Indian Butter Chicken

I’m forever on the hunt for recipes that accurately approximate my favorite Indian takeout dishes, but making good Indian food requires such a thorough study of cooking techniques and knowledge of Indian pantry ingredients that it can be a real challenge. I’ve had good success with recipes like these Pea and Potato Parathas and this Pakistani Chickpea Pulao, but none of them have been “takeout-y,” by which I mean over-the-top rich and spicy and addictive. As you might expect from one of Australia’s pre-eminent chefs, this recipe hit all the right notes of great Indian food – creamy, spicy, salty, savory – and was perfectly balanced. I’m really excited to have added this one to my repertoire, and if the other recipes in the book are as dead-on as this one was, I’m going to have a lot more dinners in my rotation.

Book Club: Eating with the Chefs // Indian Butter Chicken

Book Club: Eating with the Chefs // Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

Serves 2.

  • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lb. 2 oz. skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 TBS grated fresh ginger
  • 1 TBS whole cumin seeds
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 c. canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh red chile, seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 c. chicken stock
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 TBS ground almonds
  • 3 sprigs fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • salt to taste
  1. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, salt (to taste, approximately 1/2 tsp), garam masala, and ground cumin in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour over the chicken, making sure chicken is fully coated, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, melt the butter and oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cumin seeds, and cook for 3 minutes, until spices are fragrant and onions are lightly browned.
  3. Add the cinnamon stick, diced tomatoes, and sliced chile to the pan and season with salt, then cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and it’s marinade to the pan and stir to combine, then cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and tomato paste, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through. Stir in the ground almonds and cook for a final 5 minutes. Serve with rice, garnished with fresh cilantro.

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