• September 16, 2015

    Easy Butter Paneer Masala

    by

    What is Butter Paneer?

    Mmmm… paneer butter masala. Is there a more simple, classic and comforting Indian dish?

    Butter Paneer Masala, also often called Shahi Paneer or Paneer Makhani, is simply the vegetarian version of India’s cult classic Butter Chicken. Most Indian restaurants even use the same rich, creamy tomato-y sauce for both dishes (Butter Paneer and Butter Chicken). This easy butter paneer recipe is seriously one of the best and truly a favourite in our home.

    Paneer is simply a fresh Indian cheese kinda sorta similar to cottage cheese, feta or halloumi.

    It is chewy, milky, a little “bounce-y”, and super addictive.

    Is it obvious? I adore paneer to an extent that borders on irrational.

    In Butter Paneer, paneer is quickly simmered in an insanely delicious sauce made with tomatoes, cream and rich spices. It sucks up the rich, buttery sauce and makes the world a better place.

    My Butter Paneer recipe includes ground almonds, which imparts richness and flavour (and even a pleasant texture, if your blender is not super high-powered).  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.

    butter paneer masala in a bowl with chapati

    Where to Find Paneer

    Paneer is quite easy to make at home – it’s made simply by adding lemon juice to boiled milk, then straining and pressing.

    If you want to DIY, you can hop on over to my homemade paneer recipe here – How to Make Paneer at Home: My Foolproof Step-by-Step Guide.

    If you’re looking for a quicker option, not to worry – 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 masala in a bowl with fresh cilantro

    How to Make Butter Paneer

    Making homemade butter paneer really only requires a few simple steps.

    Here’s how to make easy butter paneer:

    1. Caramelize onions in a saucepan or dutch oven. This is where an important part of the flavour is developed, so take your time.
    2. Stir in garlic, ginger and some Indian spices. Warming the spices gently for a few moments develops them more deeply and makes them more fragrant.
    3. Add diced tomatoes and almonds and simmer. This step allows them to soften and the flavours to meld.
    4. Add cream and blend the mixture. Puréeing the sauce creates a creamy, dreamy smooth and rich gravy.
    5. Add sauce back to pan to simmer and add paneer. It only takes a few minutes to simmer gently and before you know it, the paneer will be full of creamy rich flavour.

    If you haven’t noticed, 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. To that end, here’s a few more of my love-filled, and flavour-packed creations I think you may like.

    More Vegetarian Indian Recipes

    Coconut Curried Lentils

    Best-Ever Creamy Malai Kofta

    Easy Samosa Potatoes

    Authentic Homemade Indian Chai

    Easy Butter Paneer Masala

    Butter Paneer (also known as Shahi Paneer or Paneer Makhani) is one of my fave Indian dishes on any takeout menu. It's a super easy vegetarian recipe, with Indian-style "cottage cheese" (paneer) simmered in a creamy sauce with ground almonds.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 35 minutes
    Course: Dinner
    Cuisine: Indian
    Servings: 4
    Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

    Ingredients

    • 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

    Instructions

    • 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!
    • 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).
    • 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.
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    Hi, I'm Jenn! I'm in the Foodess kitchen making a spectacular mess + something delicious, in roughly equal parts. Join me for seasonal baking punctuated by globally-inspired comfort recipes and (healthy-ish) dinspiration, plus with lots of tips and resources. So happy that you're here!

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    Jennifer PallianKizz RobinsonKrisDaniamberpagewrites Recent comment authors
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    Becks
    Guest

    What a touching story! Kind people always warm my heart. There aren’t that many of them left. I also lol’d at 
    his head bobbling in the peaceful Indian gesture that means “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, “hello”

    Is that the ambiguous head nodding “outsourced” described?

    Becks
    Guest

    What a touching story! Kind people always warm my heart. There aren’t that many of them left. I also lol’d at 
    his head bobbling in the peaceful Indian gesture that means “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, “hello”

    Is that the ambiguous head nodding “outsourced” described?

    Becks
    Guest

    What a touching story! Kind people always warm my heart. There aren’t that many of them left. I also lol’d at 
    his head bobbling in the peaceful Indian gesture that means “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, “hello”

    Is that the ambiguous head nodding “outsourced” described?

    DawnK
    Guest
    DawnK

    Wow, that must have been so scary! I’m glad everything turned out all right in the end!

    DawnK
    Guest
    DawnK

    Wow, that must have been so scary! I’m glad everything turned out all right in the end!

    Dani
    Guest

    that is one adorable dog you have. I’m glad it all turned out okay. 

    Dani
    Guest

    that is one adorable dog you have. I’m glad it all turned out okay. 

    Kristina
    Guest

    I am holding my dachshund Basil SO TIGHT right now, as I read this story. I am so glad you are all safe! the unwavering and instant help from a stranger gives me hope.

    Kristina
    Guest

    I am holding my dachshund Basil SO TIGHT right now, as I read this story. I am so glad you are all safe! the unwavering and instant help from a stranger gives me hope.

    bee zettl
    Guest
    bee zettl

    I only came here for the cinnamon bun recipe but I read this and I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I am so glad Oliver is fine and that there are people out there willing to help, to get their hands dirty and take risks for strangers.&#160

    And what a handsome fella he is – it makes me laugh, though, I have a 1 year old Cocker girl and always get asked whether she’s a setter:&#160http://www.flickr.com/photos/beezzzkneez/6987018277/ Looking at that second photo she could be Oliver’s short-legged sibling!

    bee zettl
    Guest
    bee zettl

    I only came here for the cinnamon bun recipe but I read this and I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I am so glad Oliver is fine and that there are people out there willing to help, to get their hands dirty and take risks for strangers. 

    And what a handsome fella he is – it makes me laugh, though, I have a 1 year old Cocker girl and always get asked whether she’s a setter: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beezzzkneez/6987018277/ Looking at that second photo she could be Oliver’s short-legged sibling!

    @lynneux
    Guest
    @lynneux

    I’m so glad you’re both Ok! Reading this brought me to tears, and brought back the terrifying day I watched my @ZooeyNuggs bounce off the front tire of a car and bolt into rush hour traffic on West Georgia Street. Something spooked her, she yanked, her leash slipped my hands and off she went. She was only six months old, in complete shock and I don’t know how I didn’t get hit by a car as I chased her, screaming, through traffic. In this case, my ‘Happy’ was a trio of VPD officers who happened to be making an arrest… Read more »

    bee zettl
    Guest
    bee zettl

    I only came here for the cinnamon bun recipe but I read this and I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I am so glad Oliver is fine and that there are people out there willing to help, to get their hands dirty and take risks for strangers. 

    And what a handsome fella he is – it makes me laugh, though, I have a 1 year old Cocker girl and always get asked whether she’s a setter: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beezzzkneez/6987018277/ Looking at that second photo she could be Oliver’s short-legged sibling!

    Aubrey
    Guest

    I only just read this post (usually your blog is a daily read for me!) I am so glad for you that someone rescued Oliver! Our fur-babies really do mean the world to us don’t they? Hugs for you and wet-nose kisses for Oliver! Have a great Canada Day!

    Cjvegas
    Guest
    Cjvegas

    just saw your post and cried the whole time I read it. I was so hoping at the end only good things were going to come of this. The brave person you are inspired Happy to help you. So good to hear that all ended so well and the deed of another helping  another is to make one believe in kindess and goodness.

    Kris
    Guest
    Kris

    What a terrifying ordeal! I was in tears reading this story and thinking of my own little munchkins at home. I’m so glad your little guy is ok. A toast to Happy tonight.

    Tildatoo
    Guest
    Tildatoo

    Wow, we’re still crying here. You never know who will step in to help. Thank goodness (&#38 Happy) that you and Oliver are safe.&#160

    Tildatoo
    Guest
    Tildatoo

    Wow, we’re still crying here. You never know who will step in to help. Thank goodness (& Happy) that you and Oliver are safe. 

    aprilaakre
    Guest
    aprilaakre

    wow this was really hard to read without crying. I am so glad you are both ok.

    Tildatoo
    Guest
    Tildatoo

    Wow, we’re still crying here. You never know who will step in to help. Thank goodness (& Happy) that you and Oliver are safe. 

    Reciperenovator
    Guest
    Reciperenovator

    So very glad this had a happy ending, and that an angel appeared when you needed him.

    Debbie Kelly
    Guest

    &#160Obviously he knew as you &#38 I .a dog is mans best friend and worth everything to save,So glad your pup is ok!!!! What a story!!! Glad it had a happy ending

    Debbie Kelly
    Guest

     Obviously he knew as you & I .a dog is mans best friend and worth everything to save,So glad your pup is ok!!!! What a story!!! Glad it had a happy ending

    Deb
    Guest
    Deb

    thank God for Happy, if karma is real his is golden. &#160My heart was in my mouth reading your story, again, thank God for sending you Happy

    Kizz Robinson
    Guest
    Kizz Robinson

    I hope all kinds of wonderful things happen for that man. I’m blubbering here at my desk and so glad you got your boy back.

    Debbie Kelly
    Guest

     Obviously he knew as you & I .a dog is mans best friend and worth everything to save,So glad your pup is ok!!!! What a story!!! Glad it had a happy ending

    amberpagewrites
    Guest
    amberpagewrites

    Wow. I’m fighting back tears here. That is a wonderful story. It’s nice to know good humans still exist.

    Deb
    Guest
    Deb

    thank God for Happy, if karma is real his is golden.  My heart was in my mouth reading your story, again, thank God for sending you Happy

    Deb
    Guest
    Deb

    thank God for Happy, if karma is real his is golden.  My heart was in my mouth reading your story, again, thank God for sending you Happy

    DawnK
    Guest
    DawnK

    Wow, that must have been so scary! I’m glad everything turned out all right in the end!

    Kizz Robinson
    Guest
    Kizz Robinson

    I hope all kinds of wonderful things happen for that man. I’m blubbering here at my desk and so glad you got your boy back.

    @lynneux
    Guest
    @lynneux

    I’m so glad you’re both Ok! Reading this brought me to tears, and brought back the terrifying day I watched my @ZooeyNuggs bounce off the front tire of a car and bolt into rush hour traffic on West Georgia Street. Something spooked her, she yanked, her leash slipped my hands and off she went. She was only six months old, in complete shock and I don’t know how I didn’t get hit by a car as I chased her, screaming, through traffic. In this case, my ‘Happy’ was a trio of VPD officers who happened to be making an arrest… Read more »

    Cjvegas
    Guest
    Cjvegas

    just saw your post and cried the whole time I read it. I was so hoping at the end only good things were going to come of this. The brave person you are inspired Happy to help you. So good to hear that all ended so well and the deed of another helping&#160 another is to make one believe in kindess and goodness.

    aprilaakre
    Guest
    aprilaakre

    wow this was really hard to read without crying. I am so glad you are both ok.

    Dani
    Guest

    that is one adorable dog you have. I’m glad it all turned out okay.&#160

    Aubrey
    Guest

    I only just read this post (usually your blog is a daily read for me!) I am so glad for you that someone rescued Oliver!&#160Our fur-babies really do mean the world to us don’t they? Hugs for you and wet-nose kisses for Oliver!&#160Have a great Canada Day!

    Kizz Robinson
    Guest
    Kizz Robinson

    I hope all kinds of wonderful things happen for that man. I’m blubbering here at my desk and so glad you got your boy back.

    DawnK
    Guest
    DawnK

    Wow, that must have been so scary! I’m glad everything turned out all right in the end!

    DawnK
    Guest
    DawnK

    Wow, that must have been so scary! I’m glad everything turned out all right in the end!

    @lynneux
    Guest
    @lynneux

    I’m so glad you’re both Ok! Reading this brought me to tears, and brought back the terrifying day I watched my @ZooeyNuggs bounce off the front tire of a car and bolt into rush hour traffic on West Georgia Street. Something spooked her, she yanked, her leash slipped my hands and off she went. She was only six months old, in complete shock and I don’t know how I didn’t get hit by a car as I chased her, screaming, through traffic. In this case, my ‘Happy’ was a trio of VPD officers who happened to be making an arrest… Read more »

    aprilaakre
    Guest
    aprilaakre

    wow this was really hard to read without crying. I am so glad you are both ok.

    Aubrey
    Guest

    I only just read this post (usually your blog is a daily read for me!) I am so glad for you that someone rescued Oliver! Our fur-babies really do mean the world to us don’t they? Hugs for you and wet-nose kisses for Oliver! Have a great Canada Day!

    Cjvegas
    Guest
    Cjvegas

    just saw your post and cried the whole time I read it. I was so hoping at the end only good things were going to come of this. The brave person you are inspired Happy to help you. So good to hear that all ended so well and the deed of another helping  another is to make one believe in kindess and goodness.

    Dani
    Guest

    that is one adorable dog you have. I’m glad it all turned out okay. 

    Reciperenovator
    Guest
    Reciperenovator

    So very glad this had a happy ending, and that an angel appeared when you needed him.

    amberpagewrites
    Guest
    amberpagewrites

    Wow. I’m fighting back tears here. That is a wonderful story. It’s nice to know good humans still exist.

    Kizz Robinson
    Guest
    Kizz Robinson

    I hope all kinds of wonderful things happen for that man. I’m blubbering here at my desk and so glad you got your boy back.

    Kris
    Guest
    Kris

    What a terrifying ordeal! I was in tears reading this story and thinking of my own little munchkins at home. I’m so glad your little guy is ok. A toast to Happy tonight.

    Dani
    Guest

    that is one adorable dog you have. I’m glad it all turned out okay. 

    DawnK
    Guest
    DawnK

    Wow, that must have been so scary! I’m glad everything turned out all right in the end!

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