Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhanwala is an exotic Indian dish that is slightly sweet, with a creamy and rich taste. The spice level can be adjusted, and because of its sweet flavor, it is one of the most favored Paneer dishes for kids. Paneer Butter Masala gets its richness from Cream, Tomato, and Cashew. Let’s learn how to make this!
- 2 medium red tomatoes, firm ones are better.
- 1/2 lb/250 gm of Paneer, cubed
- 1/4 cup of cashews, soaked for 30 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon of butter.
- 1 tablespoon of ghee/oil.
- 1 tsp of ginger paste.
- 1 tsp of garlic paste.
- 1/2 tablespoon of red chili powder ( Kashmiri chili powder will bring on the right color)
- 1 tsp of sugar.
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream.
- 1 tbsp of Kasoori methi/dried fenugreek leaves.
- Salt as per your taste.
- Soak 1/4 cup of cashews into the water, and set it aside. Let them soak for 30 minutes.
- Wash the tomatoes properly and cut them into big pieces. Cutting them into small pieces will make a mess. Cut the Paneer into smaller cubes of your desired size. I like them cut into smaller cubes since it becomes easier for kids to eat.
3. Boil 3 cups of water on medium heat, and add the tomato pieces into it. If you did not have a full 30 minutes for soaking the cashews, then add them to boiling water in a pan with tomatoes. Let the tomatoes boil for 10-12 minutes, and keep checking to see if they are soft and able to peel.
4. While the tomatoes are boiling, put a pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil, and shallow fry the paneer cubes. It will take 15-20 seconds for the Paneer to fry golden brown. Keep flipping the Paneer cubes onto different sides to make sure all the sides are properly fried.
5. When the frying is done, take the Paneer cubes out on a plate or bowl and put them aside.
6. Back to the boiling tomatoes - Once they are boiled for 10-12 minutes, take them out and let them cool off (we need to peel the skin off). If the cashews were boiling too, take them out as well and set them aside.
7. Once cooled down, and the tomatoes are skinned, put them in a blender, add the cashews, and some water. Blend it all well.
8. Now let's prepare the gravy. Put a wok/kadhai/pan on medium heat, and add 1 tbsp oil/ghee, 1 tsp Ginger, and 1 tsp Garlic paste.
9. Cook the Ginger and Garlic paste. When you wait for about 1 minute, it will look golden. Now, add the 1 tbsp butter, and make sure heat is medium-low.
10. Add 1/2 tbsp red chili powder. As I mentioned before, Kashmiri red powder will give a nice red color, but it depends upon your taste and availability, so this step is optional.
11. After mixing the paste with butter, add the cashew-tomato paste inside the pan. Switch the flame to low-medium heat, and keep stirring it. Let it cook for 10-12 minutes.
12. Add salt as per your taste, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 tsp sugar. Mix it, and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Now, add 1/4 cup more water and let it cook for 5,6 more minutes. Keep stirring this often.
13. Finally, add the fried Paneer cubes. Let it simmer for 5 minutes in Gravy and switch off the flame. Add 1 tbsp of crushed Kasuri Meethi to the gravy.
The delicious Paneer Butter Masala is now ready! Serve with steamed rice or your choice of Naan.