Mushroom Butter Masala is a creamy, rich, spiced mushroom curry. Perfect for a vegetarian dinner and best served with rice, roti, or naan.
If you’re a fan of restaurant style Indian food, then I’m going to show you how to make it at home.
That’s right, you can easily make your favourite dishes at home. Which is great if you’re hosting dinner for friends and family. Or even if you just want to make yourself a nice dinner.
This is also a recipe that will show off your skills and impress a crowd. It’s a personal favourite and I can’t recommend it enough!
Mushroom Butter Masala
Mushroom butter masala is rich, creamy, spicy, and full of flavour. There’s plenty of caramelised mushrooms tossed in a North Indian butter masala sauce. Also commonly known as makhani sauce.
Butter masala dishes are hugely popular and have become quite a staple dish in many Indian restaurants. Which is understandable because these dishes encapsulate the balance between spice, acidity, and sweetness perfectly.
The use of butter and cream adds richness and a good measure of indulgence. Butter and cream are used more in restaurant style dishes and less so in home style recipes.
This makes for a great vegetarian curry
I have to say, Indian food is absolutely amazing for vegetarians. We have an abundance of veggie dishes using pretty much any vegetable you can think of. And that’s all down the use of spices.
Indian dishes rely on spices (both whole and ground), and that alone is enough to transform a dish from something fairly bland to something completely remarkable.
We’re using a mix of whole spices here, such as cumin seeds, green cardamom, black cardamom, star anise, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, coriander seeds, and dried chillies. All add flavour and aroma and are key to making a restaurant style makhani/butter masala sauce.
These whole spices are used at the start of cooking to infuse the fat (butter/ghee/oil) and the ground spices are then added later on. We’re all about flavour here, and it’s worth it.
Butter Masala sauce also known as makhani sauce
This sauce is also commonly known as makhani sauce. It originates from Delhi and the name ‘makhani’ stems from ‘makhan. Which is Hindi for butter!
I use less butter in this recipe than what you would find if you were to order this in India, but it’s enough to get the flavour and richness.
What to serve with Mushroom Butter Masala
I recommend serving this Mushroom Butter Masala with either rice, roti, or naan. All would be great, but my personal favourite is my Chilli Garlic Naan for this one. It’s honestly an amazing pairing!
If you’re going for rice, some jeera rice (cumin rice) would be an excellent choice. Or if you want to make a plain batch of naan or some garlic naan, my Homemade Naan recipe would be perfect for this.
If you don’t like mushrooms
It always pains me to write this bit (mushrooms are my absolute favourite). But you could definitely substitute them with some paneer, tofu, potatoes, or any vegetables you like. Cauliflower works great
Paneer butter masala can be made with the exact same sauce. Just pan fry the paneer in some oil or ghee until they’re golden, then add them to the sauce. It’s honestly so good!
What you’ll need to make Mushroom Butter Masala
I’ll cover the main ones below but the full recipe can be found at the end of the blogpost
- Mushrooms – you can use any mushrooms you like. I always tend to use a combination of chestnut mushrooms (baby bella) and oyster mushrooms, but any will work
- Whole spices – these make up the first layer of flavour during the tempering process, which is a key step in a lot of Indian recipes. The whole spices go in first, and the ground spices later
- Passata – this is usually sold in a bottle and is essentially just puréed and strained tomatoes. You could also use tinned tomatoes if you wanted to (of equal quantity)
- Kasuri methi – these are dried fenugreek leaves which are crushed and added towards the end of the cooking process. They provide quite a distinct aroma and flavour
- Double cream – this adds richness and creaminess, also sold as heavy cream for US readers
The KEY tips to getting this recipe right
- Cook the onions low and slow – this will add more depth of flavour and allow the onions to caramelise, which also adds sweetness
- Sieve the butter masala sauce – sieving the sauce gives it a velvety smooth finish and making it restaurant worthy!
How to make Mushroom Butter Masala
How to make butter masala sauce
1) Melt the butter and oil, you could even use all butter or ghee if you wanted to. Using a combination of butter and oil stops the butter from burning which is why I use both
2) Add in all of the whole spices
3) Stir the whole spices and allow to toast for around a minute
4) Add in the onions and a pinch of salt, and sauté over a low heat for around 15 minutes
5) We want to get the onions to the point when they’re starting to caramelise
6) Then we’re going to add in the garlic, ginger, and cashew nuts
7) Continue to sauté everything together for another 5 minutes
8) Next add in the passata
9+10) Then add in the chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and turmeric. Mix everything together and continue to cook for a couple of minutes
11+12) Allow the sauce to cool completely and then blend until completely smooth
Let’s make the Mushroom Butter Masala
1) Start by sautéing the mushrooms over a high heat until they start to caramelised like 2)
3) Oyster mushrooms cook very quickly (quicker than chestnut mushrooms) so I add them in later
4) Keep cooking everything together over a high heat until the mushrooms are caramelised, then season with salt
5) Pass the sauce through a sieve to make it velvety smooth
6) Add in salt, sugar, garam masala, kasuri methi (dried fenugreek), and butter
7) Add a handful of coriander
8) And spoon over a little (as much as you like) double cream to finish your mushroom butter masala
Frequently asked questions
Can this be made vegan?
Yes, substitute the butter for oil or vegan butter. And use coconut or oat cream in lieu of double cream.
If I have a nut allergy, what can I use instead of cashew nuts?
You can use white melon seeds (magaz) in lieu of nuts, providing you’re fine with seeds. Or leave it out entirely and add extra cream for richness and consistency.
What if I don’t like mushrooms?
Feel free to substitute the mushrooms out for paneer or tofu. Or even potatoes, or perhaps a medley of vegetables that you like. The sauce is incredibly versatile and the possibilities are endless.
If you enjoyed this recipe
Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.
Until then, happy cooking!
For the butter masala sauce:
- 2tbsp neutral oil, sunflower/vegetable/rapeseed
- 2tbsp butter
- 2tsp cumin seeds
- 1tsp coriander seeds
- 5 green cardamom pods, lightly cracked open
- 1 star anise
- 2 black cardamom
- 4 cloves
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 dried chillies, I tend to use dried Kashmiri chillies
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2" piece of ginger, sliced
- 20 cashew nuts
- 690g passata
- Pinch of salt
- 1tsp chilli powder
- 1tsp cumin powder
- 1tsp coriander powder
- 1/4tsp turmeric
For the mushroom butter masala:
- 2tbsp neutral oil
- 1kg mushrooms of choice, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2tsp salt
- 1tsp sugar
- 2tsp garam masala
- 3tsp kasuri methi
- 75g butter
- Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
- 4tbsp double cream
For the butter masala sauce:
- Start by melting the 2tbsp of butter and 2tbsp oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat. You could alternatively use all butter or even ghee if you wanted to. Using a combination of butter and oil stops the butter from burning which is why I use both
- Then add in the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, green cardamom pods, star anise, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, and the dried chillies. Stir the whole spices and chillies for around 1-2 minutes to temper the in the oil
- Then add in all of the onions and turn the heat down to low. Add a small pinch of salt and continue stirring the onions as they sauté. We want the onions to gradually caramelise - which can take around 15 minutes
- Once the onions are starting to turn golden and caramelise, we're then going to add in the garlic, ginger, and cashew nuts
- Continue to sauté everything together for another 5 minutes
- Next pour in the passata
- Then add in the chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and turmeric. Mix everything together and continue to cook for a couple of minutes
- Allow the sauce to cool completely, then remove the bay leaf and black cardamom. Transfer to a blender along with 3-4tbsp of water and blend until completely smooth
For the mushroom butter masala:
- Pour the 2 tbsp of oil in to a large pan and place over a high heat. Add the mushrooms in and continue to sauté over a high heat until they start to caramelise. I've used two types of mushrooms (chestnut and oyster mushrooms). Oyster mushrooms cook much more quickly so I've added them in after cooking the chestnut mushrooms
- Once the mushrooms have caramelised, season them with 1tsp salt
- Pass the sauce through a sieve into the pan with the mushrooms. I recommend passing the sauce through a sieve as it will lend a velvety smooth finish
- Add in the remaining salt, sugar, garam masala, kasuri methi (dried fenugreek), and butter. For the kasuri methi, give it a slight crush between your palms to break down the leaves
- Simmer the mushroom butter masala together for several minutes
- Finish with coriander and double cream. Stir through until the cream is evenly mixed in
Nutrition InformationYield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 481Total Fat 38gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 58mgSodium 1199mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 10gSugar 11gProtein 11g
This is an automated calculation and hence may not be entirely accurate.