May 8, 2020

Butter Chicken

Where do I even begin describing my love for Butter Chicken. It has been my most favorite dish ever since childhood and no other dish has taken its' place. 
My very first cooking experiment was in my 7th  grade when I was living in Mumbai and it began with Shaheen's Butter Chicken recipe. Shaheen lived in our neighboring building and it would be an understatement to say that her mom made 'the best dishes ever'. Every evening my sister, myself and other kids in our neighborhood would gather outside to play Badminton or Hide-n-seek and Shaheen would often bring some snacks from home, sometimes even curries n chapathis for us to taste and they were all always mind blowing. So damn tasty!

I somehow persuaded her to give me any recipe to try from her mom's recipe book, and she gave the recipe to her favorite dish. I was so excited to get the recipe and I remember that I asked my mom to not step into the kitchen while I made the dish. I probably made a lot of mess and did inaccurate measurements b'coz mummy had to come and help out a bit here and there while I made it but finally I made my first ever dish, Butter Chicken! To me it tasted quite good, but not as good as what I had tasted from Shaheen's, but pretty decent for a 7th graders first time cooking venture.
I have lost that original recipe now over the years, but thanks to Youtube and tons of blogs with wonderful recipes I've made it several times, atleast whenever I have heavy cream at hand. 

Butter Naan or Garlic Naan is our favorite accompaniment to have with Butter Chicken. But fragrant Basmati rice is another wonderful option to have with this creamy delicious dish. If you want to indulge yourself a bit more, maybe make some Jeera Rice.  Basmati rice, naan or chapathi is what goes best with Butter Chicken. 

Since Butter Chicken is more on the creamy side and less on the spice it's a rich and superb dish for kids. Both my little ones love this dish and although Manish usually enjoys whatever I make, he always prefers dishes that puts his tongue on! 

This time it was Manish's college going cousin bro, Saurav, who actually made this dish pretty much from start to end.  He had come to visit us during his spring break early March but had to stay back due to the covid-19 lockdown. We and the kids have been totally enjoying his company here with us. He loves any chicken dish and was game to make it from scratch. 

Saurav chose a recipe he had already tried with his hostel friends from HomeCooking and it came out really good. I just helped with gathering the ingredients, grinding the puree and taking pictures....haha! 

Butter Chicken
Serves : 3-4

You’ll Need
To Marinate Chicken
1 Lb Boneless Chicken (Breast or Thigh meat)
1 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic paste
1 Tablespoon Thick Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice / White Vinegar
2 teaspoons Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
Salt - as needed
1 Tablespoon Oil/Butter (to fry marinated chicken)

For the Gravy paste
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Large Onion (chopped)
1 Tablespoon Ginger-Garlic paste
2 Large Tomatoes (chopped)
¼ cup Cashew Nuts
1 Tablespoon Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
1 teaspoon Corriander powder
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Sugar
½ cup Water or as needed
Salt – as needed

Final Butter chicken gravy
1 Tablespoon Butter
teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi
½ cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoon chopped Corriander leaves

Marinate the Chicken
Cut the boneless chicken into 1” cubes and marinate by mixing with everything under ‘To Marinate Chicken’ for atleast 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Fry the chicken
In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter or oil, add the marinated chicken cubes and fry them until the chicken is fully cooked. Transfer the cooked chicken onto a plate and keep aside.

Making the gravy paste
1. In the same pan, heat butter and oil and add Onions and Ginger garlic paste. Sauté until Onions caramelize into a golden brown color. You can add some salt to quicken the cooking.
2. Next add in the Tomatoes and cashew nuts and sauté until the tomatoes turn soft.
3. Add Kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala, sugar and salt (as needed) and some water, cook for 2-3 more minutes and turn off the heat.
4. Once the mix has cooled, take a grinder and grind everything into a smooth paste. (I added some more water while grinding to make the paste smoother and to add more gravy)

Putting together the Butter chicken dish
1. Again in the same pan, heat 1 Tablespoon Butter and add 1 teaspoon of kashmiri red chilli powder and roast it for a minute.
2. Now add the pureed gravy paste and bring the gravy to a boil
3. Add the fried chicken pieces, kasuri methi , heavy cream and simmer for a minute.
4. Garnish with chopped Corriander leaves and turn off the heat.
5. Serve Butter Chicken with Basmati rice, Naan, Rotis etc

1. I used 4 large boneless Chicken Breasts for this recipe.
2. Kashmiri Red chilli is not as spicy as regular Red Chilli powder and gives a bright red color to the dish. However, if you do not have Kashmiri chilli, use regular Red chilli powder and a pinch of orange food coloring for that bright color for the gravy.
3. Adjust spice levels to your taste. 

This Sunday, May10th, is Mother's Day...So wishing all wonderful moms a splendid, healthy and Happy Mother's day! Show this recipe to your spouse or family and let them make this easy dish for you and pamper you to the core ;-)



  1. Butter chicken looks yum. Awesome recipe.

  2. Manju, Looks a great combo! Thanks for sharing!


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