paneer no-butter masala

Am I excited to share this recipe with you!

I was definitely not planning on posting this one anytime soon; in fact, I came up with this recipe on a whim last week, and was incredibly surprised by how easy and how delicious it was. Win-win!

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Now that you have all of the spices stocked up in your pantry (hint, hint) this recipe will be even easier. If that is possible.

Now that I’ve hyped this up…

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Paneer No-Butter Masala (Makes 4 servings)


  • one 14 oz block of paneer*, cubed
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 5 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste**
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cumin-corriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more if desired)
  • cilantro, for garnish


In a non-stick pan, heat 3 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Place the paneer cubes into the pan and fry until the paneer has lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a larger pot, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger-garlic paste, the cumin-corriander powder, and the chili powder. After 1-2 minutes, it should become noticeably fragrant. Add the bell pepper and salt, and stir for another minute. Then, add the tomato paste. Slowly stir in the milk. Allow the mixture to thicken for a few minutes. Then, add the paneer cubes. Stir to coat, and remove from the heat.

Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or a whole wheat chapatti/tortilla.

*Paneer is a fresh South Asian cheese. This can be found in a local Asian or Indian grocery store, at the gourmet cheese section at H-E-B (for the Texans), or on Amazon.

**You can either get this pre-made (yes, it is on Amazon), or chop up fresh garlic and ginger and make it into a paste with a mortar and pestle.

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