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Paneer Butter Masala


prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 30 minutes

total time: 40 minutes

serves 4


-2 tbsp oil, 10 ml divided (avocado or any flavorless oil)

-1 bay leaf

-1/2 inch cinnamon stick

-3-4 cloves

-6-7 large garlic cloves, 25 grams, roughly chopped

-1 1/2 inch ginger, 15g, roughly chopped

-1 large white onion, 180g, roughly chopped

-3-4 large tomatoes, 460g, roughly chopped

-10-15 whole cashews, raw

-1 cup water, 8 oz

-2 tbsp unsalted butter

-1/2 tsp red chili powder

-1/2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder

-1/2 tsp garam masala + 1/4 tsp, if needed

-1/4 tsp cardamom powder

-1 tsp sugar

-3/4 tsp salt, or to taste

-1/2 tbsp tomato paste, optional

-3-4 tbsp cream, 45-60 mL

-250g paneer, cut into cubes

-2 tsp crushed kasuri mathi, dried fenugreek leaves

-chopped cilantro, to garnish


  1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, and sauté for a few seconds.

  2. Then add the onion, garlic, ginger, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

  3. Add the tomatoes and cashews and mix. Then add 1 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.

  4. After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the heat. Remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cloves.

  5. Let the mixture cool down a bit and then transfer to a blender. It's important to let it cool down a bit, or else it will all blow up in the mixer. Grind the masala to a smooth paste and set aside.

  6. To the same pan, now add 2 tbsp butter, along with remaining 1 tsp oil on medium heat.

  7. Once the butter melts, add the red chili powder and the kashmiri red chili powder and fry a few seconds. This will give the curry a nice orange-red color.

  8. Then add the ground paste back into the pan along with the garam masala (start with 1/2 tsp and add the remaining 1/4 tsp at the end, only if you feel like the curry needs that extra bit of garam masala), cardamom powder, sugar, salt, and tomato paste (if using). Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  9. Then add the cream and mix.

  10. Add in the paneer and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Finally add the crushed kasuri methi.

  11. Garnish paneer butter masala with cilantro and serve hot with naan or rice. Enjoy!

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