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Paneer Makhani (Butter Paneer Masala)

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Paneer makhani, or “Butter Paneer Masala,” is a rich, creamy tomato curry. It is a popular restaurant dish often eaten with naan or some other flatbread. It also goes well with rice.

Paneer makhani is definitely a go-to dish at everyday Indian restaurants. But there is nothing more disappointing than ordering paneer makhani from a restaurant and getting flavorless chunks of paneer in a watered-down sauce.

Paneer Makhani in a copper serving bowl

The gravy in this recipe does not disappoint. It is thickened with cashews, which makes it taste so rich and creamy and so satisfying. I love to pour it next to a heaping serving of basmati rice and let the extra gravy soak into it.


  • Be sure to cook the onions just until softened and to cook down the tomatoes enough. You don’t want too much caramelization on the onions for this recipe.
  • Serve with any kind of flatbread, especially naan

Paneer Makhani recipe at Indiaphile.info

Paneer Makhani recipe at Indiaphile.info
Paneer Makhani recipe at Indiaphile.info
Paneer Makhani recipe at Indiaphile.info
Paneer Makhani

Paneer Makhani (Butter Paneer Masala)

Paneer in a creamy tomato gravy
4.86 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 331 kcal


  • 4 tbsp butter separated
  • 8 oz paneer chopped; either homemade or store bought will work just fine
  • ½ medium onion about ½ cup, thinly sliced pole to pole
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger roughly chopped
  • 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes roughly crushed with your hands or a fork
  • 14 whole cashews about 2 tbsp
  • 1 green chili slit into half I usually use either jalapeno or serrano
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder or red paprika work too
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¾ tsp salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves kasoori methi
  • cilantro for garnish optional


  • In a small bowl, soak the cashews in 1/4 cup of water. Set aside. ( For how long)
  • Heat 1 tbsp butter in a 12 inch frying pan. Add the paneer cubes and fry until slightly golden. Remove
  • Add 1 more Tbsp of butter and add the onions and cook until softened. Add the ginger and garlic. Cook for one more minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Until the mixture thickens and oil separates/ rises to the top.
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender along with the cashews and blend to a smooth paste. Strain the paste if it doesn’t blend into a very smooth mixture. Add 1 to 1.5 cups of water.
  • Wipe the pan and add 1 tbsp of butter under medium heat.
  • Add the slit green chili, ground cumin, kashmiri chili powder. Cook for about 20 seconds and
  • Transfer puree back into the pan. Cook 5 minutes.
  • Add the garam masala, sugar, dried fenugreek leaves and salt. Stir well.
  • Add the paneer. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in 1 tbsp of butter.



This recipe can be made up to two days ahead of time and refrigerated. Just reheat when ready to serve. In fact it actually tastes better the next day because the flavors have had a chance to permeate through the paneer.
Fenugreek seeds and dried fenugreek leaves are available at local Indian stores and easily available online. Don’t skip the dried fenugreek leaves in this recipe it’s an important flavor component.
Paneer is also available at Indian stores and often available at Whole Foods. But it’s really easy to make if you can’t.


Calories: 331kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 10gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 302mgPotassium: 290mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 485IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 325mgIron: 2mg
Keyword paneer
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Happy birthday, dear Puja! (if I properly understood the wonderful story about Black Russian cocktails, German lederhosen and a cab flight to Paris, it should have been yesterday, isn’t it?) Your butter paneer looks so tempting that I could try some right away although it’s proper breakfast time right now over here :-).

  2. I love eating Indian food, and jump at every chance to eat it out or at a friend’s house, but have only recently tried making it myself at home. This was a great, easy-to-follow recipe that turned out perfect! Previous to this, I had only mastered a vegetable korma with tofu, but now I feel pretty confidant about this too. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  3. made this tonight and loved how it turned out. however, my puree never seemed to turn golden brown so after 10 mins i just went on to the next step. any advice for next time?

    1. Hi Jill. The only reason that I can imagine it didn’t brown is that there may have been too much water. The onion puree should caramelize easily when the water evaporates. If this happens again, I would turn up the heat and keep a close eye on the puree so it doesn’t burn. The recipe still works even if the browning doesn’t happen so don’t worry about it too much. Hope this helps! Glad you enjoyed the recipe anyway! 🙂

  4. It was really delicious, granted I replaced the paneer with Tofu since I had some left overs.

    The only issue was that the makhani came out a little too watery, not much of a thick consistency. I guess I’d put less than the 1 and 3/4 cups of water at the end.

4.86 from 14 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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