Paneer Butter Masala, a favorite at Indian restaurants, made in the Instant Pot or a traditional Pressure Cooker.  This dish is also popularly known as Paneer Makhani.

Chunks of paneer or cottage cheese cooked in a mildly spiced tomato gravy. Delicious and very easy to make Paneer Butter Masala in the instant pot
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Paneer Butter Masala has chunks of paneer or cottage cheese cooked in a mildly spiced onion tomato gravy.  It is so smooth and creamy that you will not want to stop eating it.   My daughter is a very very picky eater and has repeatedly requested this paneer dish, so I can attest that it is very kid friendly.

If you like paneer, check out other instant pot curry recipes – Palak Paneer, Paneer Tikka Masala and Matar Paneer.

Watch How to Make Paneer Butter Masala

How to make Instant Pot Paneer Butter Masala? – A different preparation 

The preparation for this paneer butter masala is very different than the usual onion-tomato gravy.  Usually to make gravy, we first sauté onions and then sauté tomatoes. However this one is done in a completely different way.

Paneer Butter Masala Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Add all the ingredients, except paneer, cream and honey in the instant pot and pressure cook for 8 minutes.  You don’t need to finely chop the onions and tomatoes, as we are going to blend them later.  This is also the reason, I suggest to add the whole spices in a pouch made from thin cheesecloth or a spice bag.  This helps to get the flavor, but you can also remove it before blending.

Then blend the cooked ingredients using an immersion blender or in a regular blender.  I used my immersion blender, which I could use directly in the pot.  If using a regular blender, you would have to pour the contents into the blender and may need to let them cool before blending. Then pour them back to the instant pot after blending.  The gravy is now ready. Add cream, honey and paneer chunks. Stir and let the curry rest for 5 minutes.

Paneer butter masala is ready.  Garnish with some kasoori methi or cilantro and enjoy with naan, roti or rice.

Chunks of paneer or cottage cheese cooked in a mildly spiced tomato gravy. Delicious and very easy to make Paneer Butter Masala in the instant pot. Great to dip naan.

Isn’t it a lovely color?  And the most easy dish to prepare? This is my go to dish when I have not done much preparation…and oh, perfect to serve if you have guests coming over.

Love this gravy?  Make it a dip with naan and serve it as an appetizer. This used to be a complimentary appetizer served at an Indian restaurant I frequently visited in Chicago.

This gravy also freezes well. Prepare in advance and freeze. Then when needed, defrost, give a boil and add chunks of paneer. And why only paneer, you can add green peas & paneer to make matar paneer or add green peas & sliced mushrooms to make mushroom matar. See notes for variations.

Don’t forget to check out my post on 23 Best Instant Pot Indian Recipes

4.90 from 183 votes

Paneer Butter Masala – Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Chunks of paneer or cottage cheese cooked in a mildly spiced tomato gravy. This Paneer Butter Masala is so delicious and very easy to make in the instant pot. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb Paneer or Cottage cheese, chunks
  • 2 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Green chili pepper , (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 Onion, cut in large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
  • 4 Tomato, cut in large pieces
  • 1/4 cup Cashews
  • 2 tablespoon Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Cream, heavy whipping or coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, adjust to taste

Spices

Instructions 

  • Make a spice pouch by adding the whole spices to a cheesecloth. Tie it such that the spices cannot come out of it.
  • Except paneer, cream and honey, add all ingredients and spice pouch to the Instant Pot including the spices. Close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Set the instant pot to manual or pressure cook mode on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • After the instant pot beeps, release the pressure naturally.
  • Remove the spice pouch carefully. Blend the contents in the instant pot with an immersion blender or regular blender to a smooth paste. If using regular blender, you may need to cool the ingredients before blending. Get the contents back to the instant pot. 
  • Add the cream and honey. Stir into the sauce. 
  • Add paneer chunks. Stir them into the sauce and let it rest for 5 minutes. You can cover with a glass lid. 
  • Paneer Butter Masala is ready to be served. Garnish with dry fenugreek leaves or cilantro.

Video

Notes

Don’t have a spice bag: If you dont have a spice bag, you can skip the whole spices, and add about a teaspoon of Garam Masala (adjust to taste) at the end. 
Freezing: This gravy freezes well. Skip adding the paneer and keep this sauce handy to prepare this or other curries.
Variations:
  • Matar Paneer / Mushroom Matar / Roasted Cauliflower – You can also add different veggies to this sauce and make delicious curries. All of the veggies can be added after making the sauce. Simmer for 3-4 minutes on saute mode to cook the veggies. 
  • Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani – You can also cook butter chicken with this recipe. Add chicken thigh pieces on top of the other ingredients before pressure cooking. Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure. Remove chicken and cut into 2-3 inch size pieces. Add back to the sauce. Voila, butter chicken is ready!  (Update: Butter Chicken Recipe here)
  • Love this gravy?  Make it a dip with naan and serve it as an appetizer.
  • Vegan: To make this curry vegan, replace cream with coconut cream and paneer with tofu or vegetables. 
Make it a meal: Cook white basmati rice pot-in-pot (PIP) when pressure cooking the curry. Check measurements here.
Inspired by recipe from thegirlthatmadeitall

Nutrition

Serving: 331gCalories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 24.69gProtein: 17.16gFat: 16.57gSaturated Fat: 6.987gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 1041mgPotassium: 655mgFiber: 4.5gSugar: 13.2gVitamin A: 3800IUVitamin C: 52mgCalcium: 180mgIron: 2.9mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

Check out other Instant Pot Curries you might enjoy:

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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4.90 from 183 votes (122 ratings without comment)

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184 Comments

    1. Hi Keven – I feel the recipe will work well even if you skip onions and garlic. Would love to hear how it turns out!

  1. How can I replace fresh tomatoes with tomato pulp or canned tomatoes? Please let me know the equivalent measures? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jyothi – Sure, you can use canned tomatoes. For canned whole tomatoes, you can still include the same number as in the recipe. For diced, one can is about 4-5 tomatoes. Adjust the quantity accordingly. Make sure to add tomatoes as the last ingredient before pressure cooking and do not stir, as sometimes they can cause a burn. I hope you enjoy the paneer butter masala!

    1. Hi Mala – Cashews mainly help to thicken the curry. You can just add a little extra heavy cream at the end and skip the cashews. You could also try adding sunflower seed butter (typically used as a replacement for peanut butter) if you like the taste.

  2. This recipe is amazing! And so easy. I adapted it for the stove top by doubling the water. And I used garbanzo beans instead of paneer. Thank you!!

  3. I used two 4 inch cinnamon sticks and my dish became too cinnamony. Could you please add the length of cinnamon sticks and if they should be single layered? Sometimes each stick has multiple layers.

    1. Hi Vivek – Sorry for the confusion in amount of cinnamon. I just updated the recipe to make it clearer to use about 1 inch cinnamon. Use a single layer. Hope you try the recipe again!

  4. Hi Meeta,
    Love your recipes, I had a question , do I add the cream and honey too incase i need to freeze the batch .I am planning to make this for a group of 15 people. Thank you

  5. Question for you- If you were to double (or triple) this recipe, would you still double the whole spices too?
    Also- so thankful you’re sharing your wonderful recipes. Everything I’ve made from this site has been amazing! Thank you! So glad I found you!

    1. Hi Mel – Yes, I would suggest to proportionally increase the whole spices. So glad that you are enjoying the recipes from the blog. Thank you for sharing back!