In: Food0

This restaurant quality Butter Chicken will blow your mind! Never have you been able to replicate this favorite classic dish so accurately before. With a few secret ingredients and simple step-by-step instructions, your family will be begging to have this recipe added to the weekly rotation.

Butter Chicken

As I’m sure you’re painfully aware, there are many variations of butter chicken. Hunting for a version that will replicate the restaurant flavor you’re craving can be a challenge. I’ve tried to make it many times, and many times I didn’t quite get the flavor I was looking for. Until now!

Butter chicken must be cooked with tons of butter, right? Think again! Contrary to its title, there’s not much butter in it after all. Some chefs will even nix the ingredient all together. There are a few ideas of where the name butter chicken came from and the most popular seems to stem from the silkiness of the sauce, comparable to butter.

Ingredient Notes

  • Aroma – Fresh ginger and garlic. You can use canned if you’d like but fresh is always best.
  • Chicken – I used breast, but dark meat will work here as well.
  • Spices – Ground coriander, chili powder, garam masala, and cumin seeds.
  • Salt – Season to taste.
  • Oil – I used vegetable oil. Since we’re sautéing, other types of oil that will work are olive, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, canola, or avocado.
  • Onion – Any type you like.
  • Water
  • Cashews – This will help you get a beautiful, creamy sauce. Use unsalted if possible.
  • Chili – I used a jalapeño. Use any type of pepper you can handle for heat, or none at all.
  • Tomatoes – I used 3 medium-sized tomatoes, about, 2 cups.
  • Butter – I always use unsalted to have full control over the sodium.
  • Ketchup – A secret ingredient for many Indian restaurants! Just a bit will help with color, extra tomato flavor, and a bit of sweetness.
  • Sugar – Use more or less to taste.
  • Half & half – Half milk and half cream, 10%MF. You can use heavy cream instead.
  • Parsley – Freshly chopped for garnish.
  • Red Food coloring – Completely optional. This is how restaurants get that nice red color for the sauce. Completely optional but realize you won’t get that red color otherwise, the tomatoes alone won’t create that rich red color.

How To Make Butter Chicken

  1. Season chicken: Add half the garlic and ginger to the chicken, 1 tbsp of the coriander powder, 1/2 tbsp chili powder and salt. Mix everything until all the chicken is fully coated.
  2. Cook chicken: Heat up the oil in a large skillet to which you will add the prepared chicken. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes then remove it from the skillet.
  3. Start sauce: In the same skillet add the cumin seeds, onion and remaining garlic and ginger and saute for a couple minutes, until the onion is transparent. Add a couple cups of water to the skillet and stir. Add the cashew nuts, the remaining coriander powder, remaining red chili powder, jalapeno, the tomatoes and stir well.
  4. Blend: Let the sauce cook slowly over medium low heat, covered for about 20 minutes. Let the sauce cool for about 5 minutes before pouring it in a blender and blend it until it’s nice and smooth. Pour the sauce back in the skillet. Add another cup of water, the butter and stir. Stir in the ketchup and sugar as well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt as needed.
  5. Finish: Stir in the cream, the chicken and garam masala. Cook the sauce with the chicken for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve: Garnish with fresh parsley and serve over rice.

FAQs

What is Butter Chicken?

Indian Butter Chicken is basically pieces of tandoori chicken cooked in a tangy, tomato cream sauce. Despite its name, butter chicken doesn’t have a lot of butter in it.

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely! If you double it, just double all the ingredients, not just the chicken!

Can I make this in an instant pot?

I’m glad you asked. Yes you can! Check out my Instant pot butter chicken recipe here.

Do I have to use red food coloring?

No, you don’t. It’s completely optional. Sometimes restaurants will use it to get that gorgeous red color in our butter chicken that we all know and love

Tips

  1. While the ingredient list may look long, this butter chicken is quite simple to make. The trick is to get all your ingredients prepped first, this always makes cooking any dish a breeze.
  2. For a dairy free option that’s still equally rich and delicious, substitute the cream with coconut milk.
  3. Don’t skip adding the butter, it’s what gives the sauce that nice glossy color and great flavor.

Leftovers

Transfer any leftover butter chicken to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

It’ll be easiest to reheat in the microwave, giving the sauce a stir evert 30 seconds or so. You can also reheat on the stovetop. Add the butter chicken to a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until completely heated through.

Freezing

This butter chicken will last 4-6 months frozen. Let the chicken completely cool down to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container and freezing.

Let the butter chicken thaw overnight in the fridge before following the reheating instructions detailed above. While you can reheat straight from the freezer, it will be much easier to work with if it’s thawed first.

BUTTER CHICKEN

RECIPE VIDEO

This restaurant quality Butter Chicken will blow your mind! Never have you been able to replicate this favorite classic dish so accurately before. With a few secret ingredients and simple step-by-step instructions, your family will be begging to have this recipe added to the weekly rotation.

EQUIPMENT

  • Ninja 72 oz Countertop Blender

INGREDIENTS

Chicken

  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 lb chicken breast boneless and skinless, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp coriander ground
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Sauce

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • tomatoes cut into small pieces
  • 4 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Season chicken: Add half the garlic and ginger to the chicken, 1 tbsp of the coriander powder, 1/2 tbsp chili powder and salt. Mix everything until all the chicken is fully coated.
  • Cook chicken: Heat up the oil in a large skillet to which you will add the prepared chicken. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes then remove it from the skillet.
  • Start sauce: In the same skillet add the cumin seeds, onion and remaining garlic and ginger and saute for a couple minutes, until the onion is transparent. Add a couple cups of water to the skillet and stir. Add the cashew nuts, the remaining coriander powder, remaining red chili powder, jalapeno, the tomatoes and stir well.
  • Blend: Let the sauce cook slowly over medium low heat, covered for about 20 minutes. Let the sauce cool for about 5 minutes before pouring it in a blender and blend it until it’s nice and smooth. Pour the sauce back in the skillet. Add another cup of water, the butter and stir. Stir in the ketchup and sugar as well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt as needed.
  • Finish: Stir in the cream, the chicken and garam masala. Cook the sauce with the chicken for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve: Garnish with fresh parsley and serve over rice.

RECIPE NOTES

  1. Half and half is a simple blend of equal parts whole milk and light cream. It averages 12% fat.
  2. Nutritional information does not include rice.
  3. While the ingredient list may look long, this butter chicken is quite simple to make. The trick is to get all your ingredients prepped first, this always makes cooking any dish a breeze.
  4. For a dairy free option that’s still equally rich and delicious, substitute the cream with coconut milk.
  5. Don’t skip adding the butter, it’s what gives the sauce that nice glossy color and great flavor.
  6. Red Food coloring – Completely optional. This is how restaurants get that nice red color for the sauce. Completely optional but realize you won’t get that red color otherwise, the tomatoes alone won’t create that rich red color.
  7. Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1servingCalories: 399kcal (20%)Carbohydrates: 11g (4%)Protein: 35g (70%)Fat: 24g (37%)Saturated Fat: 13g (81%)Cholesterol: 125mg (42%)Sodium: 441mg (19%)Potassium: 897mg (26%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 1546IU (31%)Vitamin C: 23mg (28%)Calcium: 72mg (7%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
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