Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is one of, if not the most well known of Indian dishes but I bet most people don’t really know much about it. For instance, despite the name there is not a lot of butter in it. The name is actually a reference to the smooth ‘buttery’ texture of the sauce. Although most of us are used to chicken breast in our Butter Chicken, in India all chicken pieces are used. There are many versions of butter chicken with different compositions, but this version is our favourite because it uses fresh tomatoes instead of a processed puree, and despite the incredible vibrance of the colour there are no artificial colours. That fantastic orange hue is the result of beautiful red ripe tomatoes and mace. For me, the thing that really makes this dish pop is the Kasoori Methi. Kasoori Methi is simply dried Fenugreek leaves, but there is nothing simple about the flavour they bring. I’ve heard it compare to everything from fennel to maple and described as “slightly bitter but addictive”.butterchicken1

This recipe was a special request from my 10 year old cousin Mikaela, who is a budding foodie in her own right. I’m glad she asked, because I have been wanting Quidee’s Butter Chicken recipe from the first time I tasted it! Its rich and creamy and totally Moreish!

Make this dish for someone you love, because if anything tastes like love, this is it.

Butter Chicken

Makes 4 portions, and takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to prepare.

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

3 to 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
½ cup Plain Yogurt
½ tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Coriander Powder

Sauce Preparation Ingredients:

½ Bulb Garlic
2 Inches Ginger Root
2 Small Onions
1 tbsp. Oil
1 tbsp. Butter
1 whole Mace
1 whole Green Cardamom
½ tsp. Salt
4 Very Ripe Medium Tomatoes

Additional Ingredients:

10 to 12 Unsalted Cashews
¼ cup Oil
1 tsp. Butter
½ tsp. Kashmiri Chili Powder
¼ tsp. Cumin Powder
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tbsp. Kasoori Methi
½ tsp. Salt (Optional)
½ tsp. Chili Powder (Optional)
1/3 cup Cream
1 tbsp. Unsweetened Coconut


  • Chop the chicken breast into large cubes, 6 to 8 pieces per breast.
  • In a bowl, combine the chicken with the yogurt, chili powder, salt and coriander powder. Cover and marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Peel the ginger. Dice the ginger, garlic, onions and tomatoes.
  • In a wok or deep skillet, heat the oil and butter on high heat.
  • Add the mace and cardamom to the wok.
  • Wait one minute and then add the ginger, garlic and onions.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add the salt and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until onions have gone soft and are beginning to brown
  • Add the tomatoes.APC_0374
  • Stir to combine and cover. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes over medium heat. Tomatoes should be soft and easily mashed.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and pour into a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Place a strainer over a bowl, and pour the puree into the strainer.APC_0378
  • Using the back of a large spoon, press the pulp through the strainer until only the skins and fibrous bits remain.
  • Soak the cashews in a small bowl with ¼ cup of hot water. Set aside.
  • In the same pan used to prepare the sauce, add the ¼ cup of oil and heat on high.
  • Add the chicken with the marinade to the pan, cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, and cook until the excess liquid is gone and the chicken is beginning to brown.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan over medium heat, add 1 tsp. of butter. Heat until melted and then add the strained puree.
  • Stir in ½ cup of water.
  • Add the Kashmiri chili powder, cumin powder, sugar, and Kasoori Methi. Stir well.
  • Taste and add the additional salt and chili powder to taste, if desired.
  • Puree the cashews with the water then add to the sauce stirring continuously.
  • Add the cream and the coconut. Stir well.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and stir to combine.
  • Serve with white rice or naan.IMG_1646

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael Consales says:

    Finally.. I was waiting for this since you started the BLOG. Looking forward to making this with my daughter this weekend!


    1. Let us know how it turns out!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks so much ! We can bet you will make it again and again and this will be your all time favourite . Good luck !


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