Indian Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

Indian Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice is a delicious, Indian recipe featuring tender chicken in an Indian spiced creamy, tomato based sauce featuring the flavors of garam masala. 

A few years ago I had not even heard of Indian Butter Chicken. Was I living on some other planet? It kind of seems that must have been the case.

I had this dish for the very first time, our last night living in college town. My aunt and uncle made it for us and after a week of packing and cleaning with a 2 month old baby, I thought that it was the best thing I had ever eaten.

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The next morning we headed out to Albuquerque, our home for the past 4 years. Eric was done with his Master’s degree and we were ready to move on to a job and a real life. I love our life here in Albuquerque.

I am so grateful we are employed, and have been consistently since leaving college town, but I remember that last night and this meal so well because there were so many emotions going on.

I was sad to leave my comfort zone and sad to leave family members I love behind. Add to that a mix of post-pregnancy hormones and you’ve really got something going on.

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I have often made Indian Butter Chicken since that night. It’s still a favorite of ours, proving that it wasn’t my sleep-deprived-stressed-out-post-pregnancy perception about this dish being one of the best things I’d eaten.

I’ve never had authentic Indian restaurant Butter Chicken so I can’t compare it to that, but I do know I love this recipe. I love the people who taught it to me and I miss them all the time.

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Serve Indian Butter Chicken alongside basmati rice, or, if you have time, I highly recommend making a batch of this Whole Wheat Indian Naan – an Indian flatbread – to serve with the chicken. It is so good!

Have you ever made Indian Butter Chicken?

Indian Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

Yield: serves 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Indian Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice is a delicious, Indian recipe featuring tender chicken in an Indian spiced creamy, tomato based sauce featuring the flavors of garam masala.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (1/2 lb.), peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter
  • 2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Cook rice according to package instructions.

In a large saute pan, combine onion, ginger, chili, and oil. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Saute for an additional 2 minutes.

Scrape mixture into a blender or food processor; add tomato paste and chicken broth. Whirl until very smooth. Pour mixture back into pan, add half and half or cream and crushed bay leaves, and bring to a gentle boil over high heat (mixture is inclined to spatter).

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 3 cups, about 5-7 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl. Rinse and dry pan.

Pat the chicken dry. Mix chicken with salt and pepper. Set pan over high heat; add 1 tablespoon butter and the chicken. Stir until chicken is no longer pink on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the sauce and simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink in the center (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes. Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into sauce until melted.

Spoon chicken and sauce onto rice. Squeeze lime juice over portions and garnish with cilantro.

Notes:

Serve Indian Butter Chicken alongside basmati rice, or, if you have time, I highly recommend making a batch of this Whole Wheat Indian Naan - an Indian flatbread - to serve with the chicken.

adapted from Sunset