Paneer Kaju Masala is epic and the oldest recipe in Punbaji cuisine. It is one of the essential recipes made using the Indian cottage cheese, aka paneer. The cooking process is pretty simple. Paneer made in butter with Indian masala powders & cashew is paneer Kaju masala.
The paneer butter masala is one of the earliest discoveries in the regional recipe regime. I guess so. If you watch the recipe video, it needs fundamental ingredients to make this dish. Further, there’s no complexity in the making process & above all, it’s damn delicious. In short, you can make something good out of fewer items.
Not only this but there are two more versions of the same paneer butter masala. The other variations are tomato puree based & restaurant-style.
What all we Will Need
Like I said above, you need a handful of ingredients to make this recipe. The good news is each & every item is already in your kitchen closets. Hence, let’s see what you need.
Butter is here for an apparent reason since we make paneer butter masala. In short, the entire recipe will be in butter. Paneer is the main item again. Either use homemade or packaged paneer. You can also use homemade flavoured paneer. Milk cream, aka malai, is to thicken the gravy. Swap it with heavy cream.
These are some of the essential spice powders we will use here. They are pepper powder, red chilli powder, salt, Kasuri methi & garam masala. It sounds like each one of them is readily available. Crush black peppercorns if you don’t have the powder. Rest everything’s sorted.
Okay, now green masala is the hara masala for flavour, aroma & garnishing. We need ginger-garlic paste, green chilli, whole ginger & chopped coriander. All of them are essential items that go into Indian gravy sabjee. Moreover, we use them daily. Hence, gathering them won’t be a rundown for you.
Tomato Puree & Cashew Paste
Tomato & cashews will give the basic structure & flavour to our gravy. Instead of tomato pieces, we will use the puree to speed up the process. For cashew paste, soak 18-20 cashews in water & grind. Use regular or lukewarm water.
Last but not least, we need water to adjust the consistency of the gravy. So, once again, add water gradually & as needed. Thus, our item list ends here.
TR’s Extra Shots
- Milk Cream – Swap milk cream with cooking cream or the milk itself. Use full-fat milk.
- Dark Red Gravy – Use Kashmiri red chilli powder if you want the dark red colour of the gravy.
- Tomato Puree – Cook the puree till the water in it evaporates. Otherwise, the gravy will be watery.
- Curd – If available, use curd instead of milk, milk cream, cooking cream, etc. Avoid flavoured curd or yoghurt.
There’s nothing beyond a rich, creamy & buttery paneer masala. The above item list & the tips will help you get the desired taste & texture.
Some Common FAQs
Which type of butter shall I use in paneer butter masala?
Unsalted butter is advisable here. But if you are okay with the salted butter, then go ahead. Just watch out for the quantity of salt.
Can I use homemade garam masala powder?
Yes, you can use homemade garam masala. You can try these curry powders too—for instance, achari masala, kolhapuri masala or madras curry powder.
What is the substitute for Kasuri methi?
Freshly chopped coriander is the ultimate substitute if you don’t have Kasuri methi. Besides, Kasuri methi is readily available at local grocery stores.
Can I swap cashews with almonds?
No, we are making paneer kaju masala with cashews as the base of the gravy. Hence, swapping cashews will modify the entire recipe. If you replace cashew with almonds, it will be Badami Paneer Masala.
Is it necessary to use milk cream?
You can skip milk cream, but you must substitute for the same. Milk cream adds smoothness to the gravy. Without it, the gravy won’t serve the purpose. You can use milk, curd, or heavy cream instead.