This easy paneer butter masala is a rich, mild curry that features delicious spicy paneer cubes and lots of sauce for your favourite rice. It’s just the perfect creamy vegetarian curry for those days you’re craving Indian food.
Paneer butter masala is a super creamy curry that I personally find so much better than takeaway.
The recipe is inspired by the very popular chicken butter masala, but instead of using meat, it has delicious, spicy bits of paneer in a creamy tomato-based sauce.
It’s ready in just 40 minutes and is a curry the entire family is sure to love. That’s because it’s extra creamy so you can mop up the delicious sauce with some warm naan bread, and it’s not too spicy (unless you want it to be).
You don’t need many ingredients to make this paneer butter masala restaurant style at home. Paneer cheese is obviously the star of this recipe, so try to use the best quality paneer you can.
What do you need to make this curry?
Paneer cheese — I find that different brands of shop-bought paneer have various textures.
Some of them keep their shape better than others, so don’t worry if yours breaks down a bit while cooking — it will only make the sauce creamier.
Onion, garlic and ginger — You’ll need a food processor to blitz the onion, garlic and ginger into a paste.
If you don’t have one, you can chop everything very finely and the sauce will still be delicious — just not as smooth.
Tomato puree and passata — Paneer butter masala is a tomato-based sauce and a mix of tomato puree and passata (tomato sauce) is the perfect combination here. You can also use a can of crushed tomatoes instead.
Cream — Double (heavy) cream makes the sauce extra smooth and I don’t recommend substituting it with single cream (half and half).
How do you make paneer butter masala?
Place the onion, garlic and ginger into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Heat the oil in a large, deep pan and melt the butter in it. Add the onion mixture and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until the onion starts to brown slightly.
Add the paneer to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the cream and simmer for another minute to allow it to heat through.
Next, stir in the chopped coriander, season to taste, and serve over rice, sprinkled with some extra coriander, if you like.
Recipe notes and tips
- Naan bread or roti are also great accompaniments for this paneer tikka butter masala besides rice.
- You can serve this cheese butter masala over cauliflower rice for a low-carb version.
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days, and you can reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop.
If you liked this easy paneer butter masala, you might also like some of my other easy veggie curries:
- Aubergine and Red Lentil Curry
- Instant Pot Cauliflower and Cashew Curry (Vegan)
- Pumpkin Tofu Curry
- Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
- Easy Vegan Black Bean Curry
For the paneer
For the curry sauce
- 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 30 g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 150 ml (¾ cup) vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 200 ml (1 cup) passata (tomato sauce)
- 150 ml (¾ cup) double (heavy) cream
- Handful of chopped fresh coriander
- Cut the paneer cheese into ½ inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Add the garam masala, ground coriander, and paprika and toss gently to combine. Set the paneer aside while you start on the sauce.
- Place the onion, garlic and ginger into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep pan and melt the butter in it. Add the onion mixture and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until the onion starts to brown slightly.
- Add the paneer to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the curry powder, paprika and ground cinnamon and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the vegetable stock, tomato puree and passata and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the cream and simmer for another minute to allow it to heat through.
- Next, stir in the chopped coriander, season to taste, and serve over rice, sprinkled with some extra coriander, if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 493mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.