediately to restaurant nearby. First thing that comes default from us, ‘Bhaiya, 9 Naan, 2 Paneer Butter Masala’ rest follows. There has to be Paneer butter masala and I love paneer. If you had checked my Malai Paneer, you know how I love North Indian gravies. So YUM. Who doesn’t love this paneer butter masala ? I remember, when my dad was finalizing the menu for my engagement party, I insisted there should be Paneer butter masala and Naan.. I love paneer, Period!
Back in Chennai, there is a local restaurant near by and is around 40 years. Pure Vegetarian restaurant, you get the best street food there. ‘Ganapathy Hotel’, I love their Paneer Butter masala, Parota Kurma, idli sambar. Wow, I am drooling as I am writing about it. This time when I went to India for vacation, sure I did not miss their Paneer butter masala, creamy, rich tomato based sauce, and the soft paneer beautifully floating on the top of the buttery, oil glazed gravy – OMG.. I love it.
One of the chefs who work in that restaurant is my dad’s friend and last time when we visited Chennai, I mentioned how much I love their Paneer butter masala and miss Chennai food abroad. He was kind enough to share their basic tomato based gravy that they use for most of their North Indian delicacies. I tried it at home and Viola! I recreated it. Boys approved it and enjoyed this lip smacking paneer butter masala.
This is the closest to their recipe and I loved making it. So effortless, easy to make, no onions, so rich, so creamy, absolutely delicious. Hence, I am sharing the recipe with you all! This gravy demands so much butter and oil, and once in a while, I think it is okay to have this heavenly Paneer Makhini. In this adapted version, I have reduced the butter amount as GS will be intimidated seeing the butter/oil floating on the top. 🙂
You might also like other Gravy & Curry Recipes which pairs great with roti, Chapathi and pulao.
Things to note
Soaking cashews in hot water for 15-20 minutes makes it easy to grind. DO not skip the cashews, as they enhance the taste, gives the creamy rich gravy for the butter masala.
Always use ripe and fresh tomatoes. Roma tomatoes works great than the normal ones. Ripe tomatoes gives the sweet taste and vibrant color to the gravy. The tomatoes should not be sour otherwise the gravy taste will be different.
If you want to make this recipe garlic free, you can skip garlic and sauce only ginger. Sauting grated ginger garlic enhances the taste of the gravy. I would suggest you to use grated ginger and garlic rather than ginger garlic paste. 4-5 garlic cloves – 1/2 Tbsp grated garlic and 1″ ginger – 1/2 tbsp grated ginger. Saute the ginger garlic in medium low flame until the raw smell leaves. This step is essential and gives an amazing flavor.
This gravy demands at least 1/4 cup – 4 tbsp of butter. I have used unsalted butter. DO not compromise of the butter, you will not get the rich and creamy texture and flavor in this paneer butter masala. To make the gravy, I have added 1 tbsp butter + 2 tbsp oil. You can use any neutral oil ( I have used corn oil).
Temper the spices
Another key step to make the restaurant style gravy is tempering the whole spices in butter. Basically this gravy is rich in cream and butter and mild spicy. So tempering the spices in butter gives an amazing aroma and lovely flavor to the gravy. DO not miss it and try for yourself.
Cook the gravy in medium-low flame
After adding the ground tomato based gravy to the pan, it has to be cooked well and should thicken. There should not be raw smell of the spice powders. You can use Kashmiri Red chili and Red chili powder. Adjust spice level accordingly. The simmer the gravy thickens, the more flavor and tasty the gravy becomes. Allow the gravy to cook and thicken in medium low flame and continuously keep stirring the tomato puree, so it won’t get burnt.
I have used about 1/2 cup cream. You can adjust according to your taste. I reserved the half for later to garnish before serving. If you do not have cream you can replace with milk, however the taste of gravy might be thin and not creamy. Did you know making homemade cream is easy? I will share a detailed recipe on that later, but for now :-
Take 1/4 cup butter and melt in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Once the butter melts, add 1-2 tbsp of melted melted butter to 1/2 cup of whole milk (boiled and cooled). Stir well so that butter is incorporated with the milk. Now pour this milk+butter mixture to the saucepan and keep stirring on medium low flame. Once the milk is warm and do not let it boil, before that point remove from the stove. Transfer this to a blender or a beater and beat until turns thick and creamy. (might take 4-5 minutes) Ta-da homemade cream is ready to use.!
I have used first 1/4 tsp of Garam Masala while making the gravy, ( note also tempered the whole spices) and reserved another 1/4 tsp after making the gravy to garnish. This is Optional, but gives a nice aroma and taste to the gravy. If you feel 1/4 tsp if enough for you, skip adding the 1/4 tsp of masala powder at the end.
Lets check out the recipe
Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala Recipe | Easy Paneer Makhani
- 200 g Paneer cubed
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 cup Fresh cream
- 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri red chili or red chili powder
- 1/4 Garam masala Plus 1/4 Tsp to garnish -Optional
- 1/2 Cup Fresh cream
- 1/2 tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp Kasoori methi
- 2 Tbsp Coriander leaves chopped
To Soak & Grind
- 15-20 Whole cashews
- 1/2 cup Hot water
To Roast and Grind
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Grated
- 1/2 Tbsp Ginger Grated
- 3-4 Tomatoes ripe and chopped
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Green cardamom
- 1" Cinnamon
- 1 Bay leaf broken
- 1 Green chili slit
- Firstly, in a small bowl add 15-20 whole cashews, add 1/2 cup hot water and soak for 15-20 minutes. Grind them into a fine paste and keep aside.
- Bring a wide-bottomed pan over medium heat.
- Now, add 2 Tbsp butter and let it melt.
- Once the butter melts, add 1/2 tbsp grated ginger and 1/2 tbsp grated garlic.
- Saute the ginger-garlic in medium-low heat for about 3-4 minutes until the raw smell leaves.
- Secondly, add the roughly chopped tomatoes to the pan and continue to saute the tomatoes until they turn soft and mushy.
- Switch off the flame, cool completely, and grind this mixture into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- Furthermore, bring the same pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil. Let it melt.
- Add the spices under 'To Temper' one by one and let it sputter.
- Saute the spices briefly for a min or two until it turns aromatic.
- To this, add the ground tomato puree and mix well.
- Along with this add the spice powders - 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri red chili or red chili powder, 1/4 Tsp Garam masala, and salt.
- Give a quick mix to combine well and let this mixture thicken and there should not be any raw smell of the spices.
- This might take around 10 minutes.
- Once the gravy thickens, add the ground cashew paste and give a quick mix.
- along with this add 1 cup of water and let the gravy boil for 10 minutes in medium-low flame.
- Once the oil oozes out from the butter, add the cubed paneer, fresh cream, sugar, and mix gently.
- Let the paneer cook in the gravy along with the cream for about 3-4 minutes in medium-low flame or low flame. The gravy should be thick and creamy inconsistency. Now add 1-2 tbsp butter.
- Switch off the flame, add the crushed Kasuri methi, coriander leaves chopped, and 1/4 Tsp garam masala.
- Mix gently and serve the creamy rich paneer butter masala with naan, roti, chapati, or any pulao of your choice.