Here is a question I get asked a lot. What is the difference between Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala? They both taste similar so why the different names? As the name suggests, Butter Chicken is made with a LOT of butter. It is a popular dish from the state of Punjab in India. Chicken Tikka Masala is not made with butter. It is made with a lot of spices, cream and originated in the UK. While they both taste great, I am more partial to Butter Chicken. I can make it quicker than Tikka Masala and it tastes just as good.
I decided to make Paneer Butter Masala instead of chicken. Why? I had paneer in the freezer and didn’t feel like going out to buy chicken. I also tried it in the Instant Pot. I decided to make it in my Instant Pot. If you do not have an Instant Pot, it is the best thing to have for cooking. You can purchase it here. The results were phenomenal. I got a full bodied sauce in less time than it would take to make it over the stove. Here is how I made it:
Add chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, garlic cloves, ginger, butter, raw cashews, kashmiri red chili powder, fenugreek leaves, turmeric powder, honey, salt and a mixture of milk and water to the Instant Pot. Don’t worry about how you chop the ingredients since we are going to blend it later.
Now create a spice pouch with cinnamon sticks, green cardamom, black cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, and star anise using a cheesecloth. This is important so that the whole spices don’t get mixed in when we blend the sauce. Add that to the pot.
Set it to manual high pressure for 15 minutes.
After that is complete, let the pressure release naturally. Make sure there is no pressure left in your pot. Open it and retrieve the spice pouch.
Purée the contents of your pot with either an immersion blender or a regular blender. I used my vitamix.
Add it back to the pot. Set your pot to sauté. Once it gets warm, add your paneer.
Once your paneer is warmed through, serve with naan, rice or both.
Paneer Butter Masala (Instant Pot)Print Recipe
- 1 lb paneer, cut in cubes
- FOR THE GRAVY
- 2 lbs tomatoes, chopped into big pieces
- 1 lb onions, chopped into big pieces
- 12 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
- 1 stick of butter (8 tbs), cubed
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 tbs kashmiri red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbs fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
- 4 tbs honey
- salt to taste
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of water
- SPICE POUCH
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp green cardamom pods
- 2 black cardamom
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp cloves
- 2 star anise
- 2 tbs heavy cream
- 1 tsp fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
Add all gravy ingredients to the Instant Pot (or electric pressure cooker). If you do not have Kashmiri red chili powder, you can use paprika. You can omit fenugreek leaves but it will taste better with.
Add all spice pouch ingredients to a cheesecloth. Tie it up so that nothing falls out. Add it to your pot.
Close your Instant Pot and set it to manual pressure for 15 minutes.
Once the pressure is complete, let the pressure release naturally. Do not vent.
Wait until all the pressure has been released then open the pot and remove the spice pouch.
Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to purée the contents to a smooth creamy sauce.
If using a regular blender, bring it back to the pot and set it to sauté.
Once it is hot, add your paneer.
Heat until the paneer is heated through.
Garnish with heavy cream and fenugreek leaves.
*If you have a nut allergy, substitute 1/4 cup of cream for the cashews after you blend the ingredients.