Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Creamy Buttery Chicken

Recipe: Boneless Butter Chicken (Boneless Tandoori chicken in tomato and cream gravy)

Butter Chicken, with its Tandoor grilled chicken immersed in rich, creamy and spiced tomato gravy, I am sure requires no introduction with most Indians. And I don’t think I would be wrong in saying that it’s an absolute favourite with a majority of us too. Well, it’s definitely one of my favourites!!

Butter chicken is another of the master pieces of Kundan Lal Gujaral the man who popularised Indian Cuisine to the world through his famous restaurant, Moti Mahal.
I have talked about this great chef and entrepreneur in my older post Mushrooms in a Wok.
Though I have tried the butter chicken recipe of Moti Mahal earlier, this post doesn’t deal with it.
Here I have used a much simpler and easier version of this dish, which with all its simplicity, tastes and looks perfectly restaurant-like.
I had been using this recipe to make Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani) for a long time now, but it’s the first time with butter chicken and I feel completely foolish never to have tried it earlier as my Butter chicken turned out to be an absolute delight!!

The cooking of this dish happens in two steps, i.e. grilling of the chicken with the Tandoor masala and preparing the gravy.

Though this is not really a Kerala dish, its a sure favourite amongst most Keralites and so I am sending this to Roshans Cucina for the Kerala Kitchen Feb contest.


Tandoori Chicken (Adapted from Tandoori Trails)


Chicken – 1 breast piece cut into thin strips or bite sized pieces

For the first marinade
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For the second marinade
Yogurt – ¼ cup
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Cumin seed powder - ¼ tsp
Salt – to taste
Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves) – ¼ tsp


Mix together the ingredients of the first marinade and rub over the chicken pieces. Set this aside for an hour.

Now mix together the ingredients of the second marinade and coat the chicken pieces with this as well. Set the marinated chicken aside for 3-4 hrs.

Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Place the marinated chicken pieces over a baking tray or a wire rack and grill the chicken for around  10-15 mins on each side.
Baste the chicken with some oil during the grilling process.

When the chicken is dry and cooked well remove from oven and set aside.

Butter Chicken Gravy


Onion – 1 large chopped very finely
Butter – 2 tbsp
Tomato puree – 2 tbsp (I have used ready made one because it gives a better colour and flavour than the fresh ones)
Tomato ketchup – 1 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 ½ tbsp
Chilly power – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Kasuri methi – ½ tsp
Milk – ¾ cup (you may replace this with ½ cup cream)
Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon stick – 2 small pieces
Cardamom – 3


Heat butter (or oil) in a deep non-stick pan and add the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon and cardamom). Let them splutter and start releasing their lovely aroma. Now add the cumin seeds and let them splutter too.

To this add ginger-garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes off. Now add the onions and continue sautéing till the onions turn translucent.

Add on all the spice powders (chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala) and kasuri methi and stir on for a couple of minutes. Pour in 2 tbsp of water to this to avoid the spices from getting burned.

Now add the tomato puree and tomato ketchup as well and continue stirring till the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan and the whole kitchen is filled with the intoxicating aroma of the spices.

At this point pour in the milk and stir well. Lower the flame and let the gravy boil till it reaches a thick creamy consistency (If using cream you can skip this step. Replace milk with 1 cup water and let the gravy boil. Once done add cream)

Add the prepared Tandoori chicken to this and cook for another minute or two and remove from flame.

Garnish with a blob of butter and some chopped coriander leaves before serving (I have avoided both of this because too much of butter doesn’t seem to go well with my waist line J and my husband detests coriander leavesJ)

Enjoy your dish with butter nan, pulav , rotis etc.


  1. yummy yum ,love this a lot with naans..Perfectly done!

    Erivum Puliyum

    1. thanks julie :) my fav combo with naan too