Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken. Say it out loud with me.

Butter Chicken.

Didn’t your mouth feel so happy just now? You can’t say “butter chicken” without the rumble of a school-girl squeal in your belly followed by the eruption out of your face.

This was the first time I’ve ever made butter chicken. And it all started with a Twittery tweeted convo. I craved it one morning. You chimed in. I got nervous and got my hair done. And then butter chicken was birthed in my kitchen.

After a good 296 hours of netwebs research obsession, I discovered that it’s made about a hundred billion different ways. So, this is my way. It’s a LEETLE BEET lighter than what the popular methods called for, using yogurt in place of heavy cream, and only 4 Tbs of butter instead of 417 sticks.

And it was straight up propa.

To follow through with a dare/promise I made on the Twitters, I give you, Jenny, Jaclyn and Elizabeth, the butter chicken breakfast burrito – WHAAAAAAA.

You can use my Paypal address for payment.

Butter Chicken:

(That’s right I did.)

What it took for 4:

* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Tbs. freshly minced ginger root
* 2 Tbs. garam masala
* 1 Tbs. turmeric
* 1 tsp cayenne pepper
* pinch of salt and pepper
* 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
* 15 almonds, toasted and blitzed in a food processor until a fine powder
* 4 Tbs. butter, divided
* 1 medium white onion, finely diced
* 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
* 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
* 1/2 cup half and half
* 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
* 2 cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice
* fresh cilantro for garnish

Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper into a paste. Set aside.

Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a large sauce pan. Once it starts to bubble, add the diced onion and saute 4 minutes. Add the paste and ground almonds. Toss to coat and bloom 1 minute.

Add the tomato sauce, yogurt and half & half. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

Add the chicken and the remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Serve butter chicken over rice and garnish with cilantro.

Your mouth and stomach are so happy right now.

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41 Responses to Butter Chicken

  1. Lauren October 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm #
    Love that you lightened this up! Looks divine!
  2. Laurie @SimplyScratch October 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm #
    This looks fan-fricken-tastic!
  3. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com October 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm #
    This looks heavenly. I love it that you used mortar and pestle to whack the heck out of the spices - that's the way to go honey :)
  4. Lisa @ Life in Green October 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm #
    Now I'm starving. :)
  5. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm #
    I love your mortar and pestle set. So pretty! I'd like to pound some chocolate into dust in that thing :)
  6. Elizabeth October 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm #
    YUM-O! Damn you being so far away woman! I seriously need this. Now. Like. Last Tuesday would have been good as well. Great. Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day craving buttery chicken-y goodnes. Damn you vile woman. But really. Thank-ee! I'm drooling...yum. That bread, so soft...the sauce, so buttery. Aww...now I'm sad. Okay, I have GOT to go out and buy supplies!
  7. cassie//bake your day October 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm #
    Wowee...missed this whole Twitter conversation but can't wait to try the product. Looks amazing!
  8. Andrea the Kitchen Witch October 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm #
    Butter chicken was one of the first Indian dishes I prepared. It changed our lives and dinner menu forever :) Nice job here!
  9. Melissa Cole October 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm #
    So happy I met you and now I get to follow all your amazing posts! I want to try this too! Great pictures! I have to tell you that when I went to the dinner at our school I took a bunch of pictures. My chef asked me to come back to and shot another event! Exciting!
  10. Stephanie @cookinfanatic October 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm #
    Oh wow, this looks SO good!!!
  11. Jenna October 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm #
    Oooh, almonds? I'm intrigued. Yes, there are SO many recipes out there--but yours looks like a must-try.
  12. Lacy October 28, 2011 at 5:50 pm #
    Hey Bev - JT & I are going to give this a try. I'll take pics all foodie like for you. P.S. Love the use of "blitzed" when referring to small kitchen appliances.
    • Bev Weidner October 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm #
      Lacy! You've absolutely made my day commenting! Really. Can't wait to see your version, and blitz blitz away. :) *miss you guys.
  13. movita beaucoup October 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm #
    Yowza. This looks incredible! Also, your photos are freakin' my freak. You're the bomb.
  14. Lee Anne October 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm #
    I love Indian Butter Chicken and made it for a friend this weekend who is gluten/dairy free. I used coconut milk and vegan butter....it was delicious!!
  15. keelymarie October 28, 2011 at 11:34 pm #
    UM YUM! Butter chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes yet I've never attempted it at home. Looks like I will be now.... thanks for sharing!
  16. Katie October 29, 2011 at 3:15 am #
    Oh no you didn't. This just went on the menu for next week. And a morter and pestle just went on my Christmas list.
  17. Katie October 29, 2011 at 3:16 am #
    ...or a mortar. Either one.
  18. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen October 29, 2011 at 4:10 am #
    I've never tried butter chicken but I want to try your version it sounds terrific!
  19. Becca October 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm #
    I'm with Katie; mortar and pestle just went woosh to my Christmas list. Yours is so pretty! The Butter Chicken isn't too shabby either.
  20. Diane {Created by Diane} October 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm #
    looks delicious! love the large mortar and pestle just helped my mom carry one like that on our last shopping day and it seemed like 50 miles until we reached the car :)
  21. jaclyn October 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm #
    the most nommable ever. in the world. i want all of this immediately, if not sooner. and you better believe i would totally scarf those burritos down like they were going out of style in the morning. or afternoon. or evening. pretty much anytime, really.
  22. Melanie @ Melanie Cooks October 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm #
    When I read the name "Butter Chicken", I thought it was going to be some kind of a fried chicken! Turned out to be a curry :) This chicken looks mouthwatering, gorgeous photos!
  23. Nicole October 30, 2011 at 10:52 pm #
    Delicious and with a very good heat to it. Mine came out a more yellowish color though. I think it might be the quality of my turmeric. Next time I might try some paprika to give it a more reddish color..
    • Bev Weidner October 30, 2011 at 10:55 pm #
      Thanks so much for letting me know how it came out, Nicole! So glad you liked it. And yes, that's interesting about the color! You're probably right though, regarding quality. Thanks again!
  24. Anna @ hiddenponies November 1, 2011 at 5:13 am #
    Love love love your blog and your fabulous comments I see all over the countryside, you crack me up :) And THIS looks amazing, I've been meaning to try butter chicken but someone told me it actually has no butter (what??) so I'm glad to see yours does!!
  25. Marcelle November 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm #
    Ok, this is cooking on my stove as I type this. I LOVE this recipe. I've made it a few times, and while it is sheer GENIUS (Bev, you hit the nail on the head with that spice combo and the almonds), I would like to offer a few modifications that I feel take it up to a whole 'nother level. Not at all to knock this recipe! It is AMAZING! I just have a few recommendations I'd like to share: #1 Chicken THIGHS instead of breasts. I throw a whole bunch of 'em in while they're still frozen and it works out beautifully. In my opinion, thighs are waaaaay more flavorful and rich than white meat, and I prefer the texture and the melt-in-your-mouth-ness of chicken thighs in a recipe like this. #2 Let it simmer for LOOOOOONG time. Like hours. And hours. I'm thinking, maybe 3 or 4? Let's put it this way: I've had mine going since 1:30ish, it's 2:00 now, and I'll probably still have it simmering at 4:30. The sauce reduces down, the flavors mingle, the chicken gets ridiculously tender, your whole house smells like the best Indian restaurant you've ever been to, and it's just all around amazing. So that's it. Just a few thoughts. Thank you again for this AMAZING recipe! Life changing! I make it all the time and blow my friends/family away with this gem of a dish!
    • Marcelle November 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm #
      OK, I fibbed a little. 2:38 and I just took it off the stove. So not quite 3 or 4 hours, but I'd definitely let it simmer for about an hour or 1 1/2 hrs.
    • Bev Weidner November 15, 2013 at 8:26 am #
      Love, love, love your suggestions! And yes, I completely agree - chicken thighs are the way to go. And a longer simmer? Yeeeees. I'm so glad you like the dish!
  26. Indian Recipes Newbie January 8, 2015 at 12:51 am #
    Hi, This was my first time trying butter chicken and it was delicious. I like the lower levels of dairy fat in it. I did a few things differently, I used 2 tsp of sesame seed oil in the mortar pounding. Also, I noticed I had 2 whole leftover garlic from 1 year ago when I stopped cooking-and got fat as a result ha ha. I realized I'd accidentally fermented them by keeping them in my spice cabinet, so I used 3 of those bulbs. It was delicious and almost like the butter chicken I bought from a local quality Indian restaurant. Next time I can afford saffron stalks I plan to use 1/2 a stalk in the dish to bring out a brighter yellow.
    • Bev Weidner January 8, 2015 at 6:15 am #
      Oh wow! This sounds absolutely incredible!
  27. Indian Recipes Newbie January 8, 2015 at 12:55 am #
    Hi again, I forgot to buy almonds so I ground up my leftover Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas- Bombay Spice.
  28. Kristine March 28, 2015 at 8:21 pm #
    can you just use almond flour? I don't have any fresh almonds..... LOOOOOOVE your site!
    • Bev Weidner March 30, 2015 at 7:24 am #
      I bet you totally could!! It's the same thing, really. Try it and let me know how it turns out!


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