Something other than sugar. Something other than chocolate. Something other than butter. No, no… that’s a sin one should never commit.
Something with butter, always something with butter! So why not make butter chicken?
Ironically, my butter chicken recipe doesn’t contain that much butter! I know, silly huh?
I use what’s called ghee (clarified butter) for this recipe but you can use regular old butter if you please, the results will be the same. Instead of churning cream to make butter, ghee is made by heating and removing the milk solids.
This recipe is a lot easier than some of the recipes that are out there which call for all sorts of whole spices and what not. Skip them, this one is quick and to the point but it’s packed with all the delicious flavors of a restaurant-style butter chicken.
The gravy in this recipe is quite delish. I would go so far as to have it as a soup in the winter months with some sautéed veggies? Hmmm.. that’ll have to be another post!
Until then, happy butter chickening!
Here’s what you’ll need. We’re trying to keep the ingredients to a minimum and going for 100% flavor.
I used Shan’s Tandoori Chicken masala, it is quite easy to find in most Indian/Pakistani grocery stores, if for some reason you can’t find it, don’t stress it, any Tandoori Chicken Masala will produce similar results.
Start by letting the chicken bathe in the yogurt, ginger garlic paste, and the tandoori masala. It’s up to you how long you let this stuff hang around and marinade, but I generally recommend at least 15-20 minutes if you’re in a hurry or up to 24 hours for some super tender chicken. Cook the chicken in 1 tablespoon of oil along with all of that yogurty goodness. We’ll add that to the gravy later.
This recipe uses 1 can of crushed tomatoes and Fenugreek leaves which give it that authentic flavor. Crush the leaves between your fingers to release the aroma, before adding it to the butter chicken as the final step. Also, what I like to do is double the recipe for the sauce and store half of it in an airtight container in the freezer for an easy dinner. Just add sautéed chicken and you’ve got yourself an easy weeknight dinner!
- To make the ginger garlic paste:
- ¼ cup ginger, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- To make the butter chicken:
- 1 lb. boneless chicken breast cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoon Shan Tandoori BBQ Mix
- 3 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ cup yogurt (I used greek, but regular yogurt works just fine too)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee (butter)
- 2 medium onions (or 1 large), thinly sliced
- 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional - see notes)
- 1½ tablespoon coriander powder
- 1½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek leaves, crushed between fingers
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and turn into a smooth paste. Paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste, and Shan Tandoori BBQ Mix, allow chicken to marinade in the mixture for at least 15-20 minutes covered and refrigerated.
- In a dutch oven on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil along with the butter and sauté the onions until they turn translucent and start to sweat. About 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and cook for an additional minute. Add the can of crushed tomatoes along with the chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the stove off and allow mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooling, heat a sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, add the marinaded chicken along with all the yogurt sauce and cook the chicken for just 6 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Add the contents of the onion and tomato mixture to a blender and blend until it turns into a smooth paste. You may need to add a couple tablespoons or up to ¼ cup water to help blend things together. Once blended, return to the dutch oven and continue to heat the sauce. Add the chicken and the yogurt from the sauté pan to the tomato mixture and heat everything thoroughly.
- Once heated, add the whipping cream and garam masala. When the sauce starts to simmer, add the crushed up Fenugreek leaves. Serve with naan (flat bread) or basmati rice.