Paneer Butter Masala - Cheese Cubes Smothered in a Spicy Tomato Gravy Featured

Authors: lisa' s kitchen feed

butter paneer masala

I've made a few versions of this classic North Indian dish and I never tire of it. Next to mattar paneer, it's one of my favorite ways to serve paneer when the craving hits and a good way to judge the quality of Indian restaurant offerings. I was inspired to make this as part of a weekend meal for my husband and best friend Basil after getting my paws on some locally made water buffalo paneer which is the next best thing to making your own cheese.

Take care not to overcook the paneer when frying it up because you want a fairly soft texture that will absorb the spices and have that melt in your mouth sensation. As much as I enjoy vegan meals, cheese is not something I am willing to give up, though I do eat it in moderation.

butter paneer masala

Butter Paneer Masala

400 grams paneer cheese, cut into cubes 1-inch cubes
oil for frying
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 - 4 fresh chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and shredded
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I used kashmiri chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
dash of cayenne
3 large plum tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed
handful of dried fenugreek leaves, crumbled
few handfuls of fresh parsley or coriander, finely chopped
sea salt to taste
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 - 4 tablespoons water or heavy cream
juice from one small lemon
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Begin by frying the paneer cubes. Heat 1-inch of oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. When hot, add the cubes to the pan and fry, flipping often, until the paneer is lightly browned on all sides. This should take about 5 - 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Toss in the cumin seeds and onion and fry, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown.

Now add the green chilies and garlic and stir and fry for another minute or so. Add the ground spices to the pot, stir and fry for another 30 seconds and then add the tomato, fenugreek leaves, sea salt and half of the the parsley or cilantro. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken.

Stir in the paneer cubes and butter and cream or water. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water or cream to achieve your desired consistency.

Stir in the garam masala and lemon juice, gently simmer for another few minutes and stir in the rest of the chopped parsley. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Yields 4 - 5 servings

butter paneer
More ideas for paneer from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Shredded Paneer with Tomatoes, Chilies, Mushrooms and Chickpeas
Indian-Style Macaroni and Paneer Cheese with Spinach
Saffron-Marinated Paneer Cheese with Fresh Basil, Cashews and Pomegranate Seeds
Paneer Mushroom Masala

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