The weather gods are not happy. I was merrily chirping away, about how wonderful it was to finally have winter. That was not to be. Now, we have been having continuous downpour since the past two days. If you could see the overcast sky at one ‘o’ clock yesterday, you’d think sunshine had decided to take a break. Never mind though, I was still happy because I knew at home I had the perfect dinner waiting for me- my butter chicken.
The Video of Butter Chicken:
It is funny when you think about it. Butter chicken is something we are so familiar with. We easily order it so often from a menu card in an Indian restaurant but making it at home seems to be a daunting prospect. Yes, without a tandoor, it might seem well-nigh impossible but that doesn’t mean I didn’t try.
So in my video I show you how to make the butter chicken at home, without a tandoor. Check out the video and then read on to know how I came about making this recipe.
So how was the video? Did you find it useful? Let me know in the comments below how. I am all ears. I make these videos so that you know always what to expect from my recipes. Please like this video if you want to see more of such content and subscribe to my Youtube channel for free. You will get updates twice a week about the latest recipes. Now you can even subscribe to my channel right here. Just click on the button below.
The Journey to the Perfect At-home Butter Chicken:
For many years I was content having butter chicken either in a restaurant or from a take-away box. There were so many Punjabi places I could get my fix from. However, back in November 2014, when I was at my heaviest weight and struggling, I knew I had to take a clean break from the take-away box.
So I started making food at home for myself every single day. A simple change in the mind-set. If you are struggling with your weight, take control of what you eat. That’s the first step. Now I am fitter than I was six years back. The journey still continues but I am happy now.
For many a months I longingly kept craving this dish. With the strict stoppage of take-outs, I used to think that butter chicken is something I could never make at home. The reason being, I don’t have a tandoor at home. But really, who does? Do you?
Anyway, not having a tandoor did not stop one of my Punjabi neighbours from making butter chicken at home on a regular basis. So I had to know. How was she doing it! She gave me a lot of pointers and asked me to check out this recipe. I had a look. Just use the oven. It was so brilliant.
So I went about adapting the master Moti Mahal recipe to perfect the taste. And soon enough all the flavours of restaurant-quality butter chicken was suddenly in my home!
Things to Remember:
Butter chicken relies on an extended marination to develop it’s full flavours. I would suggest, that you marinade the chicken the night before you are planning to use it for dinner. Yes, I said it. You need a good 24 hours. That would give you the most succulent, delicious butter chicken ever. Failing that, a minimum of 12 hours is a must. I am being a stickler here but you know why.
The other thing is, whether or not, to use, bone-in chicken. Here’s my thought. If you are planning to have it at home with rice or naan then by all means leave the bone-in. I usually prefer using bone-less chicken cubes for this recipe though. I like using butter chicken for other things too. I use the left-overs as a filling for a wrap or sometimes even a butter chicken sandwich. If I am making the effort to create something so lovingly, my philosophy is to get at least more than one meal out of it. The call is yours. If you leave the bone-in increase the cook time for simmering by 10 minutes. I explain it all in my notes for the recipe.
The idea is to cook the marinated chicken at least 2/3rds of the way in the oven. At it’s highest setting, my oven goes up to 230°C (446°F). So I am basing my cook-time suggestions as per that. If your oven goes up higher, reduce the cook time. If it is a feeble thing, increase the cook-time. The idea is to get the chicken pieces to around 60°C (140°F). Then you finish up the chicken in the gravy till it reaches the food-safe temperature of 73.8°C (165°F).
Was that too much of information over-load? Let me break it down in to everyday context. Bottomline, if your oven’s setting are close to mine just follow the cook time in the recipe. If there is a variation, in the end the insides of your chicken pieces shouldn’t be pink. It should be white. That’s it. Easy-peasy.
I cover all the relevant deviations and suggestions in the notes section of the recipe. I also share two delicious ways of using up any leftovers. You can give that a look for more information. So without further adieu, here’s the complete recipe for the most perfect home-made butter chicken for the tandoor-less kitchen.
- 400gm Fresh Yoghurt
- 40gm Ginger-garlic paste
- ½tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 2tsp Red Chillie Powder
- Salt, to taste
- 400gm Chicken Breast, bone-less, skin-less, cubed
- 25gm Butter, unsalted
- ½tsp Caraway Seeds, whole
- 50gm Tomato Purée
- Salt, to taste
- A pinch of Sugar
- ½tsp Red Chillie Powder
- Prepared Chicken*
- 150gm Fresh Cream
- 3 Green Chillies, sliced
- ½ tsp Kasuri Methi (Fenugreek Leaves)
- Combine all the ingredients of the marinade apart from the chicken. Adjust the salt after tasting the marinade. Add in the chicken pieces. Combine well. Put in to an air-tight box and allow to marinate for at least 12 hours, ideally up to 24 hours.
- After that transfer the marinated chicken to an oven-proof pan. Cook in a 230°C/ 446°F oven for 30 minutes. This gives you the prepared chicken* ready to go in to the gravy. Once the chicken is cooked partially in the oven, use the chicken within the next one hour to finish the gravy.
- Melt the butter in a pan. Add the caraway seeds. Cook till fragrant. Add in the tomato purée. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning now with salt and sugar. Add some more red chillie powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the prepared chicken in to the pan. Combine well. Cook for at least 5 minutes. Add the fresh cream, followed by green chilies and the fenugreek leaves. Cook for another 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Serve hot with naan or rice.
Raw Chicken Safety: Chicken should not be served under-cooked. Please ensure that your chicken is not pink on the inside. That means the chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 73.8°C/ 165°F.
Partially Cooked Chicken: After you have baked your chicken, the chicken is partially cooked. It can still allow pathogens to survive. Therefore, when you have partially cooked the chicken, please use the chicken within the next one hour for making the gravy. That will quickly take it to the food-safe temperatures.
If you are using bone-in chicken: Add an additional 10 minutes to the simmer time with the lid on, after adding the chicken.
If you are squeamish about the heat: Use sweet paprika instead of red chillie powder. For the green chillies, scrape out the seeds and the membrane to remove the heat of the chillies.
This chicken pairs beautifully with peas pulao. If you want, you can even pair it with my Bengali mishti pulao for a new twist.
You can use the leftovers in a wrap: Add some crunchy, fresh elements like cucmbers or shredded cabbage to give the wrap some balance.
You can also use the leftovers for a perfect sandwich: Just add the butter chicken to a crusty buttered bun. Add a dollop or two of mayonnaise and a bit of onion jam. Top it with some chopped boiled egg and dark leafy greens. Tastes heavenly.
Show some love today:
Please let me know what you like about this recipe. Leave a comment below.
Sharing this recipe with your friends & family on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. makes everyone happy. 🙂
Are you in mood for more chicken recipes? Why not check out my delicious Sri-Lankan inspired coconut chicken curry or the warming, cosy pan-fried chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce. If you are looking for the perfect roast chicken instead; I have it too. Have a good time making these recipes.
And of course don’t forget to download your free copy of my coconut cookbook .
Thank you for reading.
Lots of Love,
This Recipe is Found In These Collections:
This recipe has been featured in Learning From Each Other #16. I would like to thank their entire team for the same.
This recipe is also part of Gluten-free Friday link up on Vegetarian Mamma, Welcome Home Wednesdays on Mid Michigan Mom and Savoring Saturdays on Raias Recipes. Find this recipe and other cute and delicious things in those sites.