Paneer Butter Masala | Paneer Makhani in Instant Pot

Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani, literally means paneer cooked in a buttery rich sauce.  Paneer is 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 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 Recipe versus Quick & Easy Recipe

The traditional recipe for Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani  involves one extra step. I marinate the paneer in yogurt and garam masala, grill it, and then simmer it in a tomato-cream sauce. But in this recipe I have skipped that step and made it a one-pot recipe using my Instant Pot, 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 marination.  This is one of the tastiest, and most requested Indian vegetarian recipes by my kids.

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

Click here to see some of my other 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 #foodiePaneer Tikka masala- Instant pot

Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani is the most popular vegetarian entree at any Indian restaurant. 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 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

Spinach Rice

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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 in Instant Pot
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken.  Made with paneer or Indian cottage cheese simmered in tomato puree, Indian spices, and finished with a touch of heavy cream.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 372 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 10 oz. block of paneer cubed in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1 inch ginger, 6 cloves garlic, pulsed/grated)
  • 14 oz. (1 can) diced tomatoes or 3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, pureed. (canned is better for this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 2-3 teaspoons Garam Masala depending on your spice preferences
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
Add after cooking
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

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 Facts
Paneer Butter Masala | Paneer Makhani in Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 372 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat 19g 95%
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 759mg 32%
Potassium 253mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 4g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 24.3%
Vitamin C 14.6%
Calcium 39.7%
Iron 8.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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