ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes Review – We Tried 2 Variants

itc master chef cooking pastes review

ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes Review – We Tried 2 Variants

While the butter chicken and paneer makhani made using the ITC Cooking Pastes were tasty, they did not replicate authentic flavors.

A portion of butter chicken or paneer makhani is a staple order when you go out to eat some Mughlai food in most parts of India. Pair it with crisp butter naan and some vinegar onions, and you have found yourself a ticket to food heaven. 

ITC Master Chef brings a range of cooking pastes that will help you replicate the fine flavors of restaurant-style dishes at home. That too without tediously collecting all ingredients and tirelessly standing for hours at a stretch in the kitchen.

We tested the ITC Master Chef Butter Chicken Paste and ITC Master Chef Paneer Makhani Paste for their flavor, ease of preparation, and similarity to a restaurant-quality gravy. Here is our ITC Cooking Paste Variants Review.

ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes – Everything You Need To Know

ITC Master Chef brings a series of cooking pastes and ready-to-cook all purpose gravies that help cut down on the time and effort in the kitchen. We tried two variants for our review. Here is all that you need to know about the ITC Cooking Paste Variants.

1. Available Variants

The ITC Master Chef Cooking pastes are available in five different flavors – 

  • Masaledaar mutton
  • Butter chicken
  • Paneer makhani
  • Hyderabadi biryani
  • Vegetable biryani

2. Price Range

The ITC Master Chef cooking pastes are all priced at Rs 75/-. Each pack is 80 gms.

3. Method of Preparation

The method of preparation for all pastes differs slightly from each other depending on the core ingredient that needs to be used. To make a butter chicken gravy, prepping chicken beforehand is essential, but for paneer, no necessary prep work is required. The same goes for rice and mutton.

The method of preparation given at the back of the pack are – 

  • Empty the contents of the cooking paste in 300 ml water (2 cups approx). Mix well.
  • Add 200 gm paneer/300 gm boneless chicken and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  • Ensure complete cooking of chicken. For paneer that is not an issue.
  • Add 50 gm butter (chicken) or 30 gm butter (paneer) to the pan and switch off the flame. For our review, we used Amul salted butter.
  • Keep covered for 10 minutes.

Serve with roti, naan, paratha, or steamed rice.

4. Nutritional Facts

There is not a vast difference between the calories that the pastes provide. As per the information on the pack, the ITC Master Chef Butter Chicken Paste provides 339 Kcals per 100 grams. The ITC Master Chef Paneer Makhani Paste provides 340 Kcal of energy per 100 grams.

5. Availability

The ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes are available in select grocery stores and on multiple online portals that focus on packaged food. These are also available on ITC’s E-Store.

6. Other Information

As per the pack – 

  • The ITC Master Chef cooking pastes there are no added preservatives. 
  • The cooking pastes have been co-created by the master chefs of ITC Hotels.
  • The green pack signifies that the paste is to be used for the creation of vegetarian dishes. The red pack signifies that the paste is to be used for a non-vegetarian dish. That being said, all the pastes are vegetarian.
ITC Cooking Pastes Product Information
MRP Rs 75/-
Net weight 80 gm
Variants available
  • Masaledaar mutton
  • Butter chicken
  • Paneer makhani
  • Hyderabadi biryani
  • Vegetable biryani
Specifications
  • No added preservatives.
  • Co-created by the master chefs of ITC hotels.

ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes – Our Factors of Consideration

Our review process included testing these pastes for their ease of cooking and tasted them to gauge how close they come to the authentic flavor of butter chicken and paneer makhani. We set the following parameters to review the ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes. 

1. Flavor 

For a taste-based review, the prime parameter is always flavor. The flavor just doesn’t mean what we can taste, but also how the aromas add to the overall mouthfeel. Our sensory organs work together to give us an enhanced experience of the dish while eating. 

We answered the following questions while reviewing these cooking pastes – How good do the dishes taste? What is the dominant aroma? Is it pleasing? Does the flavor come close to an authentic bowl of restaurant-style butter chicken/makhani paneer? Any aftertaste?

2. Ease of Preparation

The main purpose of a cooking paste like this is to reduce time and effort in the kitchen. Such pastes are a boon for novices who do not know their way around the kitchen.

We wanted to know how much effort and extra ingredients are required to use these pastes. Does the use of the ITC Cooking Pastes result in quicker cooking and minimize effort? Are the instructions easy to follow or complicated?

3. Consistency

While following the instructions given on the back of the pack, how thick or thin is the gravy? Too thin, thick, or just right? Does the gravy coat the chicken/paneer pieces adequately? 

4. Visual Appeal

This parameter includes the color of the gravy and the visual appeal of the final dish. Does it look appetizing? 

5. Value For Money

Does the pricing of the product justify its quality and quantity? Is it value for money?

itc master chef cooking pastes review
Prepping up to use the ITC cooking pastes.
itc master chef cooking pastes review
We made the butter chicken as per the instructions given on the back of the pack.

ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes – Let’s Review Them

We divided our review process into three broad stages – 

  • Dry inspection – This included us testing the paste in its raw form and checking the dominant aroma.
  • Checking for ease of cooking.
  • Taste test

Our insight about the ITC cooking pastes will help you decide if this product is worth purchasing. Here is our in-depth ITC cooking paste variants review.

Product Information ITC Butter Chicken Paste ITC Paneer Makhani Paste
Price Rs 75/- Rs 75/-
Net weight 80 gm 80 gm
Energy (per 100 gm) 339 Kcal 340 Kcal
Ingredients Tomato paste, Refined sunflower oil, Dehydrated onions, Spices and condiments, Milk solids, Besan, Garlic, Iodised salt, Sugar, Ginger, Coriander leaves, Dehydrated fenugreek leaves and Paprika extract.  Tomato paste, Refined sunflower oil, Dehydrated onions, Milk solids, Besan, Spices and condiments, Garlic, Iodised salt, Sugar, Ginger, Coriander leaves, Dehydrated fenugreek leaves and Paprika extract. 
Color Brownish-Red Light brown-red
Aroma Dominant on khada masalas High on khada masala and bhuna pyaaz aroma

#1 ITC Master Chef Butter Chicken Cooking Paste

The ITC Master Chef Butter Chicken Cooking paste comes in a red-colored pouch pack. An 80 gm pack is priced at Rs 75/-.

During our dry inspection, we noticed that the cooking paste has an aroma similar to that of khada-masalas at home. We could also smell a lot of tomato paste. When we dry-tasted the cooking paste, the dominant flavor was that of garlic and fried onions. 

We made the butter chicken as per the instructions given in the pack. We noticed that mixing the paste completely in the water takes a lot of time. You might even need to use your hands to ensure complete mixing.

We were skeptical about the chicken pieces not cooking in the prescribed 10-12 minute window. Thankfully within 11 minutes, the boneless chicken pieces cooked fully and did not toughen up. Make sure you do not use extra-large cuts of chicken. Use smaller boneless pieces. 

Our review lab was filled with a strong khada masala aroma. The gravy looks a lot like homemade chicken curry with a tomato base. The curry is thick and has a very robust masala flavor. The gravy is buttery and has a tangy tomato flavor but the sourness is not overpowering. We liked the balanced heat of the dish that is showcased through the pepper and ginger zing.

When you pair it up with roti or naan, this will definitely be an excellent tasting dish that can be labeled as a murgh masala or a homestyle Indian chicken curry. We are not saying this is a bad-tasting dish, but calling itself ‘butter chicken’ would not be justified. We did miss the creaminess associated with butter chicken.

itc master chef cooking pastes review
ITC Butter Chicken Cooking Paste
itc master chef cooking pastes review
The final dish - Butter chicken made using the ITC cooking paste.

Features

  • The ITC Master Chef Butter Chicken Cooking Paste comes in a red colored pouch pack.
  • An 80 gm pack is priced at Rs 75/-.
  • This is a vegetarian paste.
  • Ingredients – Tomato paste, Refined sunflower oil, Dehydrated onions, Spices and condiments, Milk solids, Besan, Garlic, Iodised salt, Sugar, Ginger, Coriander leaves, Dehydrated fenugreek leaves and Paprika extract. 
  • There are no added preservatives. 
  • Dish made using 1 pack of this paste is sufficient for 2-3  people.

Pros

  • The tomato tang is showcased wonderfully in this gravy.
  • The instructions are easy to follow and the chicken cooked in the mentioned time frame.
  • We liked the heat coming from the ginger and pepper.
  • The gravy has a very homestyle chicken curry flavor.

Cons

  • This is not a ‘creamy’ butter chicken. For those who are expecting that, it might be a little disappointing. 
  • The paste takes too long to dissolve in the water.

Best Suited For

The ITC Butter Chicken Cooking Paste is best suited for people who do not know how to strike a balance of masalas in their curry. This is a fool-proof way of making a tasty chicken curry at home in under 15 minutes.

#2 ITC Master Chef Paneer Makhani Cooking Paste

The ITC Master Chef Paneer Makhani Cooking paste comes in a green-colored pouch pack. An 80 gm pack is priced at Rs 75/-.

There are similarities between the two cooking pastes we noticed. Just like the butter chicken paste, this also has a very khada masala-like aroma along with tomato paste. When we dry-tasted the cooking paste, the dominant flavor was that of bhuna pyaaz. This cooking paste also takes a lot of time to dissolve in the water.

Even though the list of ingredients of both the pastes is exactly the same, the proportions do vary a little. We noticed that this paste has a tad bit more bhuna pyaaz aroma and taste than the butter chicken paste.

We made the dish as per the instructions and used iD Natural Paneer to make this dish. The paneer makhani gravy has a delicious toasted onion aroma and taste. It looks like a restaurant-style gravy but definitely not paneer makhani. Typically a paneer makhani gravy is a red-orangey gravy that is rich and buttery.

itc master chef cooking pastes review
ITC Paneer Makhani Cooking Paste
itc master chef cooking pastes review
The final dish - Paneer made using the ITC cooking paste.

Features

  • The ITC Master Chef Paneer Makhani Cooking Paste comes in a green-colored pouch pack.
  • An 80 gm pack is priced at Rs 75/-.
  • This is a vegetarian paste.
  • Ingredients – Tomato paste, Refined sunflower oil, Dehydrated onions, Milk solids, Besan, Spices and condiments, Garlic, Iodised salt, Sugar, Ginger, Coriander leaves, Dehydrated fenugreek leaves, and Paprika extract. 
  • Dish made using 1 pack of this paste is sufficient for 2-3 people.
  • No added preservatives.

Pros

  • The dish has a very balanced seasoning. 
  • We liked the ginger and onion flavor in the gravy.
  • It is a quick-cooking dish. We took less than 15 minutes to rustle up the dish from scratch. 

Cons

  • This cannot be labeled as restaurant-style creamy paneer makhani with an orangey gravy. This comes close to tomato paneer
  • The paste takes too long to dissolve in the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some interesting FAQs on ITC Butter Chicken and ITC Paneer Makhani cooking paste.

1. Is the ITC Master Chef Butter Chicken Cooking Paste vegetarian?

Yes. All the ITC cooking pastes are vegetarian. The butter chicken paste does not use chicken or any other non-vegetarian ingredient. 

2. What is the price of the ITC Master Chef cooking paste? Where can I buy it from?

An 80-gram pack of ITC Master Chef cooking paste is priced at Rs 75/-. These can be purchased online from the ITC E-store or any of the leading grocery shopping portals.

3. Is one pack of the cooking paste enough for two people?

Yes. During our review, we found that 1 pack makes a portion of butter chicken/paneer makhani which is sufficient for 2-3 people. The answer to this question may vary depending on the appetite of the person as well.

4. Do we need to add oil to the cooking pastes? 

No. You need not add oil to cook this paste. You need to dissolve this in water and start cooking in the pan directly. You will be required to add butter to the gravy once the chicken/gravy has cooked. Do read the label to know how much butter is required.

5. Do we need to add masalas or are they pre-added?

The ITC Master Chef already contains salt and all the necessary spices. You need not add any seasoning of your own. In case you feel the spices are not up to the mark, you can always add some more while cooking. Do taste the gravy before adding as some might end up oversalting the dish.

Summary – What We Liked, What We Didn’t

The ITC Cooking Pastes are high on that khada masala heat. Along with that the tomato paste tang and ginger-pepper zinginess are delicious. That being said the end result is not a bowl of creamy butter chicken or paneer makhani. These make for appetizing homestyle curries, best suited for people who are new to cooking.

We would like to point out that these are meant for immediate consumption. Cook, serve, and eat! It is advised to not store them or use them as leftovers.

Have you tried the ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes before? If yes, how was your experience with them? Let us know in the comment section below.

* If you do agree with our review, please give it a thumbs up! And, tell us which one is your favorite from this list. If you don’t, please tell us why!

* Food & Beverage is a constantly evolving segment with new products launched daily. Our endeavor here is to help shoppers buy better. If there’s a product you would like us to review tell us by clicking here.

* Our reviews are unbiased and all samples used during the reviews were paid for by us. Read our entire ethics statement here.

* No part of this review is sponsored by any brand. All expenses were borne by us.

Team Mishry

Team Mishry is our team of researchers, reviewers, digital content producers, and writers who are part of every review in our test kitchen. They test, taste, and tirelessly break down a product's features, discuss pros and cons and arrive at a final verdict after much debate, deliberations and dialogue. All the reviews where crucial inputs have been derived from multiple team members are where the byline belongs to the entire team - Team Mishry!

Leave a Reply on ITC Master Chef Cooking Pastes Review – We Tried 2 Variants

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *