Tender chicken cooked in a rich, fragrant tomato-based curry sauce makes the perfect butter chicken. Perfect served with steamed rice and naan bread.
Butter Chicken (Or Tikka Masala as it’s also known) is an old favorite of mine. Rich, aromatic tomato-based curry made with tender chicken? Who couldn’t love that? I used chicken breasts for this because it’s what I had in the fridge but boneless chicken thighs will also work well. The nice thing about this curry is that it cooks in 30-45 minutes and the marinating can happen overnight and this takes all of 5 minutes to put together.
So as far as curry goes, this is a really nice quick one. I served the curry with steamed Jasmine rice and Naan that I made from shop-bought bread dough. I simply rolled balls of the dough into oblong shapes and cooked them in a really hot pan for 1-2 minutes per side until they were cooked through then brushed them with melted butter as they came out of the pan. It was absolutely scrumptious and the leftovers are even better the next day.
How do you make Indian butter chicken?
Butter chicken is a tomato-based curry flavored with garam masala, chillies, cinnamon, cloves and yogurt. The chicken is marinated in the yogurt-spice mixture for a few hours before being cooked with onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes until fragrant. Thereafter, butter and cream are stirred into the curry to give a luscious creaminess to the sauce.
Can I use milk instead of cream in butter chicken?
You could but the end result won’t be the same. The cream adds a silkiness to the sauce and milk won’t give the same result.
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Butter chicken curry
For the marinade
- 2 kg (4lbs) Chicken Breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
- ¾ cup Plain yoghurt
- 2 red chillies
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
- 2 cardamom pods
- Thumb size piece ginger grated
- 6 garlic cloves
- 800 g (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes
- 400 g (14oz) tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 3 tablespoons oil/ghee
- 2 large onions sliced
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- ½ cup cream
- ½ cup butter cubed
- In a blender, process the spices, yoghurt, tomatoes, ginger and garlic until completely fine. Pour over the chopped chicken and allow to marinade (I left mine for about 2 hours)
- Heat the oil in a hot pot and fry the onions until soft and golden.
- Add the garlic and fry for another minute then add the Chicken and all the marinade and allow to come to the boil.
- Lower the heat and allow to cook for 30-45 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened. Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and stir through. Season to taste.
- Serve with Jasmine Rice and Naan Bread.