indian butter chicken recipe is one of the most popular curries at any Indian restaurant around the world. Aromatic golden chicken pieces in an incredible creamy curry sauce, this Butter Chicken recipe is one of the best you will try! You will love how easy it is to make in the comfort of your own home, especially with garlic butter rice and fresh homemade Naan bread.
What Is Butter Chicken?
Butter chicken is prepared with marinated chicken that’s first grilled and then served in a rich gravy made with tomato, butter, and a special spice blend as a base.
Unlike most Indian curries where the preparation of the base starts with a blend of onion and a ginger garlic paste cooked in oil, butter chicken uses tomato as a base and is cooked in butter, giving it a slightly sweet flavor. Cashews and almonds add to the sweetness and richness of the dish.
The History of indian butter chicken recipe
The roots of butter chicken are only as recent as the 1950s, when it was developed accidentally by the chef of famous restaurant Moti Mahal in Delhi, the capital of India. For chef Kundan Lal Gujral, it was a common practice to throw in butter, tomatoes, and leftover tandoori chicken into a pot to make use of the leftovers.
Little did he know that this dish would become their best seller and put them on the map. Now the recipe is adapted by restaurants across the world, though it’s really a “special occasion” dish in Indian homes.
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1” chunks
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
garam masala 1 Tbsp
fresh grated ginger 1 Tbsp
chili powder 1 tsp
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce**** (or one 14 oz can would work)
Using 2 Tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the pieces of the chicken so each side is browned. They do not need to be fully cooked all the way through. Work in batches, and set aside when you’re done.
Melt another 2 Tbsp of butter in the pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until beginning to soften — about three minutes. Add the garlic, garam masala, ginger, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Stir to combine, and cook for about 45 seconds before adding the tomato sauce.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook for five minutes before adding the cream. Bring the mixture back to a simmer, add the browned chicken, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Keep the heat low here — not a rolling boil.
Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve garnished with lime and cilantro, alongside rice and naan.