The Best Butter Chicken Recipe: The Ultimate Indian Comfort Food
Authentic Butter Chicken, or Murgh Makhani, is a classic dish in Indian food.
Indian Butter Chicken is a creamy and flavorful dish perfect for a cozy night or dinner party. This recipe uses two of Wurzpott's signature spice blends, Curry Red and Smoky Curry, to create a unique and delicious flavor profile that will impress your guests.
The good news is you can get Wurzpott Curry Red and Smoky Curry shipped directly to you, so you don't need to find an Indian Grocer near you to make this recipe or other great Indian food in your kitchen!
Is Butter Chicken the same as Tandoori Chicken?
Tandoori Chicken and Butter Chicken are two iconic dishes in Indian cuisine, each with its distinct flavors and cooking techniques. Tandoori Chicken is renowned for its vibrant red color and smoky flavor. Traditionally, it is marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices, including tandoori masala, which lends a tangy and mildly spicy taste. The chicken is then cooked in a tandoor, a traditional clay oven, giving it a charred and slightly smoky flavor.
On the other hand, Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a creamy and rich dish with a velvety tomato-based sauce. It features tender pieces of chicken cooked in a buttery sauce made from tomato paste, cream, and a blend of aromatic spices. The sauce has a luscious and mildly sweet flavor, with a hint of tanginess from the tomatoes. Butter Chicken is often served with naan or rice, allowing you to soak up the luxurious sauce.
While both dishes showcase the versatility of chicken in Indian cuisine, Tandoori Chicken highlights the bold flavors of spices and the distinct cooking method. At the same time, Butter Chicken indulges in the creamy and comforting flavors of a rich tomato-based sauce.
The Makhani Sauce, aka The Butter Chicken Sauce
Makhani Sauce, also known as Butter Sauce, is a luscious and creamy sauce widely popular in Indian cuisine. The word "makhani" translates to "buttery," which perfectly describes the richness and indulgence of this sauce.
The base of the Sauce is typically made from a blend of tomatoes (or tomato paste), onions, garlic, and ginger, cooked until they form a smooth and thick consistency. The magic happens when the sauce is enriched with butter, cream, and a medley of aromatic spices, such as garam masala, fenugreek leaves, and cardamom. These ingredients infuse the sauce with a beautiful balance of flavors, including a mild sweetness, a hint of tanginess from the tomatoes, and a touch of warmth from the spices.
Makhani Sauce is often used to prepare classic dishes like Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) and Paneer Makhani, where it coats the meat or cheese, creating a smooth and luxurious experience with every bite. Whether you're a fan of Indian cuisine or looking to elevate your culinary repertoire, this Sauce will impress you with its creamy texture and tantalizing flavors.
Marinating the Chicken
To start, you'll want to marinate your chicken in a mixture of yogurt and Wurzpott Curry Red and then add ginger garlic paste Wurzpott Smoky Curry. Mix the yogurt, Wurzpott Curry Red, Wurzpott Smoky Curry, garlic, ginger, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. The longer the marinated chicken sits, the more flavorful your butter chicken will be.
Preparing the Ingredients
While the chicken is marinating, you can prepare the other ingredients. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and dice the onion. Open the can of diced tomatoes and measure the heavy cream and butter.
Cooking the Chicken
When you're ready to start cooking, remove the marinated chicken and discard the excess marinade. Heat two tablespoons of ghee (or olive oil) over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned.
Preparing the Sauce
Once the chicken is cooked, please remove it from the pan and set it aside. In the same pan, add the diced onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir well. Let the mixture cook for 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and thickened.
Adding the Spices
Next, add one tablespoon of Wurzpott Curry Red and one tablespoon of Wurzpott Smoky Curry to hot water in the pan. Stir well to combine, and let the sauce cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors and whole spices to meld together.
Making the Sauce Creamy
Now it's time to make the sauce creamy. Add the heavy cream to the pan and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened.
Adding the Butter
Once the sauce has thickened, add the unsalted butter to the pan and stir well until it's fully incorporated. This will add a rich buttery flavor to the sauce.
Adding the Ginger Garlic Paste
Ginger garlic paste is a versatile ingredient that adds a delightful depth of flavor to many dishes, including the beloved Butter Chicken. This aromatic blend combines the intense spiciness of ginger with the savory notes of garlic, creating a harmonious fusion that enhances the taste of your culinary creations.
Making this paste at home is simple and allows you to experience the vibrant flavors at their freshest. To prepare it, peel and roughly chop equal parts ginger and garlic, then blend them in a food processor or mortar and pestle until you achieve a smooth paste. You can store the paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it for longer shelf life.
Add a spoonful of this homemade paste to infuse the dish with its robust flavors in your Butter Chicken recipe, taking your culinary masterpiece to the next level of deliciousness.
Combining the Sauce and Chicken
Add the cooked chicken to the pan with the sauce and stir well to combine. Let the chicken and sauce cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is fully coated in the sauce and the flavors melded together.
Garnishing with Cilantro
Once the chicken is fully cooked, it's time to garnish it with fresh cilantro. Chop up a handful of chopped cilantro and sprinkle it over the butter chicken sauce in the dish for fresh flavor and color.
Butter Chicken is traditionally served with basmati rice and naan bread, but it's also delicious with other sides like roasted vegetables or a simple salad. Make sure to have plenty of naan bread on hand to soak up all the delicious butter chicken sauce!
Why Use Wurzpott Spices
Wurzpott Curry Red and Wurzpott Smoky Curry are the perfect spices for this best Butter Chicken recipe. They add a unique and delicious flavor profile different from traditional Indian spices like garam masala. The Curry Red adds a bold and spicy flavor, while the Smoky Curry adds a smoky and earthy flavor perfect for a creamy dish like the best Butter Chicken recipe.
Benefits of Using Wurzpott Spices
Wurzpott chicken spices are all-natural and made with high-quality ingredients. They're also gluten-free and vegan, making them a great choice for anyone with dietary restrictions. Using Wurzpott spices to make butter chicken ensures that your Butter Chicken recipe is delicious but also healthy and wholesome.
Tips for Making the Best Butter Chicken Recipe
To ensure that your Butter Chicken turns out perfectly every time, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours, to ensure it's flavorful and tender.
- Use a combination of Wurzpott Curry Red and Wurzpott Smoky Curry for a unique and delicious flavor profile to coat your marinated chicken.
- Make a ginger garlic paste to add to your Butter Chicken sauce.
- Be patient when cooking the sauce - letting it cook and thicken slowly will ensure a rich and creamy texture.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and lemon juice for a pop of color and fresh flavor.
- Add red chili powder if you want to go extra spicy.
Variations on the Recipe
While this Restaurant Style Butter Chicken recipe is delicious as is, there are a few variations you can try to switch things up:
- Add more or less Wurzpott spices, depending on your preferred level of spiciness.
- Use bone-in chicken thighs instead of boneless for a more rustic feel.
- Begin the night before so the marinated chicken has more time to absorb the flavors
- Swap out the heavy cream for coconut milk to make the recipe dairy-free.
- Add some vegetables like bell peppers or peas for added texture and flavor.
- Add a cinnamon stick while your sauce simmers for added flavor.
Make-Ahead and Freezing Instructions
This authentic Butter Chicken recipe is great for meal prep and can be made beforehand. Simply prepare the butter chicken and sauce as directed and store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you're ready to eat, reheat the chicken and sauce in a pan until heated.
You can also freeze the Butter Chicken for longer storage. Allow the dish to cool completely, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat authentic butter chicken, thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in a pan until heated.
Our Conclusion: Try this Butter Chicken Today!
Authentic Butter Chicken is a classic dish in Indian cuisine, and with the addition of Wurzpott Curry Red and Wurzpott Smoky Curry, it's even more delicious. This great recipe for authentic butter chicken is perfect for a cozy night or dinner party and will impress your guests. With some preparation and patience, you can make this flavorful and aromatic dish right in your kitchen.
Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients or the multiple steps in making butter chicken. If you follow the recipe and take your time, you'll be rewarded with a delicious and satisfying meal perfect for any occasion.
So go ahead and give this recipe a try, and let us know how it turns out in the comments below. And don't forget to explore other Indian dishes and spice blends to add variety and excitement to your cooking repertoire. Happy cooking!