Paneer Butter Masala Recipe: Treat For Janmashtami

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Highlights
Paneer Butter Masala Recipe is not something you can't cook in your kitchen. It's time to get a few ingredients together and make the best Paneer Butter Masala on this Janmashtmi. Read on, try it out, and see how well it turns out to be.

Butter, can’t get enough of it. From everyday toast to the street style Pav Bhaji, butter is that one ingredient that makes everything finger-licking good. Hence, I bring to you this paneer butter masala recipe to enjoy the taste of butter. 

I am sure butter reminds you of some special event or moment. To me, butter is the love for the foodie Lord Krishna. So, for this year’s Janmashtami, let’s celebrate the birth of Makhan Chor, Lord Krishna. 

What is Janmashtami?

Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami is an auspicious occasion that comes once every year. This day is celebrated for the birth of Lord Krishna. Throughout India, especially in Mathura and Vrindavan, there are different traditions followed by people to celebrate Janmashtami. However, food is a constant in all celebrations. 

Janmashtami is all about the festivity and what’s more important in a festival than sweets. Nonetheless, it’s not like sweets are the only essence you can go for. There are plenty of other options. That’s why here we are with Paneer Butter Masala- a true combination of buttery, smooth, and spicy food. 

Coming back to the recipe, imagine you are at a restaurant with the menu in your hand. What will most of your family order? I am sure Paneer Butter Masala is one of the top priorities. This food item packs all three types of dairy together, Paneer, Butter, and Dahi. Therefore, full of nutrition. 

Now, without any further wait, let’s begin with our Janmashtami Special Paneer Butter Masala. 

Ingredients:

  1. 250 Gm Paneer 
  2. 7 Tomatoes (red and medium size)
  3. 4 Medium Sized Onions
  4. 3 tablespoon Dahi 
  5. 250 Gm Butter
  6. 18 Cashews
  7. 1-inch ginger
  8. 3 garlic cloves
  9. 1 green chili
  10. 2 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  11. ½  teaspoon turmeric
  12. 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. 3 cloves
  15. 2 green cardamom
  16. 1 tablespoon Kasuri Methi
  17. Salt to taste

Preparation

Before getting your ingredients to the stove, you first need to prepare a little something. This will help you ease up the process and get that perfect restaurant-style Paneer Butter Masala. 

  • Chop 3 onions into big chunks (big but equal size). This one is for the gravy.
  • Finely chop 1 onion for the tadka at the end

  • Roughly chop about 6 tomatoes. These will go in the gravy.
  • Finely chop 1 tomato for the tadka.
  • Cut your butter into small cubes. 
  • Add all the powder spices in the curd and mix them well. Also, add 2 cubes of butter and leave it aside. 

  • Cut your Paneer into cubes. Take a bowl and add water + salt. Soak your paneer into the solution and leave it like that. 

Method

Paneer butter masala recipe might seem too tough for anyone who is cooking in their home kitchen but trust me, it’s super easy. However, just to ease up the process, let’s divide the recipe into 2 different parts. 

The Gravy method:

  • In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of ghee into it. Take about 50 gms butter (1 tablespoon) and allow it to melt with the ghee.

  • Once done, add the dry spices - Bay leaf, cardamom, and cloves. 
  • As you get the fragrance of these spices, add roughly chopped big chunks of onion. Mix it well and let it cook. 

  • You need to sweat these onions. Don’t wait for it to turn golden brown. By sweat, I mean translucent. 
  • Got the right translucent onions? Now add chopped ginger and 3 whole cloves of garlic. Mix it well and cook for about 1 minute until they leave the flavors in the oil. 

  • Now add the curd mixture you just prepared with all the powder spices and butter. Mix it well.
  • You will notice curd with leave oil once it gets to the gravy. As you notice oil on the sides, add cashews. 

  • Now it is time to add your tomatoes. Give it a mix and allow tomatoes to cook till soft. 
  • As the tomatoes are just a bit soft and start to mix with the rest of the ingredients, time to add water, Water should be enough to cover the tomatoes. So, in this quantity, about 2 cups of water would be just right. 

  • Let it boil for about 15 minutes. Till the time tomatoes and all the other ingredients are done.
  • Don’t forget to stir in between. 
  • Now, turn off the flame and allow the gravy to get to room temperature. Grind the whole thing together. 
  • However, if you are using a hand blender, you can do so even while the gravy is hot. 

  • You can blend it finely. Once done, it’s time to strain. This step is important so don’t forget it. 
  • There goes your gravy which is just right. 

The final touch. 

  • It’s time to get your second tadka. So, in a clean pan, add about 50 gms of butter. Allow it to melt. 
  • Once melted, add about a teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder. 

  • Add your finely chopped onion in it and get it to turn slightly golden. Don’t cook too much. 

  • Now add finely chopped tomatoes. Let it cook nicely. 
  • As you see oil coming out of your tadka, add the gravy you just prepared. Mix it well.

  • Here’s a little secret now, to balance the tanginess of tomatoes, add about 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. 
  • Sim your flame and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes. Allow all the flavors to soak in together. 
  • It’s time to add more butter into your paneer butter masala gravy. So, add about 50 gms of butter more into it. 

  • Along with butter, add 2 tablespoons of fresh cream, and a bunch of Kasuri methi. 
  • Cook it for about a minute and you will see the shine and smoothness of your gravy. All because of cashews and butter. Also, to your efforts. 
  • Time to finalize the recipe and add the final and main ingredient, the Paneer. Get it out of the soaking solution and put it lightly into the gravy. 

Voila! Your Paneer Butter Masala is ready to serve hot and piping.

In a bowl, put your paneer butter masala, spread a few spoons of cream. Now, goes in a cube of butter and sprinkle some kasuri methi. You are good to serve the food at your dining table. 

How to serve?

Usually, what north Indians do is serve Paneer Butter Masala with some butter naan. You can have various options of bread to serve with it such as tandoori roti, garlic naan, stuffed naan or simple Tawa roti. 

You can also have it with rice because it’s a gravy. Don’t forget to have a complimentary salad, green chutney, and a small piece of lemon. Trust me, all this hard work will pay off. 

Answering Frequently asked questions

  • What if your paneer is too soft? 

In that case, what you can do is - in a pan add a few tablespoons of oil. Toss your paneer cubes softly until they turn a little golden brown. Got the texture? Follow the soaking process in the water and salt solution. This will give you that nice restaurant-style feel.

  • Why are we adding dahi?

Usually, people prefer adding cream instead of dahi. That’s fine, you can do that too. However, here we are adding dahi because it will complement the tanginess of tomatoes you are adding. Moreover, if you are adding dahi, you don’t need too much cream because it has all the fat you need in your dish.

  • What about dry spices?

You need to remove all the solid spices you add to your gravy before blending. Why is it important? If you don’t do this, your gravy will turn darker than expected. 

  • What if you don’t have cashew?

The real shine in Paneer Butter Masala comes from 2 main ingredients- butter and cashews. However, if you don’t want to use cashews, you can use almonds. Soak it overnight, peel off the skin, and use it in place of cashews. Almonds are like the perfect food substitute for cashews. 

  • What if the gravy is not too thick?

If your gravy is not as thick as you have thought it would be, there is a hack. Grate a chunk of paneer and add those small parts of paneer into your gravy. You will notice it has turned a bit thick. Besides, you can always cook it without cover to let it evaporate. 

Conclusion

Why have that ordinary roti sabzi on Janmashtami and wait for the best sweets? Try out this Paneer Butter Masala recipe and impress your homies like any other festival. 

This recipe may seem a little difficult but all you need is a few ingredients and about 1 hour. No hard work, just focus on cooking. That’s what will make your Janmashtami more memorable than ever before. 

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