When one thinks of cooking something luscious for dinner all he/she could think of is the amount of labor involved in making such dishes. And that too at the probably at the end of any tiresome day it is never a possibility. So everyone seems to step back and follow their monotonous routine. Paneer butter masala is one of the kind which is a rich and laborious recipe, involving too many ingredients and processes and so it never becomes an easy option for home makers to include it in their regular menu. It is simply tagged as a special-occasion-recipe. But here's an easy version that you must try and after trying this one you will be making it almost everyday for your dinner or whenever you crave paneer butter masala. Trust me it involves very little effort and needs about just 15 to 20 minutes to complete this dish. There's no need to blanch tomatoes, no fresh cream needed and it still tastes so yum! Serve it with tandoori roti or pooris or with some rice and relish! Now a luscious dinner is possible any day! :)
I've also included a short humble video illustrating how to make this easy paneer butter masala recipe. Do check out and post a like or comment if you like!
Serves one person
Total Preparation Time - 20 minutes
- Paneer chopped into cubes - 1 cup
- Onion - 1
- Tomato - 2 (ripe ones)
- Cashews - 10 (optional)
- Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Garam masala - 1/2 teaspoon (if yours is not very overpowering add 1 teaspoon)
- Shajeera (or) Cumin seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1 teaspoons (add more if your tomatoes are sour)
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Kasoori methi / Dried fenugreek leaves - 1 teaspoon (plus 1/2 teaspoon)
- Butter - 2 tablepsoons
- Wash paneer gently in water and then chop into cubes. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over it and toss gently. Set aside.
- Chop onions and tomatoes, put them into a blender along with cashews and grind into a fine paste.
- Now place a pan on flame and drop one tablespoon butter, as soon as it starts to melt, saute cumin seeds (or shajeera) and stir. Then add the onion and tomato paste and saute.
- Add salt, red chilli powder, and stir well until the raw smell leaves and the masala smells cooked.
- The masala will thicken immediately so pour some water about 100 ml and stir well to combine.
- Add sugar and stir.
- If the curry thickens add some more water (I poured 100 ml of water again) and stir.
- Now add garam masala and cook for two more minutes.
- Take a teaspoon kasoori methi and pinch it to bring out the flavor better, then add it to the curry and stir.
- Check for salt and sweetness and add sugar and salt if needed. (If your tomatoes are sour add a little more sugar to reduce the sourness or adding some fresh cream might also help. See that you choose the red ripe sweet tomatoes always to make this dish) Also the onion and tomato paste might take some time to cook, so make sure that it gets completely cooked and there's no raw smell before you add the paneer cubes.
- Now after checking and balancing the flavors, add the paneer cubes and stir gently.
- Cook for a minute on medium flame. Then add 1 tablespoon butter and stir.
- Add the remaining kasoori methi and stir.
- Remove from flame.
- Serve immediately.
check out my video on how to cook this easy paneer butter masala!
TIP 1: Do not cook paneer too much as it will turn rubbery and always serve paneer dishes quickly after you cook.
TIP 2: If you do not wish to add sugar in your dish then caramelize some onions and then grind it into a fine paste and use it in the dish. To caramelize onions pour some oil into a pan and add thinly sliced onions, saute until it turns brown and looks caramelized. Remove from flame, wait until it cools down and then grind. In this case you will have to add tomato paste first wait until it gets cooked and then add the masala and then add caramelized onion paste.
TIP 3: Adding cumin seeds is my way of doing it but I also love adding bay leaf as it imparts a beautiful flavor to the dish. So feel free to use either cumin seeds or bay leaves. For the above recipe one bay leaf will do.
TIP 4: If your tomato onion paste do not get cooked well your curry will be ruined. Always make sure to cook it until there is no raw smell and then add your paneer cubes. Because after adding paneer you cannot cook for long as your paneer will turn rubbery. So cook well until raw smell leaves completely and then add paneer.