Prep Time: 30 mins Cook Time: 30 mins Total Time: 4 Hours Serves: 4 to 5
Butter chicken isn’t the most ancient Indian export—it was invented in a restaurant in Delhi in the 1950’s—but it is certainly one of the most delicious. According to legend, butter chicken was created by a chef at the Moti Mahal restaurant when he mixed leftover tandoori juice with tomato and butter, tossed it with tandoori cooked chicken, and was met with wild enthusiasm.
Today, butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian dishes in the world.
Its mild spice makes it a hit with kids, and its creamy, luxurious sauce wins over everybody else. Traditionally, butter chicken is served over steamed Basmati rice with naan bread.
For the gravy:
- 1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 t fresh ginger
- 2 t minced garlic
- 4 Tbsp ghee (clarified Indian butter)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp garam masala
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup pureed tomato
- 1 pinch salt, pepper, and cayenne
- 1 Tbsp ground cashews
- 1/4 cup water
For the Chicken:
- 1 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
- 1 Tbsp garam masala
- Marinate chicken pieces in yogurt and lemon, anywhere from 2-3 hours, overnight for best results.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Sautee shallots, onion, ginger, and garlic until onions are translucent.
- Stir in ghee, lemon juice, spices, and bay leaf. Cook for one minute, stirring continuously.
- Add tomato sauce, yogurt, and cream. Cook on high for about two minutes, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes. Add salt and pepper, remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat 1 T oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned; usually about 10 minutes.
- Season chicken with 1 Tbsp garam masala and 1/2 Tbsp cayenne.
- Add a generous spoonful of sauce to the chicken; simmer until the liquid has reduced and chicken is cooked all the way through.
- Add the rest of the sauce to the chicken.
- Mix ground cashews and water, and stir into sauce. Cook 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.