India – Butter Chicken

What’s cooking in India?

Butter Chicken

When I asked Manisha what was cooking in India, she shared her recipe of one of the most popular dishes of the northern part of India with me!

Manisha is originally from Jaipur, the Pink City, which is in the region of Rajastan. She has been living in Switzerland for 7 years and is passionate about cooking. She has started her own home run catering company called Manisha’s Kitchen, which is located in Morges. All of Manisha’s recipes are authentic and she uses fresh spices and quality ingredients. I feel lucky that she shared her family’s favorite recipe with us, and so I decided to try it out!

Cooking time: 20 minutes for the marinade, which I put in the fridge overnight, the next day I cooked approximately 30 minutes to make the butter chicken sauce, and to put the meal together.

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For the marinade:

  • 1 kg of boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
  • 2 table spoons Tandoori Masala
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: ginger paste and garlic paste (Manisha makes them fresh, which tastes best, but I bought the garlic paste readymade, in my case, a ginger and some water to make the ginger paste)
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil

For the Butter chicken sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter, if you cannot find this then replace by 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon EACH: ginger paste and garlic paste
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder (optional)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of coriander powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
  • ½ cup of whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground Almond (optional)

How to prepare:

Marinate the chicken:

In a medium bowl, combine the tandoori masala, ginger paste, garlic paste, and yogurt. Whisk until smooth, adjust seasonings to preference. Add the chicken and allow marinating for at least 20 minutes and ideally for 12-24 hours, covered in the refrigerator. (I made it the day before and so it has been in the fridge for 24 hours).

Butter Chicken Sauce:

Heat the ghee (or in my case butter and oil) in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they turn translucent and start to sweat, about 5-7 minutes; don’t allow the onions to brown. Add ginger and garlic paste and let cook for 30 seconds, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add the can of crushed tomatoes along with the chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder and continue to cook for 5 minutes, if the mixture starts bubbling rapidly, add about ¼ cup of water and continue to cook.

Remove from heat, add the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, you may or may not need a few tablespoons of water to help it blend. Remember to hold the lid of the blender down with a kitchen towel when blending, to avoid accidents.

(MAKE AHEAD OPTION: At this point you can cool and refrigerate the sauce for 24-48 hours (or freeze it for up to 3 months), it will help blend the flavors even more, just remember to bring the sauce back to room temperature (use the microwave) before proceeding with the recipe OR you can continue on with the recipe immediately.)

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Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken and cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring as required to brown all sides. Add the butter chicken sauce to the pot and heat everything through. Once it starts to bubble, add the cream, the ground Almond and Garam masala. Serve over basmati rice or with Naan.

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Where did I buy the ingredients to Manisha’s recipe?

I was able to find most of the ingredients at the super market, even though I had to go to two different super markets, I just didn’t find the ginger paste and so I made that myself 😊. Basically, just cut the ginger and mix it up in a small blender with a very small quantity of water so that it really becomes a paste and not too liquid. For this recipe, one good sized ginger was enough.

Would you like to try more of Manisha’s Kitchen, or order some Indian food for a special occasion, then have a look at her Facebook page: Manisha’s Kitchen.