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Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

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Butter chicken was reportedly developed in the early 20th century in Delhi as a way to use leftover tandoori chicken so that the dried out chicken pieces can be softened with tomatoes, butter, and cream. Butter chicken is usually creamier, while chicken tikka masala, which was developed in the UK, tends to be spicier.



  • ½ cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Sauce and Assembly

  • ½ cup (1 stick) cultured or unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 2 serrano chiles, split lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro, steamed basmati rice, and naan (for serving)

Recipe Preparation


  • Whisk yogurt, garlic, fenugreek leaves, if using, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3.

Sauce and Assembly

  • Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large wide pot over medium heat. Cook cinnamon, cardamom pods, clove, and fenugreek seeds, if using, stirring, until slightly darker and fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Add onion and chiles, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden and beginning to caramelize, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until very fragrant and ginger starts to turn golden and sticks to bottom of pot, 2–3 minutes. Add fenugreek leaves, if using, garam masala, paprika, and turmeric and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, breaking up into pieces with a spoon, and cook until brick red and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Using a potato masher or large spoon, smash tomatoes and continue to simmer, uncovered, until sauce is the consistency of a thick ragù, 40–50 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick (leave other whole spices).

  • Transfer mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Cut remaining 4 Tbsp. butter into pieces. Add butter and cream to blender and purée until creamy; season with salt. Return sauce to pot and bring to a simmer.

  • Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Arrange chicken in a single layer on a wire rack set inside a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil until chicken starts to brown in spots (it will not be cooked through), 7–8 minutes per side. When cool enough to handle, cut into ¾" pieces. Add chicken to simmering sauce, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 8–10 minutes.

  • Top chicken and sauce with cilantro. Serve with rice and naan alongside.

  • Do Ahead: Butter chicken can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

Reviews SectionThis recipe is so awesome. Incredibly fragrant. Tons of depth. I substituted fenugreek leaves for curry powder.. but I just ordered fenugreek because this will be on rotation. Thanks for sharing!RandyPriceSan Luis Obispo, CA07/14/20I really like this recipe! I take out most of the dairy and it's still great (don't @ me)KatiehwalshAustin04/06/20Loved this recipe overall! A bit overwhelmed by the idea of the two full chiles. I seeded them, let the pieces cook in the sauce, then took all but one piece out before pureeing. It was the perfect level of spice, so if I had left the full two in it would have been overwhelming. Might just be a preference.AnonymousNashville01/23/20This was fantastic! To make it dairy-free for my sister, I used coconut yogurt, ghee instead of butter, and canned full-fat coconut milk for the cream. You'd never know. Since it's August I have 51,284 zucchini so cubed and roasted a few of those, then folded them into the sauce right before serving. I disagree about there being too much cardamom, I thought it was perfect and barely even tasted it. I totally will make this again!tiffanyburnsFarmington, MN08/12/19My family (including my one year old baby) loved this recipe! The chicken is tender from the marinade, and broiling it before adding to the sauce adds a nice smoky flavor. I made it without the serrano pepper and optional fenugreek, and with a whole (bone in, cut up) chicken, and it turned out great. I did see how there is a little too much cardamom in the recipe, and will maybe use 4 instead of 5 pods next time. Can't wait to make it again.AnonymousCalifornia03/23/19To much cardamon absolutely no ways delicious recipe I added more by the way simply because of the fragrance cardamon gives upI thought there was way too much cardamom in this recipe. But it's otherwise very goodAnonymousPortland 01/16/19

What to Serve With Butter Chicken

Are you wondering what to serve with butter chicken? From chutney to naan bread, bring some Indian flair to your table with these 11 side dishes!

Butter chicken is a classic Indian curry dish similar to tikka masala. It&rsquos made with a buttery gravy sauce with cream and spices that make it silky smooth and rich in flavor.

It often has a ton of butter, which gives it its name. However, some recipes use ghee (clarified butter instead), which makes it a little less hearty.

Whether you use butter or ghee, butter chicken is a filling meal all on its own, but your taste buds may still want some variety.

Last Thanksgiving, I decided to make an all Indian meal instead of the traditional turkey and potatoes.

So I had to do some research to get creative about what goes well with butter chicken.

If you&rsquore in the same boat, then look no further, because I&rsquove gathered the 11 best dishes to serve with butter chicken.

From the perfect rice to palate-cleansing yogurt, keep reading for my list of mouth-watering Indian sides.

Butter chicken recipes

Make your favourite takeaway curry at home with our delicious butter chicken recipes. Make a simple slow cooker version or try one of our delicious twists.

Easy butter chicken

Fancy a healthy version of your favourite Friday night chicken curry? The chicken can be marinaded the day before so you can get ahead on your prep

Old Delhi-style butter chicken

Head to your spice rack to make this butter chicken curry, a dish that symbolises Indian food for millions of people all over the world

Butter chicken

Cooked with butter, cashew nut butter, tangy passata and plenty of spices, this chicken curry is rich, indulgent and ready in less than an hour

Peanut butter chicken

The whole family will love this new, budget chicken dish. Any leftovers freeze well and make a handy lunch

Cardamom butter chicken

A homemade curry to rival your favourite Indian takeaway - a rich blend of spices mixed with creamy ghee

Slow-cooker butter chicken

Try this slow-cooker butter chicken curry for a guaranteed family favourite. It has a creamy, lightly spiced tomato sauce and juicy chunks of chicken

One-pan roast butter chicken

Try this twist on roast chicken. It's up to you whether you serve it as a curry with rice and naan bread or as a roast with your favourite Sunday lunch trimmings

Butter Chicken - Recipes

To prepare this mouth-watering chicken recipe, first prepare the marinade for the chicken. For the same, take a large bowl and mix together yoghurt, onion paste, green chillies, ginger-garlic paste, sugar, salt, green cardamoms, black cardamoms, and mace powder. Add pieces of raw chicken in the bowl and mix well. Allow the chicken to marinate overnight. Once the chicken is well marinated, roast it in a tandoor or an oven till its 3/4th done.

Step 2 Prepare the masala and then blend to make puree for the gravy

Now, heat little butter in a pan over moderate flame. Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, red chillies, and crushed coriander seeds. Sauté the ingredients for half a minute. Now in the same pan, add a bit of onion, red chilli powder, coriander powder, kasoori methi powder and tomatoes. Sauté them for 5 minutes and once done, transfer the mixture in a blender to make a puree.

Step 3 Cook marinated chicken in the gravy

Heat the remaining butter in a pan. Add the pureed mixture and bring it to a boil. Add marinated chicken pieces, salt, fresh cream, and mix well. To make sure that the consistency is not too thick, add some water to the mixture. Now add sliced green chillies, crushed fenugreek leaves and let it simmer for few minutes. Bring it to a full boil.

Step 4 Garnish Butter Chicken with cream and serve hot

Transfer the dish to a serving bowl and garnish it with coriander leaves and cream. This butter chicken recipe is easy-to-make and can be made by using simple ingredients available in the kitchen. If you're a spice junkie and love all things spicy, then customize this chicken recipe a bit by adding more green chillis or black pepper powder. Try it and relish the burst of Indian flavours. Serve it with naan or rice.

Step 5 Tips for making restaurant-style Butter Chicken

1. The size of the chicken matters. If you are using a small and young chicken, 4 hours of marination works. If the chicken you are using is larger sized or older chicken, marinate it for at least 12 to 16 hours to get tender butter chicken. 2. If you don't have hung curd, you can use thick curd too, but the cooking time might increase. 3. Turn the stove off while adding chilled cream to the gravy otherwise the gravy may curdle. This, or you can take a small amount of gravy in a separate bowl and add the cream. Mix well and then add it to the butter chicken. This way the cream will not curdle.


1. Marinating chicken helps to make it soft and tasty. Wash chicken and pat it dry. Make sure there is no excess water in the chicken. Marinate with lemon juice, chili powder and salt.

2. Set this aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Go ahead with the second marination. Marinate with fresh yogurt, ginger garlic paste, crushed kasuri methi, oil, turmeric and garam masala.

4. Marinate and refrigerate for atleast 12 hours. The longer it is marinated, the meat turns softer and just melts in the mouth. Do not use sour yogurt/ curd.

5. Grill the chicken in the oven or stove top. For grilling in oven, preheat the oven to 240 C for at least 15 minutes. Skew the chicken on to soaked wooden skewers or place on a greased tray and grill for 20 to 30 minutes. In between you will have to flip to the undone side.

6. If grilling chicken on tawa. Add one tsp. butter and fry on high. Moisture begins to ooze out. This is very common. Keep stirring don&rsquot burn and do not over cook.

7. Cook till the chicken is just done and all the moisture evaporates. Set this aside. You can even saute till the chunks turn lightly golden.

1. Heat a deep saucepan or pot over medium heat.

2. Add butter, once melted, add diced onions and sauté until onions are translucent, for approximately 3-5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and spice, then stir regularly for 1 minute until the mix is fragrant.

4. Next, add tomato paste, and continue stirring the mixture regularly for a further minute.

5. Pour in the coconut cream and lemon juice, stir to combine, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. You can adjust the consistency of the mixture to your desired liking by adding water if desired.

6. Once the mixture is simmering, add chicken pieces along with any hard vegetables such as carrots or pumpkin, if desired. Turn heat down to low, and return to a simmer.

7. Continue simmering all ingredients for 10-15 minutes if you are using chicken breasts, or 15-20 minutes if you are using chicken thighs and any hard vegetables. Add soft vegetables such as cauliflower florets in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

The name derives from the fact that butter is used in the curry sauce. Butter is not normally used in curry, which changes the flavor. Also note that the chicken pieces are prepared in a butter (makhani) gravy that includes butter and cream. This gives the recipe its smooth, silky texture.

The name &ldquoMurgh Makhani&rdquo translates to &ldquochicken with butter&rdquo.

There is some butter in this recipe, but butter isn&rsquot actually needed to make butter chicken. You can easily replace it with olive oil if you&rsquod like, and you won&rsquot lose any flavor or texture.

Butter Chicken by Chef Kunal Kapur

Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is a die hard classic of Indian cuisine and possibly the most popular dish from India. This dish along with its various versions like chicken tikka masala is one of the biggest culinary exports from India to the world. It is also called murgh makhani is one of the favourite non vegetarian dishes originating in Delhi. This dish is a classic example of a dish made by chance when the leftover chicken at the end of the day used to get waste by the next day as it got dry and lost all its juices.


So as the story goes one day the chef decided to mix it with tomato gravy so that it can be preserved till the next day maintaining the moistness and juices of the chicken. This later got modified into butter chicken as we know it now. This dish is so famous now that restaurants no longer have to use leftover chicken rather fresh batches of chicken tikka is used for the preparation.

This dish is clearly a dish that started in Delhi post partition of India & Pakistan.

Coming to the preparation of butter chicken the first step is to make the tandoori chicken tikka, a recipe for which you can find in the catalogue. Coming to the preparation of butter chicken gravy the base of the gravy is made using tomatoes. Tomatoes along with cashew nuts, ginger, green chilli, and spices like bay leaf, green cardamom, red chilli powder are boiled till the tomatoes are cooked through completely. Then all the whole spices are removed and a fine puree of the rest is made.

Straining the Puree is important step in the recipe.

Then the puree is strained through a fine sieve removing any lumps and refining the gravy. Then in a separate pan a fresh ginger and green tadka is prepared in butter to which the pieces of chicken tikka are added along with the tomato gravy prepared and cooked for a few minutes so that the flavour of the tikka and the gravy combines well together. It is finished by adding a generous amount of butter and cream which gives the rich velvety texture to the gravy, some honey which balances the tartness of the tomatoes and some roasted kasoori methi which intensifies the taste of the tomato.

Enjoy this tasty recipe of butter chicken along with your family and if you like this try some other recipes as well: Dal Makhni Paneer Makhni

  1. Make sure to grind it very fine to make it into a silken restaurant style curry.
  2. This is also a base gravy that can be used to make a variety of other dishes, even vegetarian.
  3. The same curry is used to make paneer makhani.
  4. Butter chicken is usually served with thin and crispy tandoori naan.
  5. Butter chicken tastes best the next day after preparation.

The easy Butter Chicken recipe is here, no tandoor no oven required. For a good butter chicken the curry and chicken tikka are cooked separately and then finished together in the end.


For Chicken Tikka

  • Chicken boneless – 400gm
  • Salt – to taste
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard oil – 4 tbsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Hung curd – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Tomato diced – 500gms & Onion sliced – 50 gms
  • Bay leaf – 1no
  • Cinnamon – 1 stick
  • Black cardamom – 1no
  • Cloves – 3 no & Cardamom – 3no
  • Garlic cloves – 8 no & Ginger – 1 small piece
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 12nos
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Ginger chopped – 1/2 tbsp
  • Green chilli – 1 no
  • Fenugreek (methi) leaves – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 tbsp
  • Cream – 2 tbsp

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Eat the Tendon (Ligament) Attached to Tenders?

There is a tendon attached to the breast tender. They are like little white ligament at the end of the piece of chicken.

I usually trim it off with a knife or a pair of kitchen scissors before cooking. It&rsquos slightly chewy in texture and it&rsquos tasteless.

Avoid pulling off the tendon by hand as stripping away the entire tendon will make the chicken tender fall apart.

Can I Use Chicken Breasts to Make this Recipe?

Absolutely! Tenders are part of the chicken breasts but they are sold separately.

If you use regular chicken breasts, cut the breasts meat into strips similar to the tenders.

Is It Healthy?

Yes, breast tenders are very healthy because they are lean white meat with little fat contents.

They are also skinless and boneless, lower in calories because there is no skin attached to them.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic (from 1 clove)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (from a peeled 2-inch piece)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces ghee (1/2 cup), or 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Naan, cooked basmati rice, and cilantro sprigs, for serving

Chicken: In a medium bowl, toss together chicken, lemon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add yogurt, garlic, ginger, and garam masala stir to thoroughly combine. Cover with plastic let marinate in refrigerator, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from heating element. Transfer chicken to a colander or sieve over the sink (do not rinse), shaking to drain excess yogurt. Spread in a single layer on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, turning once halfway through with a metal spatula, until cooked through and charred in places, 10 minutes. Remove from oven set aside.

Sauce: In a 2-cup liquid-measuring cup or a medium bowl, whisk together cream, garam masala, serrano, lemon juice, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt set aside.

Melt ghee in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt cook until softened and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook until darkened, about 1 minute. Stir in cream mixture. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until well combined, thickened, and glossy, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until heated through, about 1 minute more.

Serve immediately, with naan, basmati rice, and cilantro.

Watch the video: Πώς να φτιάξουμε αρωματικό βούτυρο. Yiannis Lucacos