Cottage Cheese (paneer) cooked in a creamy nut gravy

A smooth tomato, cashew nut and cream gravy are characteristic of Paneer Butter Masala. The preparation makes the most of the rich umami flavours of ripe tomatoes, while it gives a hint of fragrance. Some chefs describe this dish as the vegetarian cousin of the butter chicken on their menus.

Preparation Time: 10 Min
Cooking Time: 45 Min
Serves: 6
Taste: Mild


  • 250–260g paneer cut into cubes
  • 6 large tomatoes (red, ripe and firm tomatoes are best)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2–3 green chillies, puréed into a paste
  • 1/4 cup cashew nut paste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sugar

Salt, to taste

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves crushed
  • 4 Tbsp cream
  • 1/4 Cup chopped coriander


  • Remove the core of the tomatoes, cut into quarters and place them in a blender. Purée until the tomatoes become a very smooth sauce. Keep aside.
  • Melt butter in a deep heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat.
  • Add onion and saute until they turn golden-brown in colour. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, stir, add green chilli paste, stir for another minute. Add tomato purée, cover and cook until oil surfaces, stirring often.
  • Add cashew paste to the onion masala and mix well. Sauté until the oil begins to seeps from the sides of the masala paste.
  • Add Kashmiri red chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, sugar and salt to the tomato gravy, mix well. Add water, cover, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Add the paneer along with fenugreek leaves, cover and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the cream to the paneer and simmer for 1–2 minutes to warm through, stirring occasionally.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander on top.
  • Serve hot with Plain Naan or Peshawari Naan

Ruby’s Tip: A 350g can of tomato puree may be used instead of fresh tomatoes. You can also make the dish without cashew nut paste – it tastes just as good. Take care not to over-cook the paneer as it will become hard and dry. You can always add the paneer and cream together just before serving.