Butter chicken masala recipe – An easy recipe to make delicious and creamy restaurant style Indian chicken butter masala under 30 mins. It goes great with butter naan, roti or even with jeera rice. It is similar to the north Indian or punjabi murgh makhani or the butter chicken, but there are variations towards making both the dishes. To make punjabi murgh makhani, chicken is marinated in yogurt and then grilled. It is cooked in a tomato gravy without the use of onions and then cream is used towards the end. Chicken butter masala is made with an onion tomato gravy and the chicken is just sauted and then added to the onion tomato gravy.
While the punjabi butter chicken uses a stronger garam masala, butter chicken masala is made using milder spice powders. So a good chicken masala powder or garam masala goes well to make this recipe.
How to make butter chicken masala recipe with step by step photos
1. We need to marinate chicken to make it soft, tender and mouth melting like we get in restaurants. Yogurt makes the chicken soft. In restaurants chicken is marinated for long hours and used. Some even use meat tenderizer. However you can skip marinating if you are short of time. Marinate chicken with 1 to 2 tbsp yogurt, red chilli powder, turmeric, ginger garlic paste, garam masala and salt. Set aside until we need it. If you have time you can also leave it overnight in refrigerator, this is what i do.
2. Heat a pan with butter or oil. Saute onions until they turn pink. Just for the raw smell to go off.
3. Add tomatoes, sprinkle salt. Cook until they turn soft and mushy.
4. Add red chili powder, garam masala and cashews. If you do not want to use cream to this recipe then i suggest using a bit more of cashews.
5. Fry until the raw smell of the masala goes off.
6. Cool it and add to a blender with 3/4 to 1 cup water.
7. Blend to a smooth puree. This is the onion tomato base for the chicken butter masala.
8. Heat the same pan with butter. Saute 1 bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom.
9. Add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes off completely.
10. Add the marinated chicken and a deseeded slit green chili if desired. On a medium high flame, fry until the chicken turns pale and white in color. Make sure the yogurt masala dries up now. Saute until the masala dries up. Usually chicken oozes out lot of moisture, that’s just normal . Continue to cook.
11. Add the puree now. You can also add more red chili powder and garam masala now if needed. Also adjust water as needed to bring the gravy to a consistency. I use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Take care not to add too much otherwise the gravy turns very thin. Simmer until the chicken is cooked completely, soft and tender. When you see the chicken is soft cooked, then add crushed kasuri methi. By the end of this step you must have a thick creamy and smooth gravy.
12. This step is optional. If you like you can use cream to suit your liking. For health reasons if you like to skip cream, you can just add a bit more of cashews at step 4.
Complete butter chicken masala recipe below
- 400 to 500 grams of chicken
- ½ to ¾ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- Salt as needed
- 1 to 2 tbsp yogurt
- ½ to ¾ tsp garam masala
- Little turmeric
- 1 tbsp. butter or Oil
- 1 cups cubed onions, 3 medium
- 1.5 cups finely chopped deseeded tomatoes (3 large)
- salt as needed
- 10 to 12 cashew nuts / kaju
- ½ to ¾ tsp. garam masala powder
- ½ to ¾ tsp. kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- ½ tsp. sugar(optional)
- 1 ½ tbsp. Butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 green cardamom
- 2 to 3 cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ tsp. kasuri methi
- 3 tbsp cream( for restaurant style)
- few coriander leaves for garnish
- Marinate chicken with ingredients mentioned under marination. Set aside till we need it. Overnight marination is needed to yield restaurant style dish.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter or in a pan, fry onions till the raw smell goes away
- Saute tomatoes with salt.
- Add chili powder, masala powder and coriander powder along with cashews. Saute until the raw smell goes away.
- Cool and blend together with ¾ to 1 cup water.
- Heat the pan with more butter and fry cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and cardamom.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.
- Add marinated chicken and saute on a medium high until the masala dries up.
- Pour the onion tomato puree, adjust as needed chili powder and masala powder. Also adjust the consistency of gravy by adding more water if needed.
- Cook until the chicken turns tender.
- Add kasuri methi and stir.
- Add cream and stir well. You can skip cream if using little more of cashews to the puree.
- Add chopped coriander leaves. Serve Indian butter chicken masala with roti, butter naan or jeera rice.