Butter chicken for dummies


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Sweet and simple. I made two kgs of this; so take ingredients proportionally. Ever since I moved out of Delhi and Chandigarh, I never got to eat the actual butter chicken. The dorky chefs in even the best restaurants make it like spicy and the gravy looks like a pale orange. I mean, it’s gotta to be sweet, creamy and there should be more gravy than chicken. The fun lies in the gravy, not the chicken.

Here’s what you will need. It’s adapted from a recipe off a Pakistani site; and since I am not too fond of hem I won’t be giving them credit either.

Also butter chicken is meant to be served with bones. No bones, no flavor. You might as well eat some potatoes with salt and a chilly if you plan to make this boneless.

Ingredients For two people

2 kg chicken pre-cut. I like large pieces, so fighting over pieces is more rewarding.

4 tablespoons peanut or any oil you use. Ghee would be ideal.

150 g butter (Home made white butter recommended, but Amul is fine. If you want to substitute with margarine, please go away)

4 teaspoons Garam Masala (Everest masalas is really flavorful)

4 teaspoons sweet paprika (I couldn’t find sweet paprika, so I used half the quantity. By the way, paprika is Degi Mirch)

4 teaspoons ground coriander (Dhania powder)

2 tablespoon grated fresh green ginger (freshly ground ginger would surely give you more flavor. Avoid the pastes you get in the market and exercise. You going to be eating cartloads of fat in an hours time)

1 teaspoon chili powder (more or less to taste)

2 cinnamon stick

12 cardamom pods, bruised

800g of tomato puree (I would once again recommend fresh cut tomatoes – approximately 1.5 kgs of it)

4 tablespoon sugar

10 cashews

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup cream (Yummmm, homemade ones are good. But you could buy Amul cream)

1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional, to give it a tangy taste)


Mix the ginger paste with the chicken and little curd, paprika, salt and keep for at least 1 hour. I usually keep it for 2 hours. Brings out the true flavor.


Heat a wok until really hot, add 2 Tbsp oil. (a wok is a pan with a convex bottom)

Add half the chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until chicken is a nice color and will start oozing out the juices.

Remove to plate. It’s a crime to throw away the juice by the way.

Add extra oil and cook remaining chicken and remove from wok.

Reduce heat and add the butter (all of it, please!)

When melted add all of the spices and stir-fry until fragrant- about 1 minute.

Return chicken to wok and stir to coat with the spices.

Add the tomatoes and sugar and simmer for 15 minutes- stir occasionally.

Add the yogurt, cream and lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit.

Crush the cashews and make a paste of it; and add it. Don’t you eat the cashew!

Keep the flame on, and leave it for a while. The chicken will absorb all the flavor of the paprika slowly. This is important.

I like butter chicken with rice and phulkas. Why some people would want to eat it pulao or jeera rice, I am not sure. Simply diluting the flavor; and hard labor lost.

Next in the series would be Chicken Biryani for dummies. Till then keep sacrificing them chickens; there are 24 billion of them bastards.

4 Responses to “Butter chicken for dummies”

  1. sumitNo Gravatar says:

    nice!! might try it out tomorrow, rather today evening. meanwhile, you could also try chicken vindaloo n chicken tikka masala. boneless yes, but makes for a great fix :)

  2. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    actually the only boneless chicken i make is grilled because its kinda tricky in the microwave. i am yet to buy a charcoal grill

  3. SidNo Gravatar says:

    Vinni I love u man! thanx for this “Dummies” fix…..

  4. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    Sid, you are always welcome man. but this is only for two people. keep adding exponentially for more people.

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