Super Simple Butter Chicken - Have you tried Butter Chicken before? It is one of the best and easiest to make Indian Recipes. Try it now!

Have you heard of this Indian dish called Butter Chicken?

Well, we have slightly Americanized it, but it still has an amazing flavor! It just is not quite as a spicy base as the more traditional dish – but if you want you CAN add some heat to it.




I tend to make my recipes flexible so people can make some choices with how they want the end product to turn out, but still keep it simple for those who just want to follow the recipe as is, the first time or two. And surprisingly, although many Indian dishes are complex, this one is pretty simple. The biggest lesson I have learned in making it (I first tried it nearly 9 years ago) is to not try so hard to get it perfect.

This is one of our family’s Top 10 Favorite Meals!

Super Simple Butter Chicken - Try this nummy Indian classic made easy today!

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Cookware For Butter Chicken

The cookware for this recipe is simple (which means only a few dishes to wash):

Ingredients For Butter Chicken

This recipe serves a family of 6 to 8 or a smaller family with leftovers.

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  • RiceBasmati Rice is the preferred, but feel free to use what you have on hand. The photos in this post the rice was Jasmine Rice. Read your packaging to cook up 8 servings of rice or more (I love to have leftover rice around the house).
  • 3 lbs chicken – we usually use breast meat but I have tried thigh / dark meat before.
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or one small can of tomato paste with 3/4 cup of water. In the photos for this post, I only had a can of stewed tomatoes when I got the craving to make this, so I used that and it worked fine.
  • 1 stick of butter. There are some recipes out there w/o butter. But its called Butter Chicken, so we use butter!
  • 1 cup of plain or honey yogurt or 1 cup heavy cream. This is such a preference thing. I suggest you make the recipe twice, and decide which you like better!
  • Lemon juice – 2 tbsp – Fresh squeezed is best, but I want simple, so I get bottled lemon juice .
  • Garam Masala – 2 heaping tbsp – Used to be harder to find, but recently I have even found Garam Masala at Walmart!
  • Curry Powder – 1 heaping tbsp – I just love the flavor of curry powder, but we do not want it to overwhelm the garam masala.
  • Chili Powder – 1 heaping tbsp – If you want more heat, substitute some of your chili powder for cayenne powder or diced red hot peppers.
  • Ginger Powder – 1 heaping tbsp – Fresh ginger paste is even better and you can get it from the produce section of most stores. But ginger powder works fine.
  • Minced Garlic – 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • Minced Onion (dried) – 2 tbsp Minced Onion
  • Salt and pepper

Directions For Butter Chicken

  1. Cut up your chicken into cubes (more like chunks for me). Blend the Garam Masala, Curry Powder, Chili Powder, and Ginger Powder and 1 tsp of salt in a bowl or jar. Use half of the blend to coat the meat and marinade for at least 15 minutes. You can marinade it all day for a stronger flavor (in the fridge, of course) if you have time!
  2. Start your rice in your smaller pot. Basmati and Jasmine rice take about 20 minutes to cook (but check your package directions to be sure).
  3. Melt the butter on Medium heat and add the rest of the spices in the larger pot. Stir for one minute, then add the chicken. This technique fries the spices a bit and “wakes them up” and makes them more fragrant and flavorful. I know there is an actual name for this, but I forget what it is!
  4. Turn the heat up to medium high and brown the chicken. Takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato sauce or paste and water and the lemon juice, then add your minced garlic and minced onion. Stir. You will then want to take the heat down to medium or slightly below medium.
  6. Add a little salt and pepper to your taste. We tend to like 1 tsp added of salt and just a dash or two of pepper. Stir.
  7. Simmer on medium low or slightly above so there is slight bubbling but not popping / splattering for 20 minutes. Food with tomatoes seems to splatter and spit more. Ouch!
  8. Turn off the heat and then stir in the yogurt or cream.
  9. The secret is to have a little left-over or even make this the day before serving. The flavors are so much more intense after sitting in the fridge all night!
  10. Server over the cooked rice. Traditional Indian is to serve it with a bread called Naan. Wow!

Super Simple Butter Chicken

Super Simple Butter Chicken

This is a Butter Chicken recipe. There is a hiccup with Ymmly that says it is vegetarian. However, you could substitute tofu if you did want to make this vegetarian!

Ingredients

  • Rice - Basmati Rice is the preferred
  • Chicken - 3lbs
  • Tomato sauce - 1 cup OR one small can of tomato paste with 3/4 cup of water
  • Butter - 1 stick
  • Plain or honey yogurt - 1 cup OR 1 cup heavy cream
  • Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
  • Garam Masala - 2 heaping tbsp
  • Curry Powder - 1 heaping tbsp
  • Chili Powder - 1 heaping tbsp
  • Ginger Powder - 1 heaping tbsp
  • Minced Garlic - 2 tbsp
  • Minced Onion (dried) - 2 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut up your chicken into cubes (more like chunks for me). Blend the Garam Masala, Curry Powder, Chili Powder, and Ginger Powder and 1 tsp of salt in a bowl or jar. Use half of the blend to coat the meat and marinade for at least 15 minutes. You can marinade it all day for a stronger flavor (in the fridge, of course) if you have time!
  2. Start your rice in your smaller pot. Basmati rice takes about 20 minutes to cook (but check your package directions to be sure).
  3. Melt the butter on Medium heat and add the rest of the spices in the larger pot. Stir for one minute, then add the chicken. This technique fries the spices a bit and "wakes them up" and makes them more fragrant and flavorful. I know there is an actual name for this, but I forget what it is!
  4. Turn the heat up to medium high and brown the chicken. Takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato sauce or paste and water and the lemon juice, then add your minced garlic and minced onion. Stir. You will then want to take the heat down to medium or slightly below medium.
  6. Add a little salt and pepper to your taste. We tend to like 1 tsp added of salt and just a dash or two of pepper. Stir.
  7. Simmer on medium low or slightly above so there is slight bubbling but not popping / splattering for 20 minutes. Food with tomatoes seems to splatter and spit more. Ouch!
  8. Turn off the heat and then stir in the yogurt or cream.
  9. The secret is to have a little left-over or even make this the day before serving. The flavors are so much more intense after sitting in the fridge all night!
  10. Server over the cooked rice. Traditional Indian is to serve it with a bread called Naan.
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