India – Paneer Masala – Recipe (Traditional)


Enjoy this award-winning authentic traditional Paneer Butter Masala, a delightful dish that brings out the best of North Indian flavors and culinary traditions!


Paneer Butter Masala, also known as Paneer Makhani, is a quintessential North Indian dish that is beloved for its rich, creamy, and mildly spiced tomato-based gravy paired with soft, succulent paneer (Indian cottage cheese). This dish is a staple in Indian cuisine, often found on restaurant menus and served at special occasions and family gatherings.

Key Elements:

  • Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese): Paneer is a fresh, non-melting cheese made by curdling milk with a food acid. It is soft, firm, and has a mild flavor that absorbs the rich and creamy tomato gravy, making it incredibly delicious.
  • Tomato Gravy: The heart of Paneer Butter Masala is its luscious tomato gravy, made with ripe tomatoes, cashew nuts, onions, and a blend of aromatic spices. The gravy is smooth, slightly sweet, and mildly spiced, providing a perfect balance of flavors. The addition of fresh cream and butter enhances the richness and gives the dish its characteristic creamy texture.
  • Spices and Aromatics: The dish features a harmonious blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi). These spices are sautéed with ginger, garlic, and green chilies, creating a fragrant base that infuses the gravy with deep flavors.

Culinary Experience:

  • Taste and Texture: Paneer Butter Masala offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The creamy, smooth gravy with its mildly spiced and slightly sweet taste complements the soft, tender cubes of paneer. Each bite melts in your mouth, offering a burst of rich and savory goodness.
  • Aromatic and Inviting: The dish is visually appealing with its vibrant orange-red color and is aromatic with the enticing scents of spices and butter. The finishing touch of fresh coriander leaves adds a refreshing note to the overall presentation.

Cultural Significance:

  • North Indian Delight: Paneer Butter Masala is a beloved dish in North Indian cuisine, particularly in Punjab. It is commonly served during festive occasions, celebrations, and family meals, symbolizing warmth and hospitality.
  • Global Popularity: Over the years, Paneer Butter Masala has gained immense popularity beyond India and is featured in Indian restaurants worldwide. Its universal appeal lies in its rich, creamy taste and the versatility of paneer, making it a favorite among vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Paneer Butter Masala is more than just a dish; it is a celebration of Indian culinary artistry. Its rich, creamy, and mildly spiced gravy paired with soft paneer creates a comforting and indulgent dining experience that is cherished by food enthusiasts globally.


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