Get ready to order your next bowl of paneer butter masala as you learn more about its history and the best way to treat yourself to this nutritious meal. Just don’t blame us if you can’t make it through the entire post without drooling.
A long-standing favourite
Also known as paneer makhani, paneer butter masala was first created in the Moti Mahal restaurant when Punjabi chefs added butter to a masala tomato curry by pure accident. This dish quickly gained popularity in Indian cuisine. Currently, this curry is considered one of the top five served throughout India. Due to the largely vegetarian population in the region, it is unlikely that this dish will lose its popularity any time soon.
The name paneer butter masala is derived from the Hindi word for butter, which is makhan, and so makhani means buttery. Paneer, on the other hand, is a popular type of cheese made by professional chefs and home cooks alike. The creamy texture makes it the perfect accompaniment to the rich sauce.
How paneer butter masala is made
Generally, paneer butter masala is made by frying onions, garlic and ginger in ghee, which is clarified butter. Once these ingredients are brown and crispy, garam masala, turmeric and chilli flakes are added then fried until fragrant. After this, the sauce is simmered for a few hours until it releases a distinctive aroma. Finally, a few tablespoons of butter are added to the sauce along with cubes of paneer that have been fried in ghee.
Typically, you’ll find that paneer makhani is served with steamed jasmine rice. This complements the dish well as the rice offers a cooling counterbalance to the sauce. Alternatively, you could order your curry with naan. This is a type of flatbread that is baked over an open flame. You could finish your meal with a mango lassi, a yoghurt and fruit drink that is the ideal dessert after indulging in a tasty curry.
Sit and savour the taste
Sadly, this dish is not the ideal food to eat if you’re on the go, so it doesn’t feature on street food vendor menus. However, if you have some extra time, go to your favourite restaurant or order takeout and enjoy your paneer makhani in comfort. To make your meal even more enjoyable, invite a few friends over.
Be sure to place your order at one of our astounding Indian restaurants. Treat yourself to a paneer butter masala, with a side of cool yoghurt and cucumber raita and a piece of buttery naan to add even more decadent delight to your meal.