Butter Chicken (Revisited)

Is it weird getting takeout from an Indian restaurant…but only ordering naan? I imagine it would be an interesting phone call, very much like Ashton Kutcher ordering drive-through Chinese food in “Dude Where’s My Car?”

“Hi, I’d like to order a side of naan bread”

“And then…”

“No, no ‘and then’, just the naan – I’ve got the curry covered.”

I mean, is that even allowed? I hope it is, because I haven’t mastered the Indian bread yet, but between my butter chicken, the chickpea and chicken korma, my lamb rogan josh, and – how can I forget  – my pork vindaloo…wait, what was I saying?

Right – that I have a few very reliable options when it comes to curries. Even better, this butter chicken has been certified as being “very close to something my mother would make” by a friend actually from India, one of the highest compliments a Caucasian home cook like myself can be given . This friend did mention that she’d classify it more as a “chicken curry” than a butter chicken, but that just goes to show how much butter chicken can vary from recipe to recipe.

This recipe is “revisited” as I posted once before, in the early stages of this blogging endeavor. It included terrible pictures and no actual recipe, simply a link and a list of modifications. That’s not how I do things over here anymore, so I felt it was time for a touch-up. So, here it is, once again adapted from Foodess, but to a greater extent this time:

Butter Chicken


For the marinade:butter chicken instagram 2

  • 1 kg chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Russian garlic clove, minced (or 2 regular cloves)
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 Russian garlic cloves, minced (or 3-4 regular cloves)
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream (33% milk fat)
  • 3 tbsp. salted butter

Additional Ingredients:

  • cilantro, for garnish (optional, but recommended)
  • cooked basmati rice, for serving


  • Place the chicken cubes in a large sealable plastic bag, or in a small casserole dish. Mix together the lemon juice, garam masala, garlic and salt, and pour over the chicken. Shake (or stir) well so the chicken is completed coated. Set aside to marinate while the sauce is made, making sure the bag is sealed or the casserole dish is covered with plastic wrap.
  • In the meantime, get started on the sauce. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and the onions. Sautee for about 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be translucent and only slightly browned at the end of the sautéing, so reduce the heat of they begin to brown too quickly.
  • Stir the garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Then, add the seasonings (the garam masala, paprika, cinnamon and salt) and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and cook for an additional two minutes.
  • Stir in the cream, then remove from heat and puree the sauce with an immersion blender (or use a blender and work in batches, being careful due to the heat from the sauce).
  • Return the sauce to heat and add in the chicken. Simmer on low, covered, for about 10 minutes. Check a larger piece of chicken for doneness, and cook an additional minute or two if necessary.
  • Stir in the butter, then carefully season to taste with additional salt (though you may find this step unnecessary).
  • Serve over a bed of basmati rice, and garnish with cilantro.

Serves 6

*I included some whole serrano peppers in an attempt to add spice, but they didn’t achieve that purpose, going virtually unnoticed in terms of both flavor and spiciness, so I’ve neglected to mention them in the list of ingredients.

butter chicken instagram 1

Butter Chicken - From James to Jamie

This recipe, like so many of my others, has been shared over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday. This week she has cohosts Effie and Steffi. You can check out their respective blogs by clicking on their names. As well, to all those sharing on Fiesta Friday or simply perusing the awesome recipes (and the occasional travel/lifestyle post) there, “Happy FF!”


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