India: Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

I got this Indian Butter Chicken recipe from my friend, Susie, who lived in India for almost a year.  I’ve known her through for a long, long time.  She’s helped out with the forums and blog ages.  I even got to meet her and her family in person in New York City a few years ago, right before she left for India (that’s us below).  Oddly enough, just by chance we were both there on the same day!  If you get a chance, check out her blog series on Mommysavers: The Frugal Foreigner.

Since she said one of her favorite Indian dishes was Butter Chicken, I thought that would be a good one to make for my kids.  Don’t let the sheer number of ingredients in this intimidate you. It’s not hard at all.  Plus, once you purchase the spices you can make lots of other Indian dishes.

India: Butter Chicken
Indian Butter Chicken is a great introduction to Indian cuisine. It's mild enough to appeal to many palates.
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 potatoes peeled and diced.
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
  3. Cook potatoes for ~10 mins, stirring often to evenly brown. Pull potatoes
  4. out of oil with slotted spoon/spatula, and add to sauce. Add chicken,
  5. and cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat,
  6. and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few
  7. spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is
  8. no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce.
  9. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  10. Serve with rice.
  11. NOTES: I didn't have garlic ginger paste, so I used chopped garlic and ginger. Also, I didn't have peanut oil so I used sesame oil.

new york 2010