Butter Paneer (or Chicken) Masala

  • Currently 4/5
A bright orange-colored smooth,creamy and light buttery flavored North Indian fare. This is one of the most popular main course food items in Indian restaurants. Calcium rich fresh homemade paneer cubes are simmered lightly with a rich buttery onion-tomato sauce and spices, flavored with pleasantly bitter dry fenugreek leaves and further enriched with cashew nut paste. You can also sub seasoned chicken for the paneer cubes to lower the fat content of this dish (see notes). Sub farmer's cheese or chicken for the paneer, and homemade yogurt for the cream to make this SCD legal.
1 cup paneer, cubed
2 large onions (blanched for 10 min and pureed)
1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste*
1 tsp red chili powder
3 large ripe tomatoes (blanched, skins removed, and pureed), or 28 oz can pureed tomatoes
3 Tbsps cashew nut paste**
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 pinch turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)***
2 tsps garam masala
Salt, to taste
3 Tbsps ghee, or butter
2 Tbsps fresh cream
1. Saute the paneer in 1 Tbsp ghee until golden brown. Remove paneer from heat and place in a dish of hot water. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain on tissue and set aside.
2. Heat 2 Tbsps butter in a pan, add the onion puree and saute until brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for 3 minutes. Add chili powder and combine. Add cashew paste and combine. Fry for 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato puree, coriander, turmeric, crushed fenugreek leaves, garam masala and salt. Stir and let simmer for 4-5 minutes.
4. Add the paneer and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add a small cup of water and let cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until you get the desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 Tbsp of butter and fresh cream.
5. Let the curry sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rotis, naan, paranthas or simple steamed white rice.
To Sub Chicken:
  • Boneless chicken ( approx about 4 cups of cut chicken )
  • 4 tablespoon yogurt/curd
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cream
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
  • 1/4 stick or 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • In a non-reactive container, mix 1c plain yogurt, 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 2 Tbsps lime juice, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp salt. Mix in 1.5 lbs boneless chicken cut into bite-sized pieces until well coated; cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Place the chicken in a baking dish and bake in the oven at 425-degrees for 15 minutes (when the oil starts to separate it is done). Do not discard the juices. Add the chicken into the sauce in place of the paneer.

    *You can find ginger-garlic paste in most Indian groceries, or at Whole Foods in the international section. You can also make it yourself by blending 6 cloves of garlic, 2 inches of peeled ginger, and 1/8c water in a food processor until smooth.

    **Unfortunately I have yet to find this in stores or online; however, it is very easy to make. Soak 1/3c unsalted cashews in 1/2c warm water for 10 minutes; drain; and grind into a smooth paste in a food processor. This makes 1/4 cup of paste. Freeze leftovers.

    ***Fenugreek leaves can usually be found in Indian groceries. I typically get it online as I don't have an Indian grocer close by. You can also substitute celery leaves.
    Meal   DinnerCuisine   Indian
    Dish   Main DishMain Ingredient   Vegetables
    Features   Vegetarian

    More recipes like this one...