The Jain paneer butter masala is modified from the original paneer butter masala. What we are trying to attempt is unique. Ginger, garlic & onion are essential items in Punjabi recipes.

Hence, it will be critical to maintaining the taste, texture, & aroma without ginger, garlic, & onion. If you observe closely, we will make a Punjabi dish in a typical Jain style. Let’s get started.

How’s the Taste without Onion, Ginger & Garlic?

You will hardly realize the difference in taste. On the contrary, you will love the Jain version more than the original one. If you don’t believe then make this dish today at home. Ask the opinion of your family members about the dish. Don’t tell them there’s no onion, ginger & garlic.

You can include a couple of items in the Jain paneer butter masala. Doing this will exactly replicate the taste, texture & fragrance of the Punjabi version.

There are certain ingredients they add to mimic the taste. They use makhana (lotus seeds), peanuts, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, tomatoes, milk, curd, cashews, & fresh cream.

The purpose behind using the above items could be different. For instance, to thicken the gravy or add roasted, smokey, woody, earthy flavours.

Now that we know the Jain paneer butter masala is as good as the Punjabi version, why not try it?

Jain Paneer Butter Masala Substitute Ingredients

Here are a few items that you can use to rock your Jain paneer butter masala.

  • Almond with cashews – Soak almonds in warm water & peel the skin. Blend them with water or milk & then use the same in gravy. If you grind almonds with skin, it might alter the colour of the gravy. All this depends on what you are trying to do with almonds.
  • Swap peanuts with cashews – This is yet another substitute for cashews. Roast peanuts first to add a smokey & crunchy taste. After that, blend peanuts to make a paste.
  • Milk with curd or heavy cream – Both curd & heavy cream is good options. Add 1/2 cup curd or 1/3 cup heavy cream instead of milk.
  • Asafoetida – Since there’s no garlic & ginger, asafoetida will serve the purpose. In addition, the strong aroma & pungent flavour of hing will enrich the taste.
  • Garam masala – Pavbhaji masala can be an option if there’s no garam masala. You can even use achari masala, madras curry powder & Kolhapuri masala. Click the link to read the ingredients & procedures.

Try using the above substitutes & let us know in the comment section.


  • You can add chopped tomatoes too, but it will require more cooking. It is because tomato pieces gradually mix with other items in the pan.
  • Make sure you don’t add too much water while grinding the cashews while making the paste.
  • The cardamom here is the green one. You can replace it with black cardamom.
  • See that the store-bought paneer is fresh & white. Now that we are cooking Jain paneer butter masala, there’s no scope for oil here. Therefore, we’ll saute, tender & cook everything in butter.
  • Milk is a surprise item in this recipe. The reason behind using milk is to smoothen the gravy.
  • If the gravy is thicker than needed, use milk or cashew milk to adjust the consistency instead of water.
  • Instead of red chilli powder, you can soak red chillies and grind them. It will give a bright colour to the gravy.

Jain Paneer Butter Masala FAQs

We are replicating the Punjabi paneer butter masala into the Jain version. But naturally, there will be queries. So henceforth, let’s hear them out.

Is Jain paneer butter masala tasteless?

Nope. It is as tasty as the Punjabi version.

What are the substitutes for onions?

Honestly, there’s no substitute for onion in Indian cooking. But here, you can skip & add a paste of cashews, almonds, and musk melon seeds. They will work fine & give the same taste.

Is asafoetida a substitute for ginger & garlic?

It largely depends on where & how you intend to replace ginger & garlic. Here in this recipe, it is a suitable replacement. Go with it.

Can I skip almonds & cashews?

Yes, you can. However, you will need something to balance the flavour. For example, try roasted peanuts or white sesame seeds.

Can I use milk, curd & cream altogether?

That’s too much. All together will make the dish insanely heavy to digest. Instead, use either one. Less is more.

Can I use green chilli paste instead of whole green chilli?

Yes, you can replace the whole chilli with paste. However, use only either of them. Using both simultaneously will make it too spicy.

Is there any substitute for garam masala?

Roasted whole spice mix or curry powder is a hands-on substitute for garam masala. But if you prefer making garam masala at home & using the same.

Can I skip butter & make this recipe in oil?

We are making paneer butter masala & butter is the recipe’s base. If you skip it, the recipe won’t hold the meaning. It will become paneer masala.