Friday, February 2, 2007

Paneer Butter Masala

I bought the paneer from the market and added some my own ideas and Paneer Butter Masala turned out to be delicious.

Paneer Butter Masala goes well with naans, phulkas, chapattis, fried rice, and pulaos.

Paneer or panir is widely popular in Iran, and South Asia. The word means 'cheese' in Persian. It is an un-aged, acid-set, farmer cheese that is similar to Queso Blanco except that it does not have salt added, and to acid-set fresh Mozzarella. Like Mozzarella, Bengali Paneer is beaten and kneaded. However, other types of paneer are simply pressed. Paneer is the only type of cheese indigenous to the Indian Subcontinent. Paneer can be made at home. However, it should be consumed fresh. Unlike most other cheeses, Paneer does not melt at normal cooking temperatures.


4 medium ripe tomatoes
10 raw cashews
4 tbsp butter (divided)
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 cardamoms
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
3 medium onions (diced)
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp chilli powder
4 tbsp methi (fenugreek) leaves (frozen or fresh)
200 g paneer (cut into small cubes)
2 tbsp whipping cream (divided)
Salt (to taste)


1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

Method of cooking

Bring pot 3/4 full of water to a boil over high heat. Dip tomatoes in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove tomatoes and plunge them into a bowl of ice-water to stop from cooking and to help them loosen the skin. Gently pierce the skin of the tomatoes with the tip of a sharp knife. Loosen the skin and peel away.

In a food processor blend tomatoes and cashews.

In a heavy saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Add cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and cardamom. Fry for a few seconds. Add ginger-garlic paste. Add diced onions and fry till golden brown. Add turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder, methi leaves and tomato-cashew mixture. Boil gravy for about 15 minutes over low heat. Add paneer cubes; boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in remaining 2 tbsp butter and 3 tbsp cream. Add salt to taste.

Garnish with coriander leaves and the remaining 1 tbsp cream...

Now enjoy your Paneer Butter Masala.

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