Thursday, January 19, 2012

butter chicken (without using spice paste).

it's been a while since i've shared a recipe i really love and this one was just so good. i've always made butter chicken from spice paste mixes but this year i'm trying to expand my cooking and went all out, making it from scratch, and it wasn't as hard as i thought it would be.
i made a batch for dinner. then i spent the afternoon sampling it. i'd fill a teeny bowl with it and sit down to watch some tv. then i'd have to stand up and get some more. this happened about 6 times until i was afraid i'd eat it all up so i had to take extreme measures and take some breath mints to stop myself from eating it  be warned it is adictively good. and yes, like every indian dish, it does require that you use lots of different spices but once you've bought all the spices, you can make this dish again and again and i know you'll want to! 
...and just to let you know, this recipe requires you to marinate the meat the night before and makes enough for 4- assuming you can stop yourself from just eating it all!

you will need:
1/2 cup natural yoghurt
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp garlic, crushed
1 kg chicken breast fillet, chopped
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup cashews
60g butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf ( apparently there is a special type of indian bay leaf but any bay leaf will do)
2 tsp paprika
410g can tomato puree
150 g chicken stock
1 cup thickened cream
(i know this sounds like lots of spices but if you have a stock of tumeric, garam masala, chilli powder, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leafs, cinnamon sticks and paprika you can use them to make lots of other delicious dishes too.)


(the night before)
1. put the yoghurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, chilli, cumin, ginger, garlic and chicken in a bowl and stir well. cover and refrigerate overnight
(the day you plan on eating it)
2. process 1/4 cup of cashews until they are finely ground.
3. heat butter and oil on medium heat and add the onion, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf. cook until the onion has softened. reduce heat to low and add chicken and marinade, paprika, cashew powder, stock and tomato puree. simmer for 15 mins. 
4. stir in cream and cook for 10 more mins and you will have your own pot of deliciousness.
5. garnish with cashews and serve with rice- and naan and papadums if you like.


  1. you know I am east-indian and we dive in butter chicken every other day at home (the spicy kind) and I am impressed with your receipe! :)

    xo Nav

  2. Yum. this is one of my favorites.

  3. This looks delicious! Perfect recipe for me- I'm not good with spicy food!