What brings people together better than food? Nothing, in my opinion. And nothing better than my Indian Butter Chicken recipe. I can count a few friends that I swear only became good friends because of my butter chicken recipe. It’s my arsenal for Indian food lovers and has many fans. I remember making it for the first time – it was in our condo in Vancouver about 7 years ago. I’ve made it for friends before the Rascal Flats concert, for non-Indian food lovers who now like it and many times beyond that.
Is this recipe healthy? Not exactly, but everything in moderation (unless you are CH and eat more than a regular serving of this!) Nonetheless, it is an easy to prepare. As with a lot of Indian dishes, this gets better with time – so if you are aiming for high-praise, make this the night before you want to serve it and simply re-heat over low temperature the next day. Trust me!
Feel free to add a bit of spice by increasing the green chili (some of our friends like it Indian “hot” which basically means 10 out of 10 hot). You can also stir-in some sriracha (which is totally un-traditional, but it adds a great kick!)
Indian Butter Chicken
Yield: 6 – 10 servings (depends on accompaniments)
Prep Time: 25 minutes (+2hrs marinating)
Cook Time: 1hr
- 1.5lbs chicken pieces (I use a mixture of thighs and breasts)
- 1 tsp grated garlic
- 1 ts grated ginger
- 1 tsp grated green chilli
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp thana jeero (can be made using half cumin and half corriander)
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 small onion, diced finely
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 6 TBSP butter (or ghee)
- 3/4 cup half and half cream
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 tomato sauce
- 1 cup of water (if needed)
- cilantro for garnish
In a large glass bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, green chili, garam masala, thana jeeroo, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt with 1 TBSP of olive oil to make a spice paste.
Add the chicken to the spice paste, mix well and cover the bowl with saran wrap. Marinate in fridge for a minimum of 2hrs (I usually try to marinade over night).
In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add-in the onions and saute until lightly browned.
Add the marinated chicken to the onions and stir. Cover the pan and allow to cook on medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or till chicken is thoroughly cooked. Stir frequently while cooking.
Add the cream to the pan, stir and cook on medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add yogurt and water (if you want a thicker sauce, do not add the water). Stir well and allow to cook for a minute or two.
Add in the tomato sauce and allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes over low-heat.
Keep warm until ready to serve*. Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
*If you are making this ahead for the next day, simply allow the dish to cool, cover and keep in the fridge. When ready to serve, place it back in a sauce pan and re-heat over low heat. I sometimes add a bit of chicken stock to the pan while re-heating if the sauce becomes too thick.
Recipe Adapted Slightly from Daksha’s Gourmet Spices