Butter chicken is the common name, but it is called "Murgh Makhani" in India. It's a family friendly, mild curry that’s famous for its bold colour, silky smooth creamy texture, and rich flavours. It’s comfort food at its finest and can easily be made at home.
The recipe might look like it’s a lengthy list of ingredients, but nothing about this easy homemade butter chicken recipe is complicated. With the Vibe Blender System, you’ll even get the signature smooth and velvety curry sauce that rivals your favourite Indian restaurant.
The secret to tender and flavourful chicken is the spice infused yogurt marinade. Plan ahead if you want maximum flavour. Leave it to rest for a minimum one hour but overnight for greater flavour penetration. The hero aromatic is homemade garam masala. The complex, layered flavours in this blend are spicy tasty but not spicy hot. If you enjoy more heat, you can certainly add a little more chilli if you wish.
The beauty of this curry is that you can prepare it ahead of time. A day or more in the fridge will allow those lovely garam masala warming spices plenty of time to develop and deepen. Pro Tip: Marinate the chicken in a Luvele glass vacuum container and employ the hand pump to seal. Extracting the air with help the chicken absorb the marinade much quicker.
Butter chicken is also the perfect meal-prep dish to portioned out into vacuum seal glass containers, so you have ready-to-heat meals stocked in your fridge.
*Kashmiri chilli powder is a traditional Indian chilli powder that gives an intense red colour to your dish. It is very mild, so you can use a lot without making your dish spicy hot. It can be found in Asian or Indian grocers, otherwise, easily sub with paprika.
1kg boneless skinless chicken thighs. Fat trimmed and cut in 2-inch pieces.
½ cup yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
3 cloves garlic crushed
Juice of ½ a lime (or lemon)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons homemade garam masala
½ teaspoon chilli or cayenne powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ghee, butter, or olive oil (for cooking)
2 tablespoon ghee, butter, or olive oil
1 onion roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
¼ cup cashew
1 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoons coriander powder
1½ tablespoons Kashmiri chilli powder* or sub with 1 tablespoon paprika + ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon homemade garam masala
400g tin diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup of water
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons chopped coriander for garnish
Chopped red onion, extra cream to garnish (optional)
1. Add the chopped chicken thighs plus all the marinade ingredients (except the ghee) into a glass bowl or large ‘Fresh’ vacuum seal container. Stir well to coat the chicken. Cover and set in the fridge for minimum one hour, overnight ideally.
Cooking the chicken
2. Heat a large pan to medium high heat and add the ghee. Add the chicken in 2-3 batches and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until the chicken is browned. Remove the chicken and set aside.
3. Melt the ghee in the same pan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and cashews and cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown colour.
4. Add all the ground spices and give a good stir.
5. Turn the heat down and add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and salt. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. It will look like a thick stew.
6. Spoon the hot tomato sauce into the stainless-steel Vibe Blender jug. Secure the lid on, then blend on ‘soup’ mode for 30 seconds. Stopping once to scrape down the sides if necessary.
7. Pour the pureed sauce back into the same pan. To get the puree from around the blender blades, add a third of a cup of water to the blender jug. Place the lid on, blend on ‘soup mode’ for 10 seconds, then pour the water into the pan with the rest of the tomato puree.
8. Return the tomato puree to a medium heat on the stovetop.
9. Stir in the cream and add the chicken back to the pan.
10. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
11. Taste test, add more, salt, chilli, garam masala.
12. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander and red onion. Swirl on a bit of extra cream if desired.
13. Serve with basmati rice, homemade yogurt naan or spinach chapati.