Butter Chicken

Why oh why is this dish so good? The cream? The spices? I don’t know.  All I know is I love it so.  Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala, yes please again and again.

A few years back I heard a few of my friends having ‘Butter Chicken cook-offs”, so I knew I could get all the ingredients I needed here, but I never partook.  I was missing out.

Some of these ingredients are harder to find here on the Riviera Maya, but were brought up by my friend from Belize.  You sure do appreciate things and take care of them when you can’t just run out and buy more.  My tandoori masala and fenugreek leaves are triple ziplocked so that the Yucatan humidity won’t destroy them.

Who knew that marinating chicken in yogurt and spices could be so good?  You need to serve this over some basmati or jasmine rice, to help soak up all that saucy goodness. Or, some naan bread wouldn’t hurt either.




  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 TAB tandoori masala
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 TAB cooking oil


  • 2 TAB ghee (or 1 TAB butter and 1 TAB oil)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 TAB coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves


In a medium bowl, combine tandoori masala, ginger, garlic, and yogurt.  Whisk until smooth.  Add chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours covered in the refrigerator.

Heat the ghee in a large skillet.  Add onions and saute until translucent.  Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin and cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, let cool for a few minutes.  Add mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  (Keep that hand on the lid so it doesn’t end up on your ceiling!)

Heat remaining oil in skillet.  Add marinated chicken and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until browned on all sides.  Add the sauce to the pot and heat through.  Once it starts to simmer, add cream and garam masala.  When is regains a simmer, add fenugreek leaves.

Serve immediately.

Adapted from: Little Spice Jar

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