Butter Chicken Masala

Butter Chicken Masala

Butter Chicken Masala
Serve with basmati rice and peasOne of my culinary highlights of 2013 was learning how to cook Indian food from my friends Taru Raman and Nirmala Kakkuppi hosted in the kitchen of my friend, Susan Hawkins. It was a fun afternoon filled with friendship, knowledge, and incredibly fragrant and visually delightful cuisine. As a newbie to Indian cooking, I feel honored to have learned from women who confidently prepare their traditional dishes commonly thought to be intimidating my most westerners. They broke this myth as I now prepare Indian food with confidence too (well, the recipes that they taught me).The original recipe is vegetarian, “Paneer Butter Masala” (paneer is a type of Indian cheese), but I have replaced the paneer with chicken. You can find “Butter Chicken” on many Indian restaurant menus, but I was told this preparation is the real thing. You are in for a treat because either version, paneer or chicken, is amazing and surely to become a family favorite. For the vegetarian paneer butter masala recipe, see Suggestions below.Some of the spices you may not have and if you do not plan on making more Indian dishes, try to find a market that sells spices in bulk so you can purchase only what you need. Garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori Methi) can be found at Indian markets and more gourmet supermarkets.
    Servings
    4 people
    Cook Time
    35-40 minutes
    Meal Plan
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    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    Servings
    4 people
    Cook Time
    35-40 minutes
    Meal Plan
    Add to Meal Plan:
    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    Ingredients
    • 1tablespoon olive oil
    • 3teaspoons garlic-ginger paste *
    • 2 tomatoes, quartered
    • 1teaspoon cumin powder
    • 1teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1teaspoon garam masala powder
    • 1teaspoon chili powder
    • 1teaspoon turmeric
    • 1tablespoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)**
    • 1pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
    • 1teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/4teaspoon sugar, optional
    • 1 1/2cup frozen peas
    • 1/2cup heavy whipping cream***
    • 2cup cooked basmati rice
    Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until onions are golden brown.
    2. Transfer the onions to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth, adding water to create a paste (about a tablespoon).
    3. Reduce heat to medium and add back the onion paste to the skillet along with the garlic-ginger paste. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the oil separate from the onions. It’ll be a thick mixture.
    4. While the onion mixture cooks, puree the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Add the pureed tomatoes to the onion mixture, stirring to combine. Continue to cook until the oil separates. At this point add in the cumin powder and the following 4 ingredients (through turmeric). Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
    5. Rub the kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves) between your palm to warm them up and release oils. Add to the tomato-onion mixture.
    6. Stir in the cubed chicken and continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and sugar (if using), adding a little water if really thick and getting to dry.
    7. Add in the frozen peas.****
    8. Stir in the cream and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Serve over cooked basmati rice and with a side of steamed peas.
    Recipe Notes

    *I use 2 cloves garlic, minced and 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger if I do not have garlic-ginger paste on hand.

    **Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) would be the hardest spice to locate and I have had to leave it out, as the Indian market is not near my house. I am sure my friend, Taru, would frown at my omission, but I think it tastes just fine without it!

    ***You could substitute whole or low-fat Greek yogurt for the cream. Almond or rice milk make a good substitution.

    ****Adding in the peas to the butter chicken makes this one a pot meal, but if your family prefers the peas separate, steam them separately in a steamer over a saucepan with ½ cup water for 3-4 minutes. Set aside and serve alongside the butter chicken. My friend, Taru, said that when you add the peas to paneer butter masala it is called peas paneer.

    To prepare the vegetarian version, substitute 8-16 ounces cubed paneer cheese for the chicken.

    If you are watching your carbs do not serve over rice, rather serve over “rice” cauliflower by grating cauliflower florets and lightly steaming.

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