Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Better Butter Chicken & Tandoori Chicken

Okay, so i had a major sweet tooth for the past few weeks so I thought I'd balance it out with a savory update on an improved butter chicken. There was huge snow storm 2 weeks ago in POZ, forcing me to hibernate and cook enough curry that could last me 3 blizzarding days. I was going to use my old butter chicken recipe but wanted to try something new since I had nothing better to do. So after researching through dozens of websites and youtube videos, I decided to make a more authentic Butter Chicken by using baked Tandoori chicken pieces. The Tandoori chicken was quite time-consuming with its long marination and baking time but oh my, the end-result was worth it. As for the Butter Chicken, this time I added even more spices and another star ingredient: cashew nuts-- trust me, they make a world of a difference! I also blended the sauce into a smooth paste before adding the chicken, makes it much more rich and silky. This recipe is so much better... i'm seriously considering deleting the old post. And if i didn't have a love/hate relationship with red food coloring, I'd have prettier pictures of orange-red curry to show... so damn those ridiculous prices!! GAHHH!!

The Better Butter Chicken
derived from #1,,,
  • 1.5 kg (3 lbs) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
    [i used 4 chicken thighs and one chicken breast]
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10mL) chili powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) yogurt, thick
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin [kminek in Polish]
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander [kolendra in Polish]
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground turmeric [kurkuma in Polish]
  • 2 tbsp (10 mL) minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
  • Red food coloring (optional)

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric [kurkuma in Polish]
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander [kolendra in Polish]
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon [cynamon in Polish]
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin [kminek in Polish]
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup cashew nuts [orzechy nerkowca in Polish]
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Red food coloring (optional)

  1. FOR TANDOORI CHICKEN only: Clean and cut a few long slits on each skinless chicken thigh. Rub salt, chili powder, and lemon juice all over and into the slits [picture 1, 2].
    FOR BUTTER CHICKEN: Clean and cut up the skinless, boneless chicken thighs into pieces. Season with salt, chili powder, and lemon juice.
  2. Add in yogurt, cumin, coriander, cayenne, garam masala, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and red food coloring to the chicken [picture 3, 4]. Mix well.
  3. Seal and refrigerate overnight (at least 4-6 hours) [picture 5].
  4. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Do not overbake the chicken, or it will be dry [picture 6].
  5. FOR TANDOORI CHICKEN: Remove from oven and serve hot, garnished with sliced onions and lime wedges.
    FOR BUTTER CHICKEN: Remove from oven and set aside.

  1. While chicken is baking, make sauce. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat [picture 3].
  2. Add onions and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring often, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes[picture 4].
  3. Add gingerroot, chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander, cinnamon and cumin. Cook 1 more minute [picture 5, 6].
  4. Add drained tomatoes, broth, cashew nuts, brown sugar, salt and pepper [picture 7]. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally [picture 8]. Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer the sauce to a blender and purée until smooth [picture 9].
  6. Return puréed sauce to pot with remaining sauce. Mix well and return to heat.
  7. Stir in heavy cream, mix until smooth [picture 10].
  8. Add cut-up Tandoori chicken and mix well [picture 11].
  9. Add 1 teaspoon of garam masala and mix well. Cook just until chicken is hot [picture 12].
  10. Serve with some butter over hot basmati rice, if desired.

Better Butter Chicken

Tandoori Chicken


  1. Wow it looks soo yummy .. I am already swiveling my head round and round.

  2. omg! i stumbled onto that exact same website last night! hahahaa

  3. LOL i guess we have the same settings for stumble :D

  4. I tried using the butter chicken from video jug once and it did achieve that red colour naturally. Since it was a while ago I can't remember how good it was.. but I don't remember that it was either.

  5. if u like spices and flavorful foods u should try indonesian food=)
    pretty similar ingredients and spices with indian food.

    u should definitely try !

    btw u have nice pictures

  6. indonesian food, huh? i'll try that next time!

  7. just look at all those spices u used?!? amazing!