Paneer Butter Masala in Instant Pot | Paneer Makhani

March 30, 2018 (Updated: November 9, 2019) By Aneesha |

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An easy Instant Pot pressure cooker recipe for Paneer Butter Masala, or Paneer Makhani, a popular Indian vegetarian delicacy.  Made with Indian cottage cheese (paneer), simmered in tomato puree, Indian spices, and finished with a touch of heavy cream.

A bowl of paneer butter masala, also known as, paneer Makhani, made in the Instant Pot pressure cooker.

Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani, literally means paneer cooked in a buttery rich sauce.  Paneer is a firm Indian cottage cheese.  It’s a vegetarian variation of the popular north-Indian dish called Butter Chicken.

I use fresh or store bought paneer (Indian cottage cheese), and simmer it in tomato puree, seasoned with toasted and ground garam masala.  A touch of heavy cream brings this dish to life.   The original paneer masala dish was created in the 1950s by the chef of a super popular restaurant in New Delhi, called ‘Moti Mahal Delux’.

Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Traditional Butter Masala Recipe versus Quick & Easy One-Pot Recipe

The traditional Paneer Butter Masala recipe involves one extra step.  You have to marinate the paneer in yogurt and garam masala, grill it, and then simmer it in a tomato-cream sauce.

But in this curry recipe, I skipped that step (see video recipe below) and made it a dump and start one-pot recipe using my Instant Pot pressure cooker, with the same incredible taste. The key is cutting paneer into small, bite-size cubes so that they absorb the flavors of the sauce, and, a little extra garam masala to compensate for the flavors lost in skipping the marination.  This is one of the tastiest, and most requested Indian vegetarian recipes by my kids.

Click here to see my other simple dump and start one-pot recipes.

Is Paneer Makhani the same as Paneer Tikka Masala?

Instant pot paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Paneer Butter Masala
Paneer Tikka masala- Instant pot
Paneer Tikka Masala

In most Indian restaurants, the most popular vegetarian entree is Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani.  It’s very similar to Paneer Tikka Masala, which was a variation of this recipe, created in the UK.

Everyone has their take on both these Indian recipes, but to me, the big difference is the use of onion. To make the Tikka Masala curry I start by sautéing onions with tomatoes and aromaticsWhereas, I skip the onion when making the Butter Masala or the Makhani curry.  I also add more garam masala in the Tikka Masala curry. That makes it a bit more spicier than the Makhani Curry.

Serving Suggestion for Paneer Butter Masala / Paneer Makhani

Spinach rice with Instant pot paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie


Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani goes great with naan, roti and any preparation of basmati rice.  I like to pair this rich and creamy curry with Spinach Rice.  The buttery soft spinach and aromatic basmati rice compliment this Paneer Butter Masala really well.   It feels like a restaurant style Indian meal, in the comfort of my home.  I also pair it with Cumin Rice sometimes and the combination is simply delicious!

Click here for Spinach Rice recipe!

Spinach rice, palak pulao, instant pot spinach pilaf

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below! For more quick & easy recipes, FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and Youtube.

A bowl of paneer butter masala, also known as, paneer Makhani, made in the Instant Pot pressure cooker.

Paneer Butter Masala | Paneer Makhani in Instant Pot

An easy Instant Pot pressure cooker recipe for Paneer Butter Masala, or Paneer Makhani, a popular Indian vegetarian delicacy.  Made with Indian cottage cheese (paneer), simmered in tomato puree, Indian spices, and finished with a touch of heavy cream.
4.5 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 298kcal
Author: Spice Cravings

Ingredients

Add after cooking

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream OR, Full-Fat Coconut milk for dairy Free option
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Fenugreek Leaves / Kasoori Methi (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Turn Instant pot on SAUTE. Turning saute will warm everything through while we assemble the recipe, and reduce the pressure building time. Add oil, ginger garlic paste, tomato sauce and spices. I puree diced tomatoes, but you can also use ripe tomatoes and puree them. Stir well. Close the lid. Cancel SAUTE. Pressure cook for 4 minutes on Manual/pressure Cook. Vent set to Sealing position.
  • Manually release the pressure by turning the vent to ‘Venting’ position (QR). Open the lid after the pin drops. Add paneer cubes, dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi), sugar and heavy whipping cream (or coconut milk), and turn on SAUTE. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, till paneer softens and sauce thickens to your liking. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Video

Notes

This recipe was made and tested in a 3qt and 6qt Instant Pot pressure cooker. 
If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 607mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 971IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 317mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Low Carb, tofu
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Douglas Hernandez
    November 10, 2019 at 4:22 am

    5 stars
    This is just perfection! I made this today and I had to come back to the blog to say thank you!

    • Reply
      Aneesha
      November 10, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      How sweet of you, thank you!!I am super happy that you enjoyed it so much!

  • Reply
    Arathi
    October 18, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Such a fantastic recipe. Extremely easy too. My college kid who had zero experience in cooking started making this often because of the simplicity and amazing taste of the recipe . Thank you so much

    • Reply
      Aneesha
      October 18, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Hi Arathi, that is awesome! The reason I started this blog was to make cooking easy for the next generation. Sounds like I’m getting there 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this with me. I’d love it if you can rate this recipe by clicking on the stars 🙏

  • Reply
    Anna J
    October 9, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    5 stars
    Aneesha, I make this dish all the time! It’s so delicious, I’m so glad I found your blog! I’ve been wanting to cook more Indian food as it is one of my favorite cuisines, but as a white girl from the southern US, I’ve had minimal exposure. This recipe is so great for a beginner like me. My husband called on the way home from work and asked what I was doing. I said, “Cooking paneer.” He said, “THE paneer!?!? WOOO!!”
    All that to say….we love this recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Reply
      Aneesha
      October 9, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Anna, thank you for such sweet words. I am so glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe so much. It’s one of our favorite too. Since you enjoy paneer, I’d recommend the Saag Paneer recipe too, it has been enjoyed by many readers. And thanks again for making my day 🙏

  • Reply
    Jacob
    November 9, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Love Paneer and love butter masala. Got to try this.

  • Leave a Reply