Andhra Paneer Butter Masala
For this dish, Paneer is fried golden brown and cooked in strong and spicy Andhra style tomato gravy with no added fresh cream or Kashmiri red chilli powder.Believe me, this wedding style Paneer Butter Masala dish can stand up to the Punjabi Butter Masala any time.
The Telugus are fond of hot spices. Their palates are satisfied only when there is a good element of spice in a dish. The mild and sweetish Punjabi Butter Masala with added cream will not be easily liked by the Telugu people. The Paneer Butter Masala that you find served in the Telugu States is nothing like the Punjabi style dish. The Paneer Butter Masala that the Telugus will serve is bound to be spicy and hot. Mild and sweetish flavourful foods are not very appreciated by the Telugus. For this very reason, the Telugu caterers have transformed the Paneer Butter Masala to suit the tastes of the locals. It is popularly served as an accompaniment to Roti at weddings. The Telugu style Paneer Butter Masala goes very well with rice too. The Telugu Paneer Butte Masala recipe does not include the mild Kashmiri Chilli; nor is any fresh cream added at the end like in the Punjabi version of the dish. In the Telugu’s recipe some extra tomato ketchup is also added; and the Paneer is fried to a golden brown before being added to the dishI you ask me. Really, even I prefer the Telugu version over the Punjabi version of the dish and I think it goes very well with Rotis and Pooris. The method used in both the versions is almost the same, except for some ingredients and the measurements of some. It is said that every chef’s hand has its own flavour. In this case that saying is so correct!!!
You may also like this Spicy Gongura Paneer
Fry Paneer only till it turns light golden in colour. If Paneer is fried to a darker brown, the pieces cannot absorb the flavours of the gravy.
If the Paneer gets over fried, put the Paneer cubes in salted water immediately. The hard Paneer will soften a little. After the Gravy is ready, squeeze the Paneer cubes gently and to the vessel. The Paneer will absorb the flavours easily.
- Khuskhus (Poppy Seeds): Cashew, Khskhus and dry Coconut are three unavoidable ingredients in the Telugu people’s Paneer Butter Masala recipe!!! If Khuskhus is not available,just increase the quantity of cashews.
Grinding the Gravy:
- The gravy ingredients should be ground to a fine buttery paste. That gives the buttery texture to the gravy. If you feel that the ground mixture is rather coarse, the trick is to run the gravy mixture through a sieve.
- You can use butter fi it is available, or you may use Ghee. However, one essential thing to do is the crush Kasuri Methi and add it at the very end
Some more Tips:
I am not cooking in the typical caterers’ style. That is, I am not adding any ingredients like Tomato Sauce etc. You may go ahead and add a little if you like. The curry will taste one way if you add it; and another way if you do not, that’s all.
In wedding feasts, to give a special touch to the preparations, food colour is usually added. I have also added food colour, but it is not essential. If you like the curry to get a rich colour, use ripe and red tomatoes.
Andhra Paneer Butter Masala - Recipe Video
Andhra Paneer Butter Masala
- Prep Time 5 mins
- Cook Time 25 mins
- Total Time 30 mins
- Serves 5
For the Paneer:
- 2 tbsp Butter/ Ghee
- 200 gms Paneer
- 1 pinch Turmeric
For the Gravy:
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 15 Cashew
- 1 tbsp Melon seeds
- Dry Coconut (Piece size of your palm appr.)
- 1 inch Dalchini (Cinnamon Stick)
- 3 Long (Clove)
- 2 Ilaichi (Cardamom)
- 1/2 cup Onion (Diced)
- 1 tbsp Khuskhus (Poppy Seeds)
- 2 Tomatoes (Ripe)
For the Curry:
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 3 tbsp Butter/Ghee
- 1 tbsp Zeera (Cumin)
- 1 tbsp Ginger-garlic Paste
- Salt (As per taste)
- 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tbsp Cumin Powder (Roasted)
- 1 1/2 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
- 275 ml Water
- 2 pinches Red Food Colour (optional)
- 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
- Kothmir (Coriander leaves) (finely chopped a little)
- Melt butter in a pan and add a pinch of turmeric to it. Put in the Paneer cubes and fry till they turn golden brown.
- Heat the oil in a vessel and fry the cashew nuts, melon seeds cloves and cardamom.
Add the diced onions and fry till golden. Now add the Khuskhus .
- When the Khuskhus seeds start to splutter, add the diced tomato. Once the tomatoes turn pulpy, take the vessel down. Grind the tomato mixture adding a little water. If necessary you may run the mixture through a sieve.
- For the curry, melt 2 tbsp butter or Ghee and put the Cumin seeds. When the seeds start to splutter, add ginger garlic paste and fry till golden brown.
Now add salt, coriander powder, Chilli powder, and Cumin powder. Take care that the masala does not blacken. Add a very little water and fry till oil floats on top.
- Now add the ground gravy paste and water and let the gravy cook slowly. Keep stirring now and then. Cook till gravy is thick and oil floats on top.
- Once the oil separates, add the fried Paneer cubes, crushed Kasuri Methi and the remaining butter. Mix it in gently, let it boil and take down the vessel from the flame after a minute or two.
The Paneer Butter Masala cooked in the Telugu style is good with Rotis as well as with rice.