Butter Paneer or Panir Makhani

Butter Paneer (lovingly known as Panir Makhani) is not only a very well known dish, but is absolutely scrumptious and can have you salivating just by thinking about it. Try out this recipe in all it’s rich glory, or if you prefer a healthier version, you can use some of our fat and calorie fighting tips. Enjoy!


Paneer – 14oz (approx. 1/2 kg)
Oil – 2 tsp.
Butter – 4 tbsp (50 gm)
Garlic Paste & Ginger Paste: 1.5 tsp each
Crushed Tomatoes – 1 cup
Paprika or Kashmiri Mirch – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Heavy Whipping Cream – 1/2 cup
Water – 1 cup or to taste
Sugar (optional) – 1 tsp or to taste
Cilantro – to garnish


1. Cut panir to desired shape.
2. Heat a pan and add Oil and then Butter.
3. Once hot, add Ginger and Garlic paste & saute for 2 min.
4. Add in the Crushed Tomato.
5. Add the dry spices – Coriander Powder, Garam Masala, Paprika, Red Chili Powder and the Salt.
6. Mix and cook till oil separates.
7. Add Paneer and mix gently.
8. Pour 1 cup water and simmer for 5 mins.
9. Lower heat and add Cream.
10. Allow it to come to another boil.
11. Add Sugar and mix well.
12. Garnish with Cilantro and serve hot.

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0 thoughts on “Butter Paneer or Panir Makhani

  1. Hi Hetal/Anuja,

    I loved the recipe and I want to make it today for dinner. I have evaporated milk. I dont know what is whipped cream and how to make it. So could you please tell me how can I make whipped cream from evaporated milk. Thanks a lot for your time

    1. Hi Niki,

      Whipping cream is something you buy from the store, not make at home. Evaporated milk is a good substitute (and lower in fat and calories).

  2. I followed the recipe perfectly but it came out more watery then I desired. Can I cook off some of the water to get a thicker consistency?

  3. I made this last night – it was wonderful! I am new to your website and so far have made the daal makhani (slow cooker version) and this – and both are fabulous! I’ve tried other recipes and nothing ever turns out this good. Thank you so much and I look forward to trying out some more stuff! Especially the sabzis, as I can never get that right! Thanks again 🙂

  4. I plan to cook this tomorrow 🙂
    Quick question, I don’t have a grinding machine and I plan to use fresh tomatoes- is this ok? Can I just peel the skin off n crush them manually, or will that drastically affect the texture/ taste? Maybe I will need to cook it for longer?

    Please let me know asap.. Thanks appreciate it. This is my first time making this and first time using ur blog as well so I am excited 🙂

    1. Hi Prerna,

      You can definitely use fresh tomatoes, but you will not get the texture of crushed tomatoes with hand. The gravy of this dish is such that you cannot see that it is made with tomatoes (though its red and tangy). Having said that, it will still taste good. Like you said, you may have to cook it longer to let the tomatoes break down themselves.

      1. Thanks, I ended up using strained tomatoes that I bought. The recipe came out SO GOOD! I loved it and am now using your site for other recipes. Paneer makhni has been my favorite dish growing up and now I don’t have to go to a restaurant necessarily to have it. I haven’t cooked very many things, but this gives me confidence to cook more elaborate dishes than what I usually cook – pasta, a loo jeer etc.

        Going for a potluck tonight and I am making this, so will double the ingredients for about 8-10 people.

        Thanks very much 🙂

  5. I made this tonight for my vegetarian girlfriend and she really liked it. The gravy was a little thin but after being left to stand for an hour or so it thickened up – this standing time probably helped to flavour the paneer too. I added some lemon juice towards the end, I don’t know why. Didn’t seem to do it any harm.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Nathan. Lemon juice will definitely not hurt this recipe as it already has some tartness from the tomatoes.

      1. Also, because a rich, “tikka masala”-type gravy like this tastes of itself rather than all the individual herbs and spices, I hadn’t noticed until I made it myself rather than buying a ready-made one from the shop just how much of the overall flavour is provided by my favourite herb, coriander. If you left it out you’d be left with a completely different dish. I would urge people who haven’t done so to make from scratch your favourite curries and see how all the different elements combine to make something unique.

  6. Hi Hetal/ Anuja,

    Thanks for this website …. it makes my day very easy …. i used fresh tomatoes which i blended raw and half and half instead of whipping cream …. i did not get the desired color and it was not all that rich ….. are the choices that i made totally incorrect …. and if i have/ can to stick to this choice then how should i proportion it …..

    one more thing is … why is my paneer crumbling when i try to cut it … is there a rt and wrong way to cut paneer

    love ya girls

    1. Hi Manojna,

      You will definitely notice a big color difference when using canned crushed tomatoes versus crushing them at home. You can always add deghi or kashmiri mirch for color. Also, half and half is half light cream and half whole milk. So, it will be considerably less rich than heavy whipping cream. You will probably get a more rich flavor if you use evaporated milk.

      If you make paneer at home, you must knead it like dough until it is smooth in texture. Cut homemade or store bought paneer with a knife that is not serrated. This helps prevent the crumbling.

  7. Made the recipe last night. I used ghee instead of butter, and I had to use tomato puree instead of the crushed tomatoes..was out of them..sigh plus I used regular milk instead of cream..but it was still OMG.. delecious! It was better than take out LOL.. I was glad I decided to cook last night instead of take out.. It was so easy. Thank you for the recipes and demos. I’m not Indian, but I was married to one and I learned how to cook Indian..I love the cuisine.

    1. Hi Shobana,

      This recipe will serve about 5-6 ppl especially if you will be having other items on the menu. So, you can probably multiply the ingredients by 3 for 20 ppl. If this is you only dish, this recipe will serve about 4-5.

  8. Hi Hetal/Anuja,

    Where can i get the heavy whipped cream. Which brand you suggest to use. Where can I get it in USA retail stores?

  9. can you show everyday veggies like rajma, chole, dry veggies ,curry vegetables and dals in A MICROWAVE. HOW TO COOK THIS IN MICROWAVE? it would be great help as we can make it outside the kitchen space only. that means comfort for us. only.

  10. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    I love this recipe of yours. I have tried it 4-5 times & have always received compliements for it. Now I wanted to make it for my office potluck. There would be 20 people, but of course I will not make it for 20 people coz everyone would be bringing something. I wanted your opinion. How muck times should I do(the amount given in the recipe) so that it’s sufficient for 20?


    1. Hi Nupur,

      Hope this reply is not too late…

      Most of our recipe will serve between 4-6. You can probably make 3x the recipe for your potluck.

  11. Dear Ladies Anuja and Hetal,
    Just want to congratulate you on the amazing cookery webpage.
    I am a male doctor from Sri Lanka.
    I am a hero within my extended family and daughters thanks to you two cause i make Indian food exactly like
    it tastes at the restaurants!!
    Thank you so much.
    You are doing a great social service by sharing.
    Thanks again

    1. Hi Dr. Himantha,

      Thank you for taking the time to write to us! We are so happy that our website is of use to you and you are able to impress your family :).

  12. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing with us such great recipes. Can I use whole milk instead of the heavy cream? I understand it won’t be as creamy but, I think that is ok. Is that the only thing I should watch out for? Would using yogurt be better than whole milk?

    1. Hi Shefali,

      If it were a recipe like Palak Paneer, I would say that whole milk would be a good substitute. There is some other ingredient of substance (the spinach). In this recipe, the cream is basically the only thing of substance to make the gravy so whole milk would be too thin and yogurt would just separate into a mess.

  13. How exactly do you crush tomatoes? Is there any recipes for it? Are crushed tomatoes the same as tomato puree that you can get in cans???

    1. Hi Pavandeep,

      Crushed tomatoes usually have more texture than puree. You can blanch tomatoes after gently cutting an “X” into the bottom of each. This will allow you to remove the skin easily. Then you can pulse them in a food processor.

  14. Hi Hetal n Anuja,

    Would like to thank you for sharing such good recipes on this website.I have watched many video recipes shared by you n they have been very helpful so far.Paneer makhani was the best that I ve tried so far.My husband said that it was better than the restaurant.
    Thanks once again.


  15. I remember reading somewhere that the “butter” in this recipe does not pertain to actual butter. LOL, was I mislead! To make it a tad healthier, I cut down the ghee to 1.5T and used non-fat evaporated milk (unintentionally increased to 6 oz). And since I prefer the sauce a bit thicker, I only added about 1/3 cup water. I calculated the calories (husband is on a diet, and I wasn’t sure I was saving him any calories;), and it came out to be 450 cal for the significant calorie loads (did not include tomatoes, ginger, and the like). So it’s like 500 cal for the sauce alone (prior cooking mishap caused me to search for a non-yogurt based curry). Not bad for a recipe called butter paneer.

    I used to use another youtube guru’s video to create Indian food…and most of the time, it came out short in flavor and texture. You ladies have really improved my Indian cooking, so thank you very much.

  16. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
    You guys rock !!! All the dishes I have made from your website have turned out awesome! I tried Butter Paneer yday and everyone at home loved it – my mom, my hubby, my hard-to-please daughter, and ‘I eat only rasam & sambar’ son! A big ‘thanks’ to you both!

    I have a party this weekend, for about 35 people. I want to make this dish. Since I am going to have other dishes, am thinking making a batch for 20 people should be good enough. Can you suggest how much of the ingredients I should use?

    Thanks a bunch!

  17. Ladies, OMG! I made the butter paneer and it is out of this world!! I thought it would be a labour of love, so many hours in the kitchen, but the best part is that it didn’t take long at all. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!!!

  18. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    I’ve made this recipe 3 times now. It’s my go-to when I want to wow someone who loves Indian food. I can’t believe how easy it is to make! There’s a very popular restaurant here in Seattle called “Taste of India” that serves up wonderful butter paneer. But, this recipe is much tastier.

  19. This was a great recipe. The sauce was so tasty and the paneer was full of flavour. I did reduce the butter a bit (as you both mentioned how to do it), and it turned out delicious. I did put a few raisins in mine to give a bit of sweetness to it. Thank you both for this recipe. I eat this at the Indian restaurant and I have always wanted to make it myself.

  20. Hi Girls,

    Just one question…We do not add garlic in our food. Is it ok to make this dish without garlic? Will there be a drastic effect on the taste? I really wish to make this, please guide me further…please…please…reply soon 🙂


    1. Hi Rohini,

      For garlic eaters, it adds a lot of flavor. However, if you’ve never eaten garlic, you probably will not notice any difference. The dish will still be great.

  21. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    Thank you so much for the tip & quick response. 🙂 Looking fwd to making another yummy recipe from you ladies.


  22. Hi Hetal & Anuja,

    I have people coming home for lunch this Sunday. I wanted to know if it’s okay to make this curry in advance (say a day or two earlier).

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Yes, you can make this recipe even 2 days in advance. The cream will make the gravy thicken so you may have to adjust it on the day you serve it. Alternately, if you have the time, you can make the tomato/spice mixture in advance (the most time consuming part) and add the paneer, water, cream and finish the cooking process on the day you serve.

  23. Hi Ladies

    I travel to India quite often and my favourite dish is Paneer Butter Masala I usually have the dish everyday which certainly isnt good for my figure but I find it quite addictive (good job I go to the gym on a regular basis) I’ve just made your recipe and although it does taste nice it is rather watery and I’m not sure if it is because I have used chopped tinned tomatoes please advise so I can remake a 2nd batch and hopefully get it right the next time.

    Kind Regards

  24. Hi Hetal & Anuja!

    How are you’ll doing?
    This is a long pending thanks note. Actually I had a party few months ago where I had served almost all dishes from your website following the exact measurements. At the end of the party I was so happy to see the outcome that I have now decided to follow everything you’ll say step by step 🙂

    I just love the both of you’ll! So, in short, a big “Thanks!!!” for the wonderful recipes & tips & ideas (n wat not:)) you two come up with. Keep up your good work so that poor souls like me survive well in the kitchen.

    Once again, Thanks a lot!!

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