Melt butter in a tadka making pan. Add Kashmiri red chilli powder and pour on the paneer butter masala. Cover the lid and allow it to sit for 5-7 mins. Serve with butter roti, paratha or kulcha.

Paneer Butter Masala restaurant style is what we are going to make today. I am excited to share this recipe because it is fun to recreate restaurant style paneer butter masala in your kitchen. Trust me; you will be overjoyed with the result. Since I am a Gujarati and my expertise lie in traditional Gujarati cuisine. Thus, making a famous Punjabi recipe took quite a time to master.

My family members love it because they have many more options to eat it. For instance, the paneer butter masala goes well with naan, roti, kulcha or rice.

This restaurant-style paneer butter masala requires a large chunk of ingredients. But, on the contrary, the cooking process is straightforward. This recipe will never get old on your family menu because of its simplicity and superb taste.

The Taste of Punjab

Our paneer butter masala has the taste of Punjab. In other words, it has rich gravy containing onion, tomato and cashew paste. Since the dish is made using butter, you will experience smoothness and creaminess in every bite.

Paneer butter masala, but other recipes also have a rich base of butter. For instance, paneer lababdar, dahi wala paneer, paneer achari, nawabi paneer, paneer angara and more.

This recipe will help you make one of the best butter paneer gravy every time. You will get the same taste similar to the restaurant. Not only this, but you will never order paneer butter masala from a restaurant. Hence, let’s begin making it today.

The Onion-Tomato-Cashew Paste

This paste will form the basic structure of the gravy. Not only this, but it will integrate required flavours too. We need three spices, viz cinnamon, black pepper, dry red chilli, and clove, to make the paste.

Further, we will use garlic and green chillies. Both of them will add the teekha flavour and tender other ingredients. Then we have onion, tomato and cashews to add a smooth, creamy and juicy taste and texture. Not only this but onion, tomato and cashews will give the required thickness to the paste.

Add water to adjust the consistency of the paste if it’s too dry.

Why We Use Fried Paneer?

If we use fried panner, Paneer butter, or any other paneer recipe will get better in taste. I am not against plain white paneer, but fried paneer has the upper hand. I have used homemade paneer in this recipe since I prefer it over store-bought.

Frying paneer in butter (or oil) will eliminate the raw taste. Moreover, it will induce a buttery taste. If you fry paneer in cooking oil, it will become crispy and smokey. Trust me; you will love the taste.

Okay, now here’s the catch. Instead of frying paneer alone in butter, we will add cumin and ginger alongside. But first, saute cumin and ginger properly. Use either salted or unsalted butter. Adjust the quantity of salt accordingly.

Gravy for Paneer Butter Masala

To make the butter paneer gravy, we need the onion-tomato-cashew paste and a few other items. If you observe, the total items that we need to make gravy are less. For instance, coriander and turmeric powder as ground masala powders. Salt and water for taste and gravy consistency simultaneously. Finally, we will use heavy cream to neutralize the extra spicy taste and add a smooth, creamy texture.

Pre-Serving Tadka

Adding tadka just before serving is a fantastic thing that I love to do for my versions of recipes. Just two ingredients, and you are done. Heat butter and add the Kashmiri red chilli powder. Mix and pour over the butter paneer while still in the pan. Cover and allow it to sit for a while (at least 5 minutes).

The hot tadka will do a lot of things to your final product. First, it will give a natural red tint to the gravy. It is because of the Kashmiri red chilli powder. It’s a natural dye. Second, it will add a smooth buttery aroma. I bet the moment you open the lid, and you will smell the buttery fragrance.

The same you will experience in the taste too. Doing this won’t take a long time. Just be careful while handling hot butter. Make sure it doesn’t spill. Be calm and proceed cautiously.

Extra Shots for Restaurant Like Taste

Onion & Tomato

Finely chop both onions & tomatoes so that they cook faster. There’s no need to convert tomato & onions into puree because we will be grinding them later to a fine paste. Use juicy red tomatoes to add a natural khatta-meetha taste. Types of onions are subjective here because it depends on your location. In this recipe, I have used red onions. If you have the white ones, then proceed with them.

Cashews (Kaju)

The universal question regarding cashew is whether to use whole cashews or tukda. As per my experience, both of them are good enough. However, it depends on the availability. If whole cashews are available, then use them or else use pieces. The size of cashews won’t make any difference in the taste. It is the quality of the cashews that will alter the taste. Hence, use good quality cashews immaterial whether it is whole or pieces.

Thick Paste

It is very much crucial that you saute all ingredients. Another critical point is to grind the sauteed items to a thick paste. For this, you will have to use a powerful mixer grinder. Don’t do that if you are thinking about using a hand blender. First thing first, a hand blender is not the correct tool. We need sharp blades to cut our ingredients into a thick paste.

Fry Paneer

Adding fried paneer isn’t mandatory. Yet doing so will make a massive difference in the overall taste. If you are calorie conscious, then use Amul’s delicious unsalted butter. Above all, if you still insist on not frying paneer, then it is okay. Proceed with plain white paneer. Frying will make the paneer crispy but hard sometimes. Henceforth, dip fried paneer in lukewarm water until it’s time to use them. It will keep paneer soft,

The Paneer Butter Masala Gravy

Cook the onion-tomato-cashew paste well until the butter separates. Cover & cook to speed up the process. Another critical point is to stir the mixture occasionally after covering the lid. There’s a risk of burning. If the gravy is too thick, add water to adjust the consistency.

Heavy Cream

The silky-smooth taste & texture is all due to heavy cream. You can substitute full-fat milk with cream. Avoid using malai because it will curdle in hot gravy. Furthermore, don’t use chilled heavy cream or milk. Doing so will immediately drop the temperature of the gravy. Hence, use room temperature cream or milk.

Paneer Butter Masala FAQs

Are paneer Kalimirch and paneer butter masala the same?

No, they aren’t the same. The paneer butter masala has tomato in the gravy with other ingredients. On the contrary, the kali Mirch paneer has no tomatoes. The gravy base is made using onions to maintain the white texture.

Can we prepare paneer butter masala without butter?

The recipe’s name contains the word “butter”; hence you can’t skip butter & make it. If you do so, the recipe won’t serve the purpose of being called paneer butter masala. What you can do is use Amul Delicious butter. It is a healthy option for monitoring their daily caloric intake.

How can I thicken the gravy of paneer butter masala?

Use water as little as possible. Add water only to prevent the mixture from sticking at the bottom of the pan. If there’s much water in the gravy, cook until you get the right consistency. Turn off the flame when you see the exact thickness you want in your gravy. The best thing is to cook until oil separates. This way, you can rest assured that there’s no water content in the gravy.

What is the difference between restaurant-style & Dhaba style paneer butter masala?

There’s a slight difference between both of them. According to my experience, the Dhaba style has ghee along with butter. Additionally, there are minute adjustments in the whole spice & powder mix. Rest everything’s the same. If you observe the taste of restaurant-style paneer butter masala, it is more into butter.

How is Achari paneer different from paneer butter masala?

Achari Paneer is way spicier compared to paneer butter masala. There’s Achari masala to flavour the entire recipe. Trust me; you will love this masala alone. It’s aromatic & contains a long list of ground spices & masalas. The difference lies in the spices. One can cook paneer butter masala using fewer spices.

What is the difference between paneer tikka & paneer butter masala?

It’s pretty easy to identify tikka for an avid foodie. Paneer tikka is basically dry and popularly categorised as starters. On the other hand, the latter one is a gravy sabzi. On top of it, they both vary in taste & texture. But, the bottom line is both of them are identically different.

How much paneer do I need for paneer butter masala?

It depends on how many people you plan to make for. I have used 200 grams of paneer in this recipe, having a final yield of 600 grams with gravy. With this, you can serve 4-5 times. So if there are ten people, you will need around 500-600 grams of paneer—double the other items.

Is paneer butter masala spicy?

It is spicy but in a reasonable manner. On the contrary, it is a high caloric dish that you must not consume frequently. To reduce the calorie intake, serve it with plain roti or rice. All in all, it is delicious & irresistible.

Can children eat this paneer butter masala?

Children can eat it. Use spices & masala mix in a controlled manner. Above all, there are cashews & heavy cream to neutralize the extra hotness in the dish.

Can I swap heavy cream with milk?

Yes, you can. But do not overcook after adding milk because there’s a risk of curdling. One more thing, do not add milk when sauteeing the masala. Instead, add it once you are done cooking essential ingredients. You can also use more cashews instead of milk.

What is the flavourful substitute for cream & cashews?

I have used it in one of the recipes, and it is paneer cream. Blend paneer with water to make paneer cream. The quantity of paneer must be equivalent to cashews or heavy cream that you are replacing. Make a little extra to avoid shortage at the time of cooking.

Will this recipe give the exact restaurant taste?

Yes, you will get the same taste as you eat at restaurants. Follow the steps & ingredient list. Don’t skip anything. Watch the recipe video if you have any doubt before you begin cooking.

What is the substitute for cashew?

Almond is an excellent substitute for cashew. You can even use poppy seeds or muskmelon seeds instead of cashews.

They will stabilize your gravy integrate smoothness & flavours. Moreover, they will also cut down the extra spiciness of the gravy.

So that was our traditional Punjabi paneer butter masala. I hope you liked it. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. See you in the following recipe.