I spotted this recipe on Almost Bourdain recently. I love butter chicken and have often eaten it out, but I have never made it at home. I’ve thought about it a lot of times. But every time I went looking for a recipe, I was either intimidated by the long ingredient list or found them all to be so different from one another that I didn’t know which one would be worth the time and ingredients and taste like I expected it to taste.
Now I’m no expert on Indian food (by any means!) and I’m sure this recipe isn’t perfectly authentic, but I do know what I like and we all really loved this dish and found it every bit as satisfying as any butter chicken we’ve eaten out! And it was a bonus that it was easy and didn’t have a long page of ingredients.
This recipe cooked up really quickly. It does need a few hours in the fridge to marinate but after that, it cooked up in about 25 minutes. We served it with basmati rice (I love Tilda brand!) and pappadums.
Summary: This is a delicious dish that is full of flavour but mild enough to make it still kid-friendly.
- 1/2 cup plain Greek-style (balkan) yogurt
- 3 cm. piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp. garam marsala (divided)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra, to grease
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus extra leaves, to serve (divided)
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch wide, bite-sized strips
- 2 Tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 onions , diced
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 long red chillies, seeded, finely chopped (will provide good heat, reduce to 1 if you don’t want it as spicy)
- 1 cup passata (strained pureed tomatoes, usually sold in tall jars in with the spaghetti sauce)
- 1 1/4 cups table cream (18%) or half and half (10%)
- Basmati rice and pappadums or naan bread, to serve
- In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, 1 Tbsp. of the garam marsala, lemon juice, oil and half the cilantro. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Heat a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and cook until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, turmeric, tomato paste, chillies and remaining 1 Tbsp. garam marsala. Cook, stirring, for 3 or 4 minutes or until onions are soft. Add the passata and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly. Reduce heat to low, add cream and remaining cilantro, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Taste sauce and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with extra cilantro and serve with basmati rice and pappadums or naan bread.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 1 hour
Number of servings (yield): 6