02 October 2011

Butter Chicken

I love LOVE Butter Chicken! It is my favourite Indian dish. I really enjoy Indian food, however it is was the only cuisine that gave me grief in my own kitchen. I can make pretty okay curries. I have never made a successful Butter Chicken recipe at home. Most of the time, I finish the recipe and we end having pizza or a really quick pasta. Yes, it ends up that bad! Not this time!

I stumbled upon an amazingly simple recipe for Tandoori Chicken and Butter Chicken (a.k.a. Murgh Makhani). I had been drooling over it every day since I found it last week. The ingredients are pretty simple and it didn’t look too complicated. I have been looking up recipes every now and then, I have tried many, many different recipes and they all sucked. At the same time, it could have been my novice experience in the kitchen. This recipe also didn’t involve picking up ingredients I would never use again for anything else. Doesn’t it suck when you have to go looking high and low for an ingredient, only to use a ¼ tsp of it, and then toss the rest? I know I do. What a waste of time and money, right?

I did make a few changes to the recipe, as I always do. This time was because Alyssa cannot handle any spice. Her tongue starts to burn when I add a little black pepper to her scrambled eggs. So, I made an Alyssa friendly version. I just added a couple dashes of hot pepper sauce in my serving, it was still de-lish!!


Both Alyssa and Logan really liked the Butter Chicken. They ate it with some Roti.

Tandoori-Style Chicken
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken, breast or thigh
2-3 tsp chili powder (or paprika)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup whipping cream
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp saffron threads (or turmeric)
2 tsp paprika

1. Mix paprika and enough lemon juice together to make a paste. Rub paste on to chicken, set aside for about 15 minutes.
All rubbed with paprika and lemon juice
2. In a bowl, mix together yogurt, cream, ginger, garlic, garam masala, saffron and paprika. Add chicken and mix well, making sure to evenly coat the chicken. Place chicken in fridge for at least one hour. The longer you marinade the chicken, the more flavourful it will become.
Marinade #1 meet Marinade #2
3. Place chicken on a lightly greased baking sheet. Set your oven to broil on low and broil chicken for 10 minutes each side.
4. Serve hot with your choice of side.

* I didn’t have any plain yogurt, so I used an additional ¼ cup of whipping cream and added a teaspoon of lemon juice.
While you are making the Tandoori-Style Chicken, work on the sauce. When my husband walked into the kitchen, he said his nose was going crazy. There were so many wonderful smells going on. It was fabulous!

Butter Chicken Sauce

½ stick butter
3 tbsp minced ginger
3 tbsp minced garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp ground pecans
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
2 lbs cooked tandoori chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can coconut cream
Salt to taste

1. Over medium-heat, melt butter in a kadhai (or wok). Add ginger and garlic. Cook for a 2-3 minutes until ginger and garlic turn a golden colour.
2. Add diced tomatoes, including their juices. Reduce heat to medium, simmer uncovered until water has almost entirely evaporated, about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. When most of the water has evaporated from the tomatoes, remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Return to heat, add chopped ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add ground pecans paprika, and coriander, mix well.
4. Add tandoori chicken and stir. Increase heat to medium-high and allow sauce to come to a slow simmer for 8-10 minutes.
5. Stir in coconut cream and remove from heat.
6. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with warm naan or rice.

* To spice it up, add a couple of Thai Birds Eye Chillies – deseeded and finely chopped.
* You can substitutes any other kind of nut for the pecans.
* For easy prep, you can buy jarred minced ginger and garlic at your local grocery store. However, do not skip on the chopped ginger, it’s what gives the dish the “yum” factor.

I really hope you get a chance to try this recipe, it was pretty simple compared to some of the other recipes I have made, and pretty simple ingredients too. 

Happy Cooking!! :)


  1. This looks so good! I love butter chicken, altough I am not much of a cook so most of my experience is either restaurant (yum) or jarred sauce (eh). I might take the plunge and try making this from scratch, it doesn't look too complicated, even I might be able to manage this recipe!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Rhonda! I was totally afraid of making Butter Chicken from scratch too, but this recipe is pretty easy. Especially if you use the jarred garlic and ginger. And definitely yummy!! Good luck! :)


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