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Butter paneer

Dan Toombs / 17 April 2019

Butter paneer just plain gets it! This one is so good simply served with plain white rice, just wonderful.

Curry Guy butter paneer
The Curry Guy Dan Toombs' butter paneer, photograph by Kris Kirkham

Preparation time

15 minutes, plus marinating

Cooking time

20 minutes




  • 400g (14oz) paneer, cut into 2.5cm (1in) cubes
  • 2 x 400g (14oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 green chillies, split lengthwise (optional)
  • 80g (5 1⁄2 tbsp) butter, diced
  • 75ml (5 tbsp) single cream
  • Salt
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp sugar (or to taste, optional)

For the marinade

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 120g (1⁄2 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1⁄4 tsp garam masala

To serve

  • 1⁄4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander


Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the cubed paneer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the tomatoes, garlic and ginger paste, cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaf and chilli powder in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour this through a sieve, pressing the sauce through into an awaiting saucepan. Discard any solids that don’t make it through the sieve. Bring the sauce to a low simmer and continue cooking while you prepare the paneer.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. When visibly hot, add the paneer cubes, leaving as much of the marinade in the bowl as possible. Fry the paneer on one side and then flip over to sear the opposite side. The paneer can now be used in the curry, but if time permits, go ahead and fry every side of the paneer cubes until lightly browned and crisp. Set aside.

Returning to your simmering sauce, add the chillies (if using) and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until it is emulsified into the sauce. Stir in the cream and add salt to taste. Taste the sauce. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add about 11⁄2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste.

To serve, whisk the reserved marinade into the sauce, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the paneer and dust the top with the garam masala and crushed dried fenugreek leaves and sprinkle with chopped coriander.

Curry Guy Veggie

Extracted from The Curry Guy Veggie by Dan Toombs, Quadrille, £15

Visit our Indian recipe section for more delicious meal ideas


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.