I do not know the history on why this is called Butter Masala. I just add 1 tbsp of butter in the recipe, I just interpret it as the gravy is as smooth as butter. Long shot, uh ? What so ever, this dish appeals to the kids with its subtle flavors, smooth texture and of course, no apparently visible vegetables 🙂
- You need the ingredients below for the gravy.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok and fry the whole spices.
- Saute the onions until they turn slighty brown. Also fry 1 tsp of ginger garlic paste.
- Add the tomatoes. Sprinkle salt to sweat the tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes soften add the tomato paste. You can just use the paste, or just use tomatoes or a mix of both.
- Mix well and add little water if needed. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and a pinch of garam masala. Also add salt as needed.
- What adds to the flavor of this dish is “Kasoori Methi”, dried fenugreek leaves. You can get this in an Indian grocery store.
- Crush 1 tsp of kasoori methi in the palm of your hands and add to the onion tomato mix.
- Allow the mix to cool down and make a puree with cashew nuts. Cashews help with the smoothness, you can also us toasted poppy seeds instead of cashews. While grinding , grind the cashesws first and then grind the tomato-onion mix to puree.
- While making the puree , if you need to add water , add heavy cream or milk instead.
- Return the puree to the wok. Add a tbsp of butter and a tbsp of oil. you can add more butter as you desire, but 1 spoon is more than enough.
- If the gravy starts to thicken you can dilute by adding milk or cream.
- While the gravy is cooking, you can cut paneer and brown them slightly . You can replace paneer with tofu.
- Add the paneer to the gravy.
- As of now, the dish is complete. But if you would like to add one more layer of flavor, dry toast a tsp of cumin and a tsp of kasoori methi. If you don’t have kasoori methi, use a tsp of fenugreek seeds.
- Grind the toasted cumin and fenugreek leaves to a fine powder.
- Sprinkle this pixie dust on the gravy.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until oil separates.
Just as I was about to finish, my son came back from school. As soon as I opened the door he exclaimed “wow , I can smell my favorite paneer dip” and my day was made. 🙂