Paneer Butter Masala

Meera Sodha's delicious recipe for comforting paneer butter masala is the ultimate vegetarian comfort food. This decadent curry is simple to put together and is great for a weekend feast with friends.

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Introduction

Hindus consider cows and all their milky produce – cream, butter and cheese – sacred. I can’t argue with that. Traditionally, this dish would be made with a few large slabs of golden butter, but for the sake of decency I’ve toned things down a bit. It’s still an extravagant dish, but channel India and enjoy yourself.

Serves 4 as a main course

Ingredients

Rapeseed oil
500g hard paneer, cut into 2cm cubes
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
4cm ginger, peeled and grated
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
800g tomato passata
1 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp honey
1½ tsp salt
250g peas (fresh or defrosted)
100ml double cream (plus extra to serve)
A handful toasted flaked almonds

Instructions

Put a tablespoon of oil into a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the cubes of paneer. Fry for a couple of minutes until golden on all sides, turning regularly, then remove to a plate.

Put the butter into the same pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion and fry for around 10 minutes, until translucent and turning golden. Add the ginger and garlic, stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the passata. Cover with the lid and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until reduced to a lovely thick sauce.

Add the fenugreek leaves, cinnamon, cloves, chilli powder, honey and salt to the pan. Stir, then add the fried paneer, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Add the peas and cream and cook for a further 5 minutes.

To serve, scatter with the almonds and drizzle with a little extra cream.

This curry is perfect with steamed basmati rice.

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