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Paneer Butter Masala (Instant Pot)

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
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 45


  • 1 lb paneer, cut in cubes
  • 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
  • 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.

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  • Reply
    January 5, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I made paneer butter masala with your recipe. Turned out to be easy and also very tasty. 👍🏼

    • Reply
      The Girl
      January 5, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      So glad you liked it!

    • Reply
      June 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      It turned out to be super delicious! Absolutely great recipe! Thanks for sharing !

    • Reply
      Ferrina Sheth
      December 25, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Hello! How many servings is this recipe?
      Thank you

  • Reply
    Johnson John
    January 8, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Very nice SM. You should see about getting some royalties from Apple for all the appearances the Watch made in these pics.

    • Reply
      The Girl
      January 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Good idea 💡

  • Reply
    Paneer Butter Masala – Instant Pot! | etceque
    April 27, 2017 at 6:45 am

    […] recipe I used is here.  The dish is rich enough so I skipped heavy […]

  • Reply
    May 21, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Followed the recipe, came out so yummy! Loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    How To Make Paneer Tikka Masala | India High Tech News
    July 7, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    […] so why the different names? As the name suggests, Butter Chicken is made with a LOT of butter. [19] Be it Veg Tikka Masala or Chicken Tikka Masala, it never fails to satiate our taste buds. [18] […]

  • Reply
    September 4, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Loved the recipe! Thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      The Girl
      September 5, 2017 at 3:15 am

      Glad you liked it.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I’ve made it earlier with quantities like 1 onion and 3 tomatoes for a 1 lb paneer ratio. It was delicious!This time I tried to follow your recipe to the T but I’m getting 10 tomatoes after weighing them on a scale. I’m not sure if all the ingredients will fit in to my 64 oz Vitamix jar- but I see in your picture that you’ve used the same jar. Could you share the approx number of tomatoes and onions you used a thinking maybe my kitchen scale is playing tricks). Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      The Girl
      October 1, 2017 at 7:22 am

      I used about 10 Roma tomatoes and 2 medium sized red onions. I think I need to go back and specify that I used Roma tomatoes. They have less liquid. If your using regular tomatoes I would use 3-4 big ones. But if it came out perfect the first time around, I would stick to. that.

  • Reply
    Protima Advani
    October 17, 2017 at 7:29 am

    If I wanted to add bell peppers with paneer to this gravy, when should I add the peppers to make sure they cook but dont get blended?

    • Reply
      The Girl
      October 20, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      Before you add the paneer, add the bell pepper and cook in sauté for 15 mins. Then add paneer.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I want to use canned tomatoes. Any idea how many cans I’d need?

  • Reply
    Deepa Bhat
    November 4, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Amazing recipe! I made it on two back to back evenings for dinner guests. Each time around, we barely had any leftovers and tons of compliments! Thanks!

    • Reply
      The Girl
      November 5, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Thank you for the compliments! It’s a hit in my house too.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    So you throw the spice pouch afterwards? Great post.

    • Reply
      The Girl
      November 8, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Yes. You throw it out. Thank you!

      • Reply
        November 10, 2017 at 9:15 pm

        This came out fantastic, I love be surely checking your other IP posts.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Is the paneer fried

    • Reply
      The Girl
      November 22, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      No. It is not.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Made it today and it we loved it. I wish the measurement was in pieces and not pounds.

    • Reply
      The Girl
      December 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      I’m working on it.

  • Reply
    December 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    If I dont have cheesecloth, any suggestions? Can you use ground spices?

    • Reply
      The Girl
      December 26, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      You can but the taste will be a little different.

  • Reply
    December 26, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Tried this based on a recommendation and came out very well. I used a coffee filter as a cheesecloth for the spice pouch and it worked great. Tasted delicious with naan. Thanks!

    • Reply
      The Girl
      December 26, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Glad you liked it.

  • Reply
    Leena Vadiwala
    January 13, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Is there an alternative ingredient for cashew? I usually give leftovers for kids school and it’s a nut free facility. Thanks!

    • Reply
      The Girl
      January 17, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      You can omit it or add a little extra cream.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Tried it out yesterday and it came out really good and the process was really easy. Only thing was I didn’t have the cream. But it was still tasty.

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