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Home-made Paneer Butter Masala

I and my 7 year old daughter are fond of paneer butter masala. When we go out to hotel lunch or dinner for a change, both of us don't even look into the menu but directly order for paneer butter masala with butter nan or kulcha.

I thought, why not give a try making this favorite item at home instead of running all the way to hotels. After some google search, I experimented one fine day with my own inputs. Hm! it came out yummy! delicious!

After preparing the dish several times, I realized that it comes out really delicious with freshly purchased paneer (Indian cottage cheese). When I used paneer refrigerated for few days, the dish didn't turn out yummy. So, for a yummy taste freshly bought paneer without refrigerating it or refrigerating for a day or two, will do good.

  • Soak handful of cashew nuts (quantity depends on the quantity of curry you prepare) in warm water.
  • Cut freshly bought paneer into desired size cubes.
  • Shallow fry these cubes with little oil in a pan. If you don't like the taste of fried paneer, you can do without frying.
  • Put these fried paneer cubes in warm water so that these turn bit softer. 
  • Finely chop ginger, onion, tomato and coriander and keep aside.
  • Heat little edible oil in a pan and saute few small sticks of cinnamon (dalchini).
  • Add finely chopped ginger, onion, tomatoes and shallow fry these. I don't like garlic, so I do without garlic or ginger garlic paste. If you wish you can do so.
  • Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, Kashmiri mirchi powder (red chilli powder) for added color and less spice and garam masala powder or any such spicy powder for added flavor.
  • Add the paneer cubes, little water and stir it well. Place a lid and keep on simmer so that the paneer cubes are cooked.
  • Meanwhile, grind the soaked cashew nuts to a paste. You can also make puree of 1 or 2 tomatoes.
  • Add these pastes to the cooked paneer cubes in the pan. Stir it well and keep on simmer for a while till you find the oil floating. 
  • Transfer paneer butter masala into a serving dish and add butter on top of it.
This is a simple way of making home-made paneer butter masala. However, you may not get the typical hotel taste but it's yummy and healthy too. For a variation, you can add vegetables like capsicum or carrot as per your liking.

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