This is my version of paneer butter masala with Almonds (badam). There are several varieties of Paneer dishes but, Paneer butter masala is one of the famous paneer dishes, we always order from restaurants. The rich flavor and the color of the dish always welcomes us to the table. It is a north Indian food but is a heart winner for all regions.
When we go to a restaurant with a big crowd, paneer butter masala has to be ordered, as no one could go wrong on this mouth watering creamy orange calcium loaded dish. When eaten with butter nan or paratha it is delicious.
My son eats cashews but, he don’t prefer almonds. So, I look ways to sneak in almonds into my dishes. This is one of the recipe that makes it even tastier with almonds, giving its own delicious creamy texture, taste and a heart healthy food.
Restaurants load this dish with cream and butter, and I don’t use cream in my home. Not that I don’t like it, it is not heart friendly. So, I replace it with almonds and milk to give that creamy taste. The art of home cooking is to make these delicious rich foods into a healthy version and lip snacking with the ingredients available in our pantry.
Tips to make this recipe in 30 min.
- Select a wide pan.
- Grind onions.
- Instead of blanching and grinding tomatoes, I use store bought crushed tomatoes ( very flavor full and gives the texture to the dish)
- Always have some paneer in the freezer (If I know that I making this dish in advance, I make my own fresh paneer too)
- Get all the ingredients side by side in to a wide plate, since cooking is all about layering one after other.
Let’s start the recipe-
- 1 cup of Paneer, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used store bought fried paneer, if you have regular paneer, sauté them with little oil on all sides and take them into a separate plate)
- 1 small can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 large onion grind to paste
- 1 cup of almond powder (Take 1 cup of raw almonds into a blender and grind it to a fine powder)
- ½ tsp Jeera / Cumin Seeds
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 3 Cloves
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp Sugar (Optional but recommended)
- 1 Tbsp Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves
- 3 Tbsp’s Oil/butter
- 2 tbsps chili powder or adjust to taste
- Salt to taste
Note- if you use kashmiri chili powder you get the right color, if you don’t have kashmiri chili powder, you might need to use little red food color.
- Heat 3 tbsp of butter (I used 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter) in a pan, add cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, jeera and let them saute for a min.
- Add onion paste and saute till brown. Add ginger-garlic paste. Saute for 3 minutes. Add half of chili pwd and combine.
- Add tomato puree and saute it for a min, to this add crushed kasuri methi, coriander pwd, cumin pwd, turmeric , chili powder and salt. Stir and let it simmer for 3 mts.
- Add almond powder and stir it 2 cups of water, it takes little extra time (10 mins) to cook almond powder. With the lid closed let all the ingredients cook together stirring once in a while.
- Add 1 cup of milk (add milk at once into the dish, if you add slowly, it will curdle up and the final dish will not be that appealing) and let it cook for 5 mins with the lid closed and occasional stirring.
- During the above 5 mins, take a bowl of hot water and let the fried paneer sit in this hot water till the paneer becomes soft.
- Add the softened paneer and simmer for 2 minutes or till you get the desired curry consistency..
- Let the curry sit for 10 mins before serving.Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis, naan, paratha or chapathi or simple vegetable pulav.
I hope you all will enjoy this recipe with heart healthy almonds.