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paneer butter masala over white rice in a plate

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer butter masala is made with soft cubes of Indian cottage cheese in a finger-licking' nutty-buttery sauce. It comes together so easily in the instant pot, you'll hardly believe you made one of the most popular vegetarian dishes on Indian restaurant menus!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Indian cottage cheese curry, paneer butter masala, paneer makhani
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 389.9kcal


  • 6-quart Instant Pot Duo


  • 6 tablespoon salted butter
  • ¼ cup cashews soaked in water
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 " piece ginger minced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sprigs cilantro or parsley chopped
  • salt to taste


  • Turn your instant pot to saute and add half the butter.
  • As soon as the butter melts, slide in the onions, tomatoes, cashews, ginger and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes only.
  • Add the powdered spices and salt. Add ¼ cup water if the masala gets too dry and cook for 2 minutes. Cancel saute.
  • Secure the lid, make sure the steam release handle is sealed, press the pressure cooking button (high) and set the timer for 4 minutes. Release steam after 10 minutes.
  • Open the cooker and puree the cooked masala using an immersion blender. It doesn't matter if the masala is hot, immersion blenders can handle the heat.
  • Press saute again and add the remaining butter, sugar and cream. Cook on normal heat for 10 minutes. Cover with a glass lid if the sauce splatters too much. The sauce will get darker and shinier as you cook it. This is an indication that it's done. Cancel the saute mode.
  • Add the cubed paneer and mix well. Garnish with the green leaves of your choice and serve with naan bread or rice.

Pot in Pot Rice

  • Just before pressure cooking the masala in step 4 above, wash and soak one cup Basmati rice in one and a quarter cup water in a steel container that will fit inside the instant pot inner liner.
  • Place the trivet that came along with your cooker in the inner liner. Position the steel container with the rice and water on top of this trivet. Now pressure cook normally (step 4).
  • When you open the pot, both the paneer butter masala and the rice will be cooked. All you need to do is remove the trivet with the rice on it and follow the rest of the directions from step 5.


  1. Kashmiri chilli powder is a mild variety of red chilli that has a very pleasing natural red color. If you don't have it, use normal chilli but don't omit the paprika for color.
  2. Garam Masala is available in Indian stores but you can make your own too. Grind together 2 black cardamom (seeds only, outer skin removed), 5 green cardamom, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 bay leaf and 10 cloves. Use as required and store the rest in a small jar.


Calories: 389.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.1g | Protein: 11.4g | Fat: 34.8g | Saturated Fat: 14.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7.1g | Cholesterol: 66.9mg | Sodium: 726.2mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 2.9g