indian butter chicken

one of the many ways jason and i differ is in our love for indian food. what i mean, is that he has love, i do not. just when he had given up on the thought of indian food, i surprised him with this one. and it surprised me too. mostly because i liked it.

it's pretty well known among my friends that i do not particularly care for indian food.

but i broke my own rule to come to that conclusion. i had indian food exactly once prior, at an indian buffet, about five years ago, with a coworker for lunch. it was not good. everything tasted the same. at the time, i assumed all indian food was like this, and that it didn't even deserve a second or third try to see if i like it.

lame, i know.

until a few weeks ago, when it seemed like everywhere i looked, i saw indian butter chicken. i was taunted, with the seductive, descriptive blog posts and bright, delicious looking photos. and after reading through a few posts, it started to grow on me. so much so that i was disappointed in myself for dismissing it so easily.

so while this dish hasn't converted me to a full fledged indian food lover, i wouldn't mind making or eating this again.

indian butter chicken
adapted from bakedbree, who adapted it from goodlifeeats
30 minutes, serves 4

1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
6 ounces tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small cubes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
cooked rice for serving
  1. in a large saute pan coated with olive oil, cook the onions, ginger, and garlic over medium-high heat, until softened and slightly brown.
  2. add the garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. cook for a minute or two more, until really fragrant.
  3. pour the mixture into the bowl of a food processor or blender. add tomato paste and chicken broth and process until smooth.
  4. add the pureed mixture back to the saute pan over medium high heat and add the bay leaves and cream. bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook about 1o minutes until it is reduced to about 3 cups. be sure to stir frequently so it doesn't burn the bottom of the pan.
  5. pour the pureed mixture into a bowl and set aside. wipe out the pan with a paper towel (be careful not to burn your fingers on the pan.)
  6. season the chicken with salt and pepper. place the saute pan back over high heat. add the chicken and 1 tablespoon butter and cook until it starts to brown and is almost cooked through.
  7. add the sauce back to the pan with the chicken. cook over medium high until the chicken is cooked through, about five minutes. mix in the remaining three tablespoons of butter until melted.  serve over cooked rice.


  1. Hello, I am a little confused with the recipe. It states 1/4 cup butter in the ingredients (4 tablespoon) but only 1 tablespoon is being used in the recipe. Help! :p

  2. hi cindy - thanks for the catch! i updated the recipe - stir the remaining three tablespoons of butter into the sauce before serving. good luck!

  3. thanks for the reply! i was in the process of making it that night so i just went ahead and browned the chicken in all the butter. it came out fine that way as well :) It was really very yummy, thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. I found the cardamon over powering and I don't see that in many other recipes for the same dish.


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