Restaurant style butter paneer is a delicious dish of Indian cheese cooked in a creamy cashew and tomato based curry. It’s perfectly seasoned for a mild, slightly sweet taste that tastes just like what you would get in a restaurant. You’ll love making this easy butter paneer for your family to enjoy for dinner in the comfort of your own home anytime!
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What is Butter Paneer?
Butter paneer is also called paneer makhani. This yummy dish bathes cubes of Indian style cottage cheese in a lusciously silky, buttery tomato and cashew curry. It’s lush sauce and delightful blend of seasonings makes it very popular in India and Indian restaurants.
It's wholesome Indian comfort food at its finest and makes a delicious meal you can whip up anytime in under half an hour thanks to the Instant Pot.
Butter Paneer Video Recipe
Ingredients to make the best Paneer Makhani
When you are ready to make delicious butter paneer, here’s what you’ll want to have on hand:
- Ginger garlic paste
- Whole cashews
- Red chili powder or to taste
- Garam masala
- Salt (to taste)
- Tomato ketchup
- Oil - You can use either olive oil or canola oil.
- Paneer - You’ll want to cut it into cubes.
- Cilantro - You’ll need it for both cooking and for garnish.
- Crushed kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves
- Heavy whipping cream - You can use this for garnish, substitute with a vegan milk like coconut milk, use yogurt, or skip altogether.
Why you would love this butter paneer recipe
Butter paneer curry is Indian comfort food at its finest! You will absolutely love the creamy sauce and the mildly sweet flavor of this dish.
Also, this filling dish tastes very similar to the butter paneer you might find at your favorite Indian restaurant. But we think you’ll think our recipe tastes even better!
And since you can make it less than 20 minutes, it is a perfect weeknight dinner that you can serve your family. Of course, you can enjoy this recipe on a cool weekend day when you just want something warm, creamy, and comforting.
How to make Butter Paneer
- First, press the sauté button on your Instant Pot. When it reads “HOT,” pour the oil and butter into the inner pot.
- Next, add the ginger and garlic paste, cashews, salt, red chili powder, garam masala, and the tomatoes. Once you add them all, give them a good stir.
- When they are well mixed, pour the water into the pot. Next, seal the lid on top. Finally, close the pressure valve to the sealing position.
- Once the lid is in place, set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully do a quick release of pressure.
- Carefully open the Instant Pot and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Once the sauce has cooled some, either use an immersion blender or carefully pour the contents into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Next, add puree back into the pot and press sauté. As it heats up, add the sugar and mix well. Once the sugar is added, sauté the sauce for 5 minutes.
- Finally, add the paneer cubes, some crushed dried Fenugreek leaves, and chopped cilantro leaves. As a final step, garnish with cream and then serve it with rice or naan.
Pro tips and tricks to make homemade Paneer makhani
When you want to make perfect paneer makhani, follow these easy tips and tricks for the best results:
- Don’t overcook the sauce! It only takes about 5 minutes in the pressure cooker.
- An immersion blender is a must have kitchen tool that can save you time, but it can also help prevent spills and burns because you won’t have to pour hot food into a blender. So we highly recommend getting one.
- Only add the paneer at the very end to avoid overcooking it.
- Don’t skip the cashews, they help make the sauce creamy. If you can’t use cashews, almonds are a good substitute.
How to serve Butter Paneer
When you make butter paneer, it goes great with basmati rice, jeera rice, garlic naan, Paratha, roti, or dal makhani on the side. We highly recommend having naan or roti on hand to dip into the curry and soak up all the extra sauce! And if you love homemade bread, you can use these dinner rolls to sop it up too!
Can I use an immersion blender to prepare the puree?
Of course! And, we highly recommend using an immersion blender. Some great reasons to use an immersion blender include:
- Less mess
- Fewer dishes to clean
- Easier to use
- Avoids potential burns
- Saves time
Can I skip the cream?
Heavy cream adds extra creaminess to the curry, but you can skip it if you prefer. Other options include coconut milk, almond milk, or yogurt as added creaminess. And you can also skip them the added cream altogether.
What is the difference between Paneer tikka masala and Butter Paneer
Paneer tikka masala and butter paneer are similar. Both have a similar tomato based gravy and cashew paste for the thickness.
However, there are some differences in cooking methods and flavor. In paneer tikka masala, you marinate the paneer first while in butter paneer, you just cook the paneer in the sauce. Paneer butter masala also has a slightly sweet flavor while paneer tikka masala is spicier.
Can I meal prep the Butter Paneer gravy?
Yes! You can absolutely meal prep the butter paneer gravy. Just make it as directed and portion into individual airtight containers. Then, store it in the fridge along with precooked and pre portioned rice for easy grab and go meals all week!
Can I freeze Paneer Makhani?
Yes! You can freeze butter paneer. Unlike other soft cheeses, paneer freezes well and cooking it in the butter paneer gravy will help it keep some of its flavor and texture. If you freeze it in an airtight container, it should last about 6 months.
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- 2 large tomatoes / roughly chopped.
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
- 12 whole cashews
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 1 tbp oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- paneer cut into cubes [around 1.5 cups paneer cubes]
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro.
- 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves
- Chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon Heavy whipping cream
- Press sauté, when hot pour the oil and butter in the inner pot of the electric pressure cooker.
- Add the ginger / garlic paste, cashews, salt, red chili powder, garam masala and the tomatoes and give a good stir.
- Pour the water and place the lid and Close with pressure valve to sealing position.
- Pressure cook for 5 minutes followed by quick release.
- Open the electric pressure cooker, allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Using a blender, carefully blend the sauce until smooth puree is attained.
- Add in the puree back in the pot and press sauté, add sugar and mix well.
- Sauté the sauce for 5 minutes.
- Lastly add the paneer cubes, some crushed dried Fenugreek leaves and chopped cilantro leaves.
- Garnish it with cream.
- Serve it with Rice or naan and enjoy this delicious meal
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