Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Butter-(less) Paneer :-)

Did I say I get lots n lots of sunlight here in my last post..? May be I was seeing a mirage.....or may I just jinxed it by saying it!! Since then its been raining here in Seattle most days....The sun is resisting to peak out even after some heavy rolled out looks from me.. !! 
Thus our weekday biking and weekend photo walk plans drained away, leaving us with only indoor activities...
So to spice up the weekend with all the rainy blooms I made Paneer Butter Masala curry... yess the one that is spiced with a rich tomato gravy which is then thinned with cream to get a decadent sauce....
I have made this sauce several times that refinements I made in the proportions has made this recipe one among the fail proof recipe collections I have.
Whenever I end up with a pile of tomatoes waiting to be used within days I make this curry right away... 

For health reasons.. I never add butter (I know it is called Butter Paneer) nor do I add cream... Instead I use vegetable oil and yoghurt.
Also many of the recipes out there uses tomato paste which I never buy or use. I find that increasing the number of tomatoes and cooking it until all the water content is evaporated gives a intense flavor which I  enjoy very much...Moreover using fresh veggies always give a nice zing to the curries.

I used the same sauce I made for Butter Chicken I posted here.


Marinate :
I used store bought paneer.
Cut paneer from the refrigerator into small cubes. 
I let the paneer cubes sit  in warm water for few minutes till it became soft.
Take the panner cubes from water and dry it slightly, without crumbling it.
To this add little salt, pepper, chili powder and let it marinate.

Inspired and modified from :
Sources: (1) : Soma @ Ecurry
             (2) : Alfred Prasad, Head chef at Michelin-starred Tamarind in London's Mayfair 

Makhani Sauce/ Butter Sauce :
  1. Cinnamon stick              -  2 cm
  2. Cardamom pod             -  3 slited and crushed slightly
  3. Bay leaves                    -  3
  4. Cloves                          -  3
  5. Ginger                          -  1 tbsp crushed
  6. Garlic                            -  1 tbsp crushed
  7. Chili powder                   -  1 tbsp
  8. Tomato                         -  7 medium sized / 5 large , cut into small pieces comes to around 5 cups or more.
  9. Salt          
  10. Honey                            - 1 tbsp 
  11. Yoghurt                         -  1/2 cup (or use Cream)
  12. Kastoori Methi Leaves      -  2 tsp
  13. Butter ( If using )
  14. Oil

  1. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add crushed ginger and garlic and saute till it turns slightly brown.
  2. Now add bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and saute for a min.
  3. When the aroma of spices comes, remove the pan from heat source and add the chili powder into the oil. Saute really fast. Within seconds the chili powder will turn to a darker shade. Add the cut tomatoes and salt and place the pan back to heat source. This should be done quickly or else chili powder will get burned.
  4. Close the lid and let the tomatoes cook on heat. Stirring once a while.
  5. Once the tomatoes are cooked. Open the lid, increase the heat and let all the water content evaporates.  The consistency will come to a thick liquid. Leaving only like 1/5th the initial amount. It will attain a dark maroon color.  Makhani sauce is ready.
  6. Switch off the heat and let it cool.
  7. Once it is cooled down completely, blend this into a smooth sauce using a blender.

  1. Heat some oil or butter (or a combination of both) in a frying pan enough to lightly brown the paneer pieces.
  2. Add the paneer cubes and lightly brown all sides.
  3. Switch of the heat source. 
  4. Into this oil-butter (add bit more butter / oil  only if required) , add the prepared blended makhani sauce and stir. Once it starts to bubble up, remove the pan from heat source.
  5. Whisk the yoghurt with little water and add to the makhani sauce and stir fast. Sauce should be at a very low temperature so that yoghurt won't get curdle.
  6. Once the yoghurt is mixed well into the sauce. Place the pan back on the heat and stir.
  7. Add honey and kastoori methi. Check for salt and add if necessary.
  8. If it tastes very sour, add bit more honey.
  9. Add little water or some more yoghurt if want a thin sauce.
  10. Add the paneer pieces and mix everything.
  11. Switch off the heat.
  12. Serve hot and enjoy...:) 


  1. Omg, give me that bowl,i dont even need anything to finish them,soooooo tempting..

  2. delicious flavours looks wonderful and yummy

  3. Delicious awesome butter less paneer curry.

  4. Wow amazing clicks with amazing ingredients and curry looks yummy .

  5. Delicious paneer curry.Lovely presentation.

  6. I couldn't read the recipe...just kept on scrolling up and down to devour the clicks :) Lovely recipe.

  7. paneer gravy looks delicious nice clicks

  8. That look no..that looks great:-)yuuuuummmy

  9. Lovely all the way, I love butter but will try this. That Orange Chicken recipe is a big hit around here. Last batch I made, gave some to a native of Orlando Florida (big orange grove area). He said it was a fabulous "Florida Ghoulash" Thank's again F.A.

  10. first time u hav such an awesome blog...ur presentations n clicks are just too good !its a very lovely recipe !love to follow u :-)

  11. Awesome clicks! And the butterless paneer looks great to me too.

  12. Beautiful pic, the less butter version is just awesome! too much butter is not type this is wonderful :)

  13. that is a great idea...2 leave out the butter bit..shud give that a go next time

  14. Your photographs make me wanna grab everything from the screen. Kind a funny that we posted the recipe at the same time .. LOL and w/ a similar pic of the ingredients. I like the likemindedness :-)

    Thanks for the mention Ann, and am glad that the recipe kind of helped u and u liked it (I saw that u did the butter chicken on similar likes too).

  15. @Soma : I liked the likemindedness too....After I posted the pics in flickr and refreshed the homepage I was literally laughing....What are the odds of posting the same recipe that too with similar picture..

    The Makhani sauce is awesome...Brilliant !!!

  16. @Kitchenmorph : LOL!! Most people tell me that they know someone who looks like me... Now you are the first one to tell me I look like you...

  17. This looks delicious and helthy too. Would never have thought it would taste good with no butter or cream!

  18. Wow this looks good! To have a butterless, creamless butter paneer in my repertoire is fantastic!

  19. Wow ! that looks simply amazing Ann :) Since i'm on a diet i would love to try this butter less recipe :D
    please visit n follow my blog if you wish to @

  20. Looks delicious and amazing! Beautiful photos :)

  21. That butter paneer looks so good!


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