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Saturday, 29 August 2020

Satvik Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala also known as paneer makhani is a creamy rich curry from the North Indian Cuisine. It is made by simmering soft cottage cheese (paneer) cubes in an onion-tomato base gravy. Today, i am sharing a satvik (onion-garlic free) version of paneer butter masala which is equally delicious and can be enjoyed on festive occasions. This Jain style paneer butter masala is mildly sweet and tangy in taste and gets a wonderful aroma and spicy flavors from the whole spices used. The curry is made using low fat home-made paneer and the milk cream is replaced with skimmed milk, melon seed and cashew paste to keep a check on the calorie count without compromising on the taste. Paneer butter masala can be easily made at home and served with any flat bread like naan , chapati, paratha or paired with jeera rice and some salad for lunch or dinner.

Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese

Paneer or the Indian cottage cheese is a fresh, unaged, non-melting soft cheese made by curdling milk with fruit or vegetable derived acid such as lemon juice. Paneer is a good source of protein and calcium. It is an integral part of Indian cooking and we Indians fondly use this versatile ingredient in our curries, snacks and desserts. 

Paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is one of the most popular paneer recipes and is often found on menus of restaurants and dhabas. Paneer makhani is a delectable curry from the North Indian cuisine in which soft paneer cubes are simmered in a rich and creamy curry base made with onions, tomatoes, nuts, whole spices, butter and milk cream. Paneer makhani cooked in this way is a obviously rich in calories and should be consumed in moderation by weight watchers. I do not mind such indulgence once in a while on special occasions and festivals though. Click here for the recipe.


What is Satvik Food?

Satvik diet is a diet based on foods that contain the quality (guna) sattva as per Ayurveda and yogic literature. A Satvik diet is essentially vegetarian as it is based on the religious principle of Ahimsa, not causing harm to other living things. It includes food and eating habits that are pure, natural, essential, vital, energy containing, clean, conscious, true, honest and wise. Satvik diet emphasizes on seasonal foods, fruits,dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils, ripe vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and non-meat based proteins. Sedative foods also called as static foods, or tamsic foods are foods whose consumption, according to Yoga are harmful to either mond or body and are not included in satvik diet. Such foods include meat, fish, fertilized eggs, onion, garlic, scallion, leek,chive,mushroom, alcoholic beverages, durian (fruit), blue cheese, eggplant, opium, and stale food. Source

Related Event

Now you all must be wondering, why my whole post is revolving around the word satvik food? The reason is that #SatvikTreats is the 91st theme on our Facebook gourmet group, Healthy Wealthy Cuisines,  where a group of like minded food bloggers post recipes every fortnight depending upon pre decided themes. This theme is suggested by a talented and versatile food blogger Ruchi who blog's at RuchisVegKitchen. Ruchi who is Jain herself, wanted us to share onion-garlic free recipes that are just apt for the ongoing festive season. This delicious paneer butter masala cooked in Jain style is my contribution towards the theme. Meanwhile, do check out Ruchi's space for delicious vegetarian recipes mostly Gujarati. I have bookmarked her Sandwich Dhokla and Pinwheel Samosa recipes to try out soon. Following are the contributions of my fellow bloggers on this theme.


What goes into my Jain style / Satvik Paneer Butter Masala?

During special occasions and festivals like Diwali, Dushera and Navratri, we offer the food to the deity (Naivedhyam) and later on consume it as prasad. Such food essentially has to be satvik. Also any fast is opened with a satvik food. For such occasions, such festive onion garlic free recipes are the best. Jain food is essentially satvik too. So, the thought of making this satvik version of our all time favourite paneer butter masala came to my mind. I experimented it few weeks back and it was a great hit at my place. Since then i make this curry often to open our Monday fasts. Recently, i made it during Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

In this satvik version of paneer butter masala, the base for the curry is tomato puree and the paste made from cashew nuts and melon seeds. I have cooked the curry in skimmed milk. No milk cream is used in the recipe, it is only used for garnishing. Also i have used homemade low-fat paneer in this recipe. Some recipes call for frying or sauteing the paneer cubes in butter. I have directly added the paneer pieces to the curry. Tomato puree can be made by 2 ways, the first method is directly making a fine puree of the chopped ripe tomatoes and the second method is to first cook(blanch) the tomatoes, peel its skin and then make a puree of it. I always prefer the second method. Always use ripe red tomatoes to make the puree so that the curry does not become more tangy and you do not end up adding more sugar to balance the flavors. Ready made tomato puree can also be used instead. Whole spices like cinnamon, black and green cardamom, cloves and pepper corns make the curry very flavorful and aromatic. So let's get started.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-5

  • 250 grams Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese
  • 4 medium sized ripe tomatoes
  • 8-10 Cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoon melon seeds / magaj
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 black pepper corns
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon roasted cumin coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup skimmed milk, boiled and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon crushed  dried fenugreek leaves / Kasuri methi
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Milk cream and fresh coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)
  1. To start with making, satvik paneer butter masala, first soak cashew nuts and melon seeds in hot water for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, we will make the tomato puree. For that, wash the tomatoes and make 2 cuts (resembling+sign) at the base of each tomato using a sharp knife and add the tomatoes to boiling water and cook on medium flame for 5-7 minutes. On cooling peel the skin of the tomatoes and chop them, try to discard as many seeds from the tomatoes. Add the peeled and deseeded blanched tomatoes to a grinder jar and blitz to make a lump-free puree. Also crush the ginger and green chilies and keep aside until use.

2. Also, grind the soaked cashews and melon seeds to a fine paste. add water as required to make a fine paste.

3. Heat butter in a sauce pan. Tip in the whole spices - cumin seeds, followed by bay leaf, slightly crushed black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves, black pepper corn and cinnamon. Allow the spices to fry in the butter for few seconds. Now add the crushed green chilies and ginger to it and stir fry for a few seconds on low to medium flame.

4. Add tomato puree to it and cook the puree for 2-3 minutes while stirring intermittently. Once you see a layer of oil floating above the tomato puree, it is cooked well. Lower the flame and add spice powders, turmeric powder, red chili powder , roasted coriander cumin powder,salt and sugar. Stir fry the spices with the cooked tomato puree for around a minute on low flame.

5. Next, add the cashew melon seeds paste and blend well. Stir in the boiled and cool milk to it. Add around 1/2 cup water also to it. Mix everything well and allow the curry base to boil.

6. Add the large paneer pieces to the curry and allow to cook on low to medium flame for 5-7 minutes.

7. Once the curry has a cooked well and reduced to the desired consistency, put off the flame. Add crushed kasuri methi and garam masala and give a good stir.

8. Garnish the delicious paneer butter masala with cream and coriander leaves and serve with flat bread like chapati, naan or kulcha or with jeera rice and some salad. Enjoy the satvik meal with your loved ones !


Recipe Notes:

  • Always use red ripe tomatoes to make the tomato puree for the curry or else the curry will be tangy and you would end up adding more sugar to balance the flavors.
  • You can saute the paneer cubes in little butter before adding it to the curry. I have added it directly.
  • I have used home made low fat paneer in the recipe. You may use store bought one.
  • You may choose to use store bought tomato puree or make it at home using any of the two methods , either grinding tomatoes directly to make puree or blanch the tomatoes first and then make its puree.

I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

Check out the following links for more satvik recipes













  1. Satvik Paneer Butter MAsala is one of favourites in my family. My little one is huge fan of this curry. your detailed post and tempting pictures are so inviting to make it soon again. Thank you so much dear for such detailed Satvik Post..

  2. Paneer butter masala looks so flavorful and delicious. This is my son’s favorite and a weekly affair at my home. Wonderful share dear

    1. Thank you di. It is favourite at my place as well.

  3. Wow paneer butter masala gravy looks so delectable. I can feel the aroma of all the whole spices. I always love no onion garlic curry. And your looks so rich creamy flavorful and mouthwatering.

  4. Satvik paneer without onion and garlic looks so so yum. The step-by-step process makes it look so easy.

    1. Thank you so much Ravneet. Do give it a try. I am sure you will love it.

  5. Satvik paneer looks irresistible. I add cashews but loved your version of adding melon seeds. Will try it next time. A royal treat for all Paneer lovers.

  6. Satvik version of paneer butter masala looks so delicious. This is ideal to make on any festive days, lovely presentation.