Sunday, September 28, 2014

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala 

I usually like trying out different versions of the same dish so that I might eventually find a recipe which suits my taste buds perfectly. Such was the case with Paneer Butter Masala also known as Paneer Makhani. Lets face it the name itself suggests it must have copious amount of butter but then the recipes I have had till date did have butter and a lot of ingredients yet there was something which was missing.

Now Butter and I go long back. My Dima 'maternal grandmother' would always compliment the Punjabis due to their use of butter in most dishes. All throughout my growing up years I was fed a meal of hot steaming rice with a good 50gm of butter and numerous boiled and mashed vegetables. Lucky for me my parents had got me admitted to swimming and till I  was involved in some pretty heavy exercise which kept my weight in check. Anyway coming back to the dish, now I know that everyone wants to be healthy and that's great. In fact on any regular day you'l find me with a bowl of steamed vegetables or a raw salad and some boiled egg or poached chicken but when it comes to certain dishes you cannot just try and make them healthy. It takes away the entire essence of the dish. Exercising and balancing your diet on every other day is how you stay healthy not by trying to make a dish named Butter Masala healthy.

Anyway back to the recipe. I had discovered the lovely robust chef Harpal Singh's videos quite by chance and after my tremendous success with his Kadhi I naturally knew whom to turn to for the Paneer Butter Masala. So here goes the recipe. I did use homemade paneer and believe me when I say that once you have made homemade paneer there is no looking back. You can use store bought paneer if you are not much inclined to making your own paneer .

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi's Paneer Butter Masala

Serves 3

For the paneer :-

1.5 litre full cream milk
1.5 tbsp vinegar diluted with 2 tbsp water or 2 cups leftover whey

For the tomato gravy

6 medium sized tomatoes roughly chopped
6 green cardamom
3 blades of mace
100gm butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh cream (I used Amul Cream but do use double cream if you have access to it )
Salt as per taste
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder

For the final gravy

Ginger the size of half your little finger cut into julienne
2 green chilies de-seeded and cut julienne
1/2 tbsp butter
The freshly made tomato gravy

The final paneer made at home 
Start by making the paneer. Simply bring the milk to a roaring boil and then add the diluted vinegar or whey and lower the temperature and let the milk for the cheese and when you see the green coloured whey with the cheese floating around switch off the stove and cover and keep for 5 minutes . Strain the cheese but reserve the whey and tie the cheese in a cheesecloth or muslin cloth and drain it for 15 minutes to 20 minutes and then flatten it out with the cloth and put in on a plate and put another plate on top with a mortar and pestle or a heavy book on the plate and leave for 1 hour or so. Cut the slab into cubes and there you go , you have soft fresh paneer.

Store the whey in the refrigerator for future use. If you knead your dough for chapatis with whey the chapatis turn out extra soft, used in vegetable curries it enhances the flavour and if used for the next batch of paneer you will get the softest paneer ever.

Final tomato gravy 

Now start off with your tomato gravy. Melt 1 tbsp butter and add the chopped tomatoes and cook over medium to low flame till its mushy (covering and cooking gives faster results) and add the mace and cardamom and cook till it forms a paste and add the Kashmiri chili powder , add salt and cook for another minute . Let it cool down and blend it smooth .

Now mince the garlic. Melt 1 tbsp butter and saute the garlic and add the tomato paste and cook of medium flame , stirring continuously for 3 minutes and add 75gm butter and mix well and cook for 1 minute and add half a cup of cream and cook on low flame for another 2 minutes and your tomato base is ready.

Now melt 1 tbsp butter and saute ginger chopped julienne and the green chilies and add the paneer cubes and saute well. When the paneer turns golden add the tomato gravy and mix well and simmer for 3 minutes and serve with hot chapati or butter nan or Basmati rice.


  1. I'm not the biggest fan of paneer butter masala but guess I should try this recipe once since it's different from all the run-off-the-mill recipes I've tried till date.

    1. Soumi, I can vouch for the taste and Chef Harpal Singh's Punjabi recipes are usually fabulous :)


  2. Brilliant photographs! wow....lovely n delicious .it tastes yummy too!
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  3. I have never tasted this roti. Looks really yummy and bookmarked right away. will be trying..
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