Butter Paneer Curry

Butter Paneer (also known as Shahi Paneer or Paneer Makhani) is one of my fave dishes on an Indian takeout menu. It's a vegetarian curry, with indian cheese (paneer) simmered in a creamy sauce with ground almonds.
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Butter Paneer recipe - www.foodess.com

Butter Paneer Curry | www.foodess.com

A Butter Paneer recipe is very similar to a Butter Chicken recipe (in fact, most restaurants use the same sauce for both).  Paneer (Indian fresh cheese) is quickly simmered in an insanely delicious sauce made with tomatoes, cream and rich spices. 

I love vegetarian Indian food.  You know this already if you've been hanging around here for a while (and if you have, thank you! I <3 you!).  My hubby is Indian, so exploring India and Indian food has been a long-time passion.  

Butter Paneer recipe - www.foodess.com

Butter Paneer Curry | www.foodess.com

I adore paneer to an extent that borders on irrational - it's made simply by adding lemon juice to boiled milk, then straining and pressing. It is chewy, milky, and super addictive.  It sucks up the buttery sauce and makes the world a better place. 

I'm going to show you how to make it soon, but for now, it's pretty easily accessible in most well-stocked grocery stores, and definitely any Indian grocer.   If not making it myself, I look for a package with minimal additives (like carrageenan, guar gum, etc.).

Butter Paneer recipe - www.foodess.com

Butter Paneer Curry | www.foodess.com

My version of Butter Paneer includes ground almonds, which imparts richness and flavour (and even a pleasant texture, if your blender is not super high-powered).  It's total Indian comfort food.  Serve it with naan or hot basmati rice, and make more than you think you'll need ;) 

I have a Vitamix which is why my sauce is super-smooth and paler orange in colour - pureeing tomatoes in it lightens the hue more than it would with a lower-power blender, because more air is whipped in. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4-6Servings


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, plus more for topping
  • 3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 400 grams paneer, cut in cubes
  • Chopped cilantro and sliced, optional, for garnish


  1. Heat butter over medium heat in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add onions and slowly cook until golden, about 20 minutes, reducing heat if they are getting crispy or browning quickly. This is an important flavour-building step, don't rush it!
  2. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in garam masala, paprika, cinnamon and salt; cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and almonds; cook 2 minutes, then add cream and carefully puree using an immersion blender (or standing blender, but do it in batches or the steam will blow the top off).
  3. Return sauce to saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Gently stir in paneer and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Top with cilantro and additional almonds, if desired.