Imagine indulging in a rich, creamy and incredibly flavorful dish that lingers on your taste buds, leaving you craving for more. Look no further because we have the perfect recipe for you – the delicious Butter Chicken. This mouthwatering dish combines succulent pieces of chicken marinated in a tantalizing blend of aromatic spices, grilled to perfection and then immersed in a velvety tomato-based sauce, enriched with butter and cream. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe will guide you step by step, helping you create a truly unforgettable culinary delight. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure and experience the wonders of this heavenly Butter Chicken.
To make a delicious butter chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
Yogurt is used as a base for the marinade. It tenderizes the chicken and adds a tangy flavor to the dish.
Lemon juice adds a refreshing and citrusy taste to the marinade. It helps in tenderizing the chicken and adds a hint of acidity.
Ginger adds a warm and aromatic flavor to the dish. It complements the other spices and gives the dish a distinct taste.
Garlic adds a bold and pungent flavor to the marinade. It enhances the overall taste of the dish and adds depth to the flavors.
Tomatoes are pureed and used as a base for the sauce. They give a rich and tangy flavor to the dish.
Onions are sautéed in butter and provide a sweet and caramelized flavor to the sauce. They add depth and richness to the overall dish.
Cream is added towards the end to give a creamy and velvety texture to the sauce. It balances the flavors and adds richness to the dish.
Various spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and chili powder are added to give the dish its signature flavor. You can adjust the spices according to your taste preference.
Marinating the Chicken
Cut the chicken into pieces
Start by cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces. This allows the marinade to penetrate the meat evenly and ensures that it cooks evenly as well.
Mix yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, and garlic to make a marinade
In a bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, grated ginger, and minced garlic. Mix them well to form a smooth marinade. The yogurt tenderizes the chicken while the lemon juice, ginger, and garlic add flavor.
Coat the chicken with the marinade
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
Preparing the Sauce
The sauce is the heart of butter chicken, and here’s how you can prepare it:
Puree the tomatoes
Take ripe tomatoes and blend them into a smooth puree. Make sure there are no lumps or chunks left.
Saute onions in butter
In a pan, melt butter and add chopped onions. Saute the onions until they become translucent and slightly caramelized. This step adds a sweet and savory flavor to the sauce.
Add spices and cook for a minute
Add the spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and chili powder to the sautéed onions. Cook the spices for a minute to release their flavors and aromas.
Add tomato puree and cook until thickened
Next, add the tomato puree to the spices and onions. Cook the mixture until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld together. This will take around 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
Cooking the Chicken
Heat butter in a skillet
In a separate skillet, heat some butter. The butter adds richness to the dish and helps in achieving a beautiful golden brown color on the chicken.
Add marinated chicken and cook until browned
Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook it until it turns golden brown on all sides. This will take around 10-12 minutes.
Pour in the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes
Once the chicken is browned, pour in the prepared sauce. Stir well to coat the chicken evenly. Allow the chicken and sauce to simmer together for about 10 minutes so that the flavors blend and the chicken becomes tender.
To bring the dish together and add some final touches, follow these steps:
Stir in cream to the chicken and sauce mixture
Add cream to the chicken and sauce mixture. Stir it gently to incorporate the cream into the sauce. The cream adds a luxurious and creamy texture to the dish.
Simmer for another 2 minutes
Allow the dish to simmer for another 2 minutes so that the cream fully combines with the sauce and the flavors further develop.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot
Butter chicken is best enjoyed with some accompaniments. Here are some serving suggestions:
Serve with naan or rice
Butter chicken pairs perfectly with naan, a traditional Indian bread, or with steamed basmati rice. The buttery and creamy sauce goes well with the soft and fluffy naan or the fragrant and aromatic rice.
Add a side of vegetable curry or salad
Tips and Tricks
To make your butter chicken even more delicious, consider these tips and tricks:
Use boneless chicken for easier cooking
Adjust spices to your taste preference
You can customize the level of spiciness by adjusting the amount of chili powder and other spices. Taste the marinade and the sauce as you go and add more spice if desired.
Add a pinch of sugar to balance flavors
If you find the sauce too tangy or acidic, you can add a pinch of sugar to balance the flavors. This helps to mellow out the acidity of the tomatoes.
Double the recipe for larger servings
If you want to experiment and add your own twist to this classic recipe, here are some variations you can try:
Make it spicier with extra chili powder
If you prefer a spicier butter chicken, you can add extra chili powder or even some chopped green chilies to increase the heat level. Adjust the spice level according to your taste.
Add cashew paste for a creamy and nutty twist
For a creamier and nuttier variation, you can add cashew paste to the sauce. Simply blend soaked cashews with some water or milk to form a smooth paste and add it to the sauce. This adds richness and a unique flavor to the dish.
Include fenugreek leaves for a unique flavor
Another variation is to add dried fenugreek leaves, also known as kasuri methi, to the sauce. Crush a small amount of dried fenugreek leaves and sprinkle them into the sauce before adding the cream. This adds a distinct and slightly bitter flavor that complements the other ingredients well.
If you have leftovers or want to prepare butter chicken in advance, here’s how you can store it:
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days
You can store leftover butter chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Make sure to cool the dish completely before refrigerating.
Freeze in individual portions for longer storage
If you want to store butter chicken for an extended period, you can freeze it. Divide the cooked butter chicken into individual portions and store them in freezer-safe containers or zip-lock bags. It will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Butter chicken is a delicious and popular Indian dish that combines tender chicken with a rich and flavorful sauce. By following this comprehensive recipe, you can easily recreate this classic dish at home and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. Enjoy the creamy and aromatic flavors of the butter chicken, and don’t forget to serve it with naan or rice for a complete and satisfying meal.