Indian Cooking: Butter Paneer Recipe

Chapati Cooking

Cooking chapati.
Photo by Sam Peake

Here we have a double helping of recipes: Butter Paneer and Chapati (each serves 4). While Neena, our Indian chef and teacher, showed us how to make the butter paneer, it hit me how unhealthy Indian cooking is (no, it didn’t hit me when we were deep frying samosas). There’s so much oil and frying involved in most north Indian dishes. But it’s all just. so. good!

Use the chapati to eat the butter paneer, or have rice with the butter paneer and use a chapati to scoop it all up. Enjoy!

Last three recipes: Masala Chai, Pea Biryani and Samosas
Next recipe: Mixed Vegetables in Indian Gravy

Butter Paneer recipe

Vegetable oil

Butter Paneer Cooking

Photo by Sam Peake

3 small red onions, sliced
3 medium tomatoes, cubed
1 one-inch cube of ginger
6 peeled garlic cloves

½ large bay leaf
2 green cardamom pods

½ tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp coriander powder

1 cup milk
pinch of sugar
8 oz paneer, cubed (NOTE: You can use chicken as well, though I’m not sure of when to cook it or add it to the masala. Use your best judgement.)
2 tbsp melted butter

Step 1: Pour enough vegetable oil in a pot to cover sliced red onions. Deep fry until golden in color, then set aside to cool. Puree the next three ingredients with the onions and set aside.

Step 2: Pour 2 tbsp oil into a pan with the heat on medium. Fry the bay leaf and cardamom for 30 seconds. Then add the pureed masala (masala = mixture. In this case, we’re referring to the mixture from Step 1.). Saute while mixing frequently to avoid burning. Do this for 5-10 minutes while the sauce thickens. The mixture will be ready when the oil rises to the top of the mixture.

Step 3: Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder and coriander. Mix well and turn down the heat to low.

Step 4: When oil rises again, stir in milk and add a pinch of sugar. Add paneer and cook on a medium simmer. Stir well then add melted butter. Simmer until the oil rises to the top of the mixture (5-10 minutes).

Serve with chapati and/or rice. Enjoy!

Chapati recipe

Rolling Chapati

Rolling chapati.
Photo by Sam Peake

8 oz rough wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup melted butter (optional)

To make the dough, mix the flour and salt, and slowly add enough water to make the dough thick but not watery. Knead the dough.

Pinch off a small ball of dough and roll it into a thin circle 7” in diameter with a rolling pin. Add flour to both sides of the dough as you roll it out so it doesn’t break or stick to the pin.

Chapati on an Open Flame

Heating chapati on an open flame.
Photo by Sam Peake

Heat a flat, round pan on the stove. Place the rolled out chapatti dough onto the pan. When the first color change begins, flip the dough. Once color change appears on the other side, flip the dough onto an open flame. The dough should puff up. Flip it once to add color to the opposite side. Then move it from the flame to a plate and flatten the bubbles. If desired, add melted butter to both sides and set aside to cool.

Continue this process with the remainder of the dough.

I hope you enjoy your north Indian food. Many thanks for Sam for letting me use his photos!


2 responses to “Indian Cooking: Butter Paneer Recipe

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