Restaurant Style Paneer Masala With Besan (Chickpea Flour) |

Are we not noticing this trend on Indian food blogs, where people are trying to crack the code of restaurant favorite dishes like Paneer Masala?

Imagine this: you are in your kitchen, and the air is filled with the amazing fragrance of paneer masala cooking away. Doesn’t it look like having a fancy restaurant right in your home, but without the hassle of hunting down fancy ingredients. This recipe keeps it simple, using stuff you will already have in your kitchen.

Paneer Masala With Besan in Resturant Style

Sometimes, I feel how funny is it that we are always trying to recreate restaurant dishes at home, but then when we go out to eat, all we want is some good old homemade comfort food! Hmm, it is like a culinary tug-of-war!

And when we try those fancy recipes at home, we are often hit with a reality check – they are loaded with fat and too much of spices.  Yes, this is about oils, ghee, creams, and cashews galore.

The paneer masala that we are going to prepare today, I am sure this is going to be a novelty for you. Ofcourse, this is going to have a bit of fat, but I will not use heavy creams and cashews. Also, we will try not to soil too many utensils and pans and it again makes it hassle free. Trust me, it’s simple, it’s tasty, and it hits the spot without weighing you down.

So, let’s not wait much and get ready for this culinary adventure which is fancy and will give you a shot of beautiful aroma.  Close your eyes and imagine taking a bite, flavors dissolving on your tongue.

Prep Time

So, let’s start. Here we go for the super tasty paneer masala recipe that’s just like what you’d get at a fancy restaurant. It’s packed with flavor and uses simple ingredients you probably already have.

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4


For Marinating Paneer:

    • 200 grams of paneer, cut into cubes (about 2 cups of 1-inch cubes)
    • 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon of salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    • 1 tablespoon of ghee (or regular cooking oil works too) for frying the paneer
Restaurant Style Paneer Masala With Besan (Chickpea Flour) |

For the Masala:

    • 2 tablespoons of besan (chickpea flour)
    • 2 tablespoons of oil (you can use ghee or just regular oil)
    • 1 clove
    • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
    • 1 cardamom
    • 2 red chilies
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
    • 1 cup of finely chopped onions
    • 1 teaspoon of ginger paste
    • 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
    • 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
    • 2 cups of pureed tomatoes (blend fresh tomatoes to make the puree, about 3-4 tomatoes)
    • 1 teaspoon of salt
    • 2 teaspoons of yogurt
    • 2 slit green chilies
    • 1 teaspoon of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
    • 1 cup of chopped capsicum (bell pepper) or you can use 1/2 cup of frozen peas as a substitute for a paneer and pea gravy
    • 3/4 cup of water
    • Some coriander leaves and ginger juliennes for garnish

Step by Step Recipe

Alright, now let us get into making this delicious paneer masala step by step:

First things first, we need to get our prep steps in order. So, we grab a trusty pan and sprinkle in some besan (chickpea flour). Keeping the heat low, we give it a gentle stir for about a minute. I am not looking to change its color but to release that fragrant aroma we love. Once we start getting that beautiful aroma, we take it off the heat and set it aside, ready for later.

Restaurant Style Paneer Masala With Besan (Chickpea Flour) |

Now, we will take our lovely cubed paneer and give it a flavorful boost by mixing in some red chili powder, salt, and garam masala. It is like giving our paneer a little spa treatment! Hahaha.   We let it soak up those spices for about 10 minutes while we prepare the next steps.

While our paneer is marinating, we heat up some ghee in a pan and get ready to fry those paneer pieces until they’re golden and crispy. Once they have reached that perfect shade of golden brown, we set them aside to keep them warm and happy.

Alright, now let us get to the masala magic! In the same pan, we heat up a mix of oil and ghee. If you are not into ghee, no worries, you can skip it. We toss in some cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and cumin seeds, letting them sizzle and release their beautiful aromas. Then, we will add in some red chilies for that extra kick of spice.

Next up, put in some chopped onions, ginger paste, and garlic paste, stirring them until they turn that gorgeous golden brown color and fill the kitchen with their incredible fragrance.

Now, it is time to bring back that besan we set aside earlier. Along with it, we will add more spices – red chili, coriander, and garam masala – creating a beautiful blend of flavors that will make our masala shine. We mix it all together, allowing the spices to meld and infuse into every nook and cranny of our dish.

Now, here come the tomatoes! We pour in the pureed tomatoes (preferably home made) and a pinch of salt, giving everything a good stir. Then, we will cover the pan and let it all simmer for about 4-5 minutes on low heat. This is where the magic really happens as the flavors marry and dance together in harmony.

Restaurant Style Paneer Masala With Besan (Chickpea Flour) |

Once our gravy is bubbling nicely, we lower the heat and gently introduce some yogurt into the mix. We want to make sure it is not too tangy, so we keep the flame low and let it work its magic.

Now, for those final touches – we sprinkle in some kasoori methi, slit green chilies, and chopped capsicum, infusing our dish with even more layers of flavor and texture. We cover it up again and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes on low heat, allowing all those delicious flavors to meld together.

Time to adjust the consistency of our gravy is next on our list. We add just enough water to achieve that perfect balance – not too thin, not too thick, just enough to coat our paneer and veggies in all their saucy goodness. We let it heat up for a minute, ensuring everything is nice and warm.

Now, we will gently fold in those golden-fried paneer pieces, coating them in the rich, flavorful gravy. We let everything simmer together for a couple more minutes, allowing the flavors to mingle and marry into pure deliciousness.

Restaurant Style Paneer Masala With Besan (Chickpea Flour) |

And there you have it – our homemade paneer masala is ready to take center stage! We will garnish it with some fresh coriander leaves and ginger juliennes, adding that final touch of freshness and flavor. Now, all that’s left to do is dig in and savor every mouthful of this delightful dish. Enjoy!

Enhancing Flavor and Texture

  • Add a splash of cream; I prefer coconut milk  at the end for a creamier texture.
  • We can garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or mint leaves for a burst of freshness.
  • We can also squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the dish just before serving to brighten up the flavors.
  • Toast some cashews or almonds and sprinkle them over the top for added crunch and richness.
  • For extra depth of flavor, sauté the onions and tomatoes until they’re caramelized before blending them into a smooth paste.

Variations and Substitutions

  • If someone is a vegan here, they can always substitute paneer with tofu for a vegan version of the dish.
  • Use cashew paste instead of cream for a dairy-free option.
  • Add vegetables like bell peppers, peas, or mushrooms for added color and nutrition.
  • Cooking is always about tryig new things; try with different spices like kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) or a pinch of cinnamon for unique flavor profiles.
  • For a spicier kick, add a chopped green chili or a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • Try using different types of tomatoes or tomato products, such as tomato puree or canned diced tomatoes, for variation in taste and texture.
Restaurant Style Paneer Masala With Besan (Chickpea Flour) |

Pairing and Presentation

Alright, let’s talk about how to serve up your paneer butter masala in a way that’ll make everyone at the table go “wow”:

Pairing Options

  • Picture this: a steaming hot plate of paneer butter masala, paired with some soft, fluffy naan straight out of the oven. The combination of creamy curry and warm bread is a match made in heaven!
  • If you’re more of a rice person, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Serve your paneer butter masala alongside some fragrant basmati rice for a comforting and satisfying meal.
  • And let’s not forget about roti – those soft, thin Indian flatbreads that are perfect for scooping up every last bit of that delicious masala. It’s a winning combo that’ll leave you wanting seconds.

Presentation Tips

  • Now, let’s talk about presentation. Remember, we eat with our eyes first, so make sure your paneer butter masala looks as good as it tastes.
  • Serve it up in a vibrant, colorful bowl or on a decorative plate to make it visually appealing.
  • Sprinkle some fresh cilantro leaves or a sprinkle of red chili flakes on top for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Arrange some lemon wedges or cucumber slices on the side for a refreshing touch.
  • And if you’re feeling fancy, garnish with a swirl of cream or a sprinkle of toasted nuts for that extra wow factor.

Ask Me

I just want to give a big ‘Thank You’ to all of you awesome folks encouraging me reading my pages. Drop a comment below and let me know what you thought about the recipe, share any cool experiences you’ve had making paneer butter masala, or toss out some ideas for future topics you’d like to see covered.

Recipe FAQs

Why Use Besan (Chickpea Flour) in Paneer Masala?

Besan, also known as chickpea flour, is used in paneer masala to add thickness and texture to the gravy. It helps to create a rich and creamy consistency while also imparting a nutty flavor to the dish. Additionally, besan is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine and adds depth to the overall flavor profile of the masala.

What are Some Serving Suggestions for Dhaba Style Paneer Masala?

Dhaba style paneer masala pairs well with various Indian breads such as naan, roti, or paratha. It also tastes delicious when served with steamed rice or jeera rice. Additionally, you can garnish the paneer masala with freshly chopped cilantro and serve it alongside some tangy pickles and cooling yogurt raita for a complete meal experience.

Can I Freeze Dhaba Style Paneer Masala for Later Use?

I would not suggest this. But you can freeze dhaba style paneer masala for later use. Allow the masala to cool down completely, then transfer it to freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. To reheat, thaw the masala overnight in the refrigerator and then gently warm it up on the stove or in the microwave.

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