Paneer Makhani/Butter Paneer

Hey guys, it’s been awhile hasn’t it. Well I am back and better than ever, well okay I’m pretty much the same, but who’s asking? Anyways let’s move this along. Today’s dish is Paneer Makhani or if you prefer it in English, Butter Paneer. Now what exactly is Butter Paneer? Well to put it simply, it’s an amazing dish…too simple? Okay, okay I was hoping I wouldn’t have to explain, but that would be selfish. Well basically it’s a creamy tomato based curry with cubes of Paneer cooked in it. Paneer is a non-melting(yes, it exists) fresh cheese used in Pakistani and Indian cuisine. That’s the extent of my knowledge on it, but to be honest, it’s all you really need to know. Basically it’s great and I promise you won’t be disappointed if you try this recipe (unless you totally fail….then yeah). Disclaimer: This is actually my first time making it so we’ll both be learning as I go.

SUPER SPECIAL INGREDIENTS (basically the ones most people don’t have):

  • Paneer
  • Curry Leaf

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 oz. or about 200 grams paneer cheese cubed
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp cashew paste (cashews soaked in warm water and then pureed to make paste) or ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 curry leaf
  • ½ to a 1 tspn red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder or tandoori masala powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garlic paste (or minced)
  • ½ tsp ginger paste (or ¼ tspn powder)
  • 1-2 green chillies20141107_171539
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • salt
  • 2 tsp yogurt

Yeah, I even have a picture of everything for you (except for the yogurt and cumin powder, sorry about that), am I not the most considerate person ever? The answer is yes, in case you were wondering. And yes, those two yellow lumps are butter, I’m not going to apologize for that. So, moving along. Now that you’ve seen the ingredients let’s get to it.

 

Directions:

First off, what you’re going to need to do is slice up those tomatoes into quarter pieces. Yup, quarters, not halves, not eighths, it must be quarters! You, I know you just cut into sixths, what were you thinking? The recipe is ruined! That’s it I’m leaving, I can’t work with this… Okay, okay I was just joshin’ with ya. I had to spice things up a bit, explaining can be pretty boring. Anyways, just cut them into smaller pieces because you’re going to have to blend them. So yes, after the cutting is done place in blender with little to no water (depending on if you’re blender can handle straight up tomatoes). Now, blend until smooth. Like this:

20141107_172151

Awesome, I’m sure yours looks amazing. Now, set this aside you’ll need it in a bit. Next step, melt that butter in a pan with a curry leaf or two and oil! Yeah! So exciting. Then let the fragrance waft up and completely captivate you (okay unlikely, but still). Then add all o’ that garlic and ginger paste. Yeah, pretty cool. It should look like this by now:

20141107_173202

Looking good. Let this cook until the raw garlic and ginger smell no longer lives! It’s all very dramatic. Now, this is where that tomato puree will come in. So take it and just put it in. Pretty straightforward, you can’t really mess it up. Unless you did, then I mean it happens to the best of us, don’t worry about it. After adding the tomato puree wait until it starts to bubble up (about 2-3 minutes on medium heat) and then add the red chili powder. Mix it in nicely. You don’t want to hurt its feelings now (I’m sorry, I had to). Let this whole mixture cook down for about 15 minutes until it thickens. Here are some pictures to help you out:

20141107_17371520141107_17445420141107_183451

See, not bad. You know what, I am amazing, I mean you, you are amazing. Moving right along. By now, you should see the butter creeping its way up the sides of the puree, dang butter always wants to be on top. SMH. Well to solve this problem add the cashew paste or heavy cream, whatever you prefer. I personally would go with heavy cream, but this time I used cashew paste. So yes, stir in the paste until the butter/oil is sufficiently put in its place, at the bottom! Mwahahaha…*ahem* sorry about that. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Then add water. Picture time:

20141107_183750 20141107_18455120141107_185757

Okay, so sauté this for another 3-4 minutes and slowly the curry will thicken, then add the julienne green chilies and salt. Stir everything in for a couple of minutes then, this is the moment, ADD THE PANEER! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! OMG! Yes, the moment has come, I know you can do it! We’ve come this far, you can’t possibly mess it up now! Come now, “Let’s finish this the way we started, together!” If you got that quote, you’re awesome, if you didn’t I’m sorry but you’re going to have to leave. Just kidding, mostly. It was Harry Potter! Okay, now that that’s been settled, add the paneer cubes. Let them soften up in there for about 2-3 minutes then add the garam masala, cumin powder, and yogurt. All at once or stirring them in after each addition. All that matters is that the flavors are uniform. It should look like this:
20141107_19022620141107_19031420141107_19142120141107_190544

 

 

 

 

Just pour into desired dish and garnish with coriander and you know what, now you’re done! You did it! I believed in you every step of the way, congratulations. You’re end result should look like this:

20141107_194239-1-1

Wonderful, isn’t it? It came out almost perfectly, but if I were to make this again, which I totally will, I would suggest frying the paneer cubes in a slightly oiled frying pan. Just fry until both sides are slightly browned then add into the tomato mixture. Warning though, frying paneer is a dangerous job. There will be a lot of hot oil splashing so be careful. Also, I think instead of cashew paste I think I would just go with heavy cream, but that’s about it. To serve I would go with some roti, fresh naan, or basmati rice. Well that’s it for now, tune in next time for some more fun with Mostly Masala!!!

Like, Share, and/or Comment below if you enjoyed the post, even a little or if you smiled, even a little or if you read this, even a little or if you like food, even a little (hehehe I’ve got everyone now!!)

TLDR Version:

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 oz. or about 220 grams paneer cheese cubed
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp cashew paste (cashews soaked in warm water and then pureed to make paste) or ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 curry leaf
  • ½ to a 1 tspn red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder or tandoori masala powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garlic paste (or minced)
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • salt
  • 2 tsp yogurt

 

Directions:

  1. Cut tomatoes into quarter pieces. Put into blender and blend until smooth.
  2. In a pan heat up butter, oil, and curry leaf until it becomes fragrant.
  3. Then add garlic paste and ginger paste and cook until the raw garlic/ginger smell is gone.
  4. Add the pureed tomatoes and when it starts to bubble after about 2-3 minutes add the red chilli powder.
  5. Saute on medium-low heat until the tomato puree starts to thicken. This takes about 15 minutes.
  6. After oil starts to leave from side of the tomato add the cashew paste or heavy cream. Stir until oil starts to leave the sides of the pan or until cashew paste cooks, this happens pretty quickly, about 3-4 minutes on medium low heat. Add water when done.
  7. Stir for another 3-4 minutes and slowly the curry will thicken. Add the julienned green chilies and salt (optional: a little bit of julienned ginger)
  8. After adding chilies and salt stir for a couple of minutes until the curry thickens, then add the paneer cubes.
  9. Let the paneer cook and soften for 2-3 minutes then add the garam masala, cumin powder, and yogurt and stir for a couple of minutes.
  10. Let everything become evenly incorporated, garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and then you’re done!
  11. Serve with fresh naan or plain white basmati rice.
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