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Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

Garam masala give this Indian Butter Chicken its full-bodied flavor.


Notes: If you can't find garam masala, use these seasonings: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon cracked dried bay leaves, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro onto individual portions of butter chicken, if you like.

Sunset MARCH 2001

  • Yield: Makes 5 or 6 servings


  • 1 onion (1/2 lb.), peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chili (about 1 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salad oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (see notes)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breasts, rinsed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine
  • 6 cups hot cooked white basmati rice
  • Lime wedges


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine onion, ginger, chili, and oil. Stir often over high heat until onion is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala. Scrape mixture into a blender; add tomato paste and chicken broth. Whirl until very smooth. Pour mixture back into pan, add cream, 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 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl. Rinse and dry pan.

2. Mix chicken with pepper and sprinkle lightly with salt. 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.

3. Spoon chicken and sauce onto rice. Add salt to taste. Squeeze lime juice over portions.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 529
  • Calories from fat: 32%
  • Protein: 37g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated fat: 9.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 57g
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Sodium: 439mg
  • Cholesterol: 109mg

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Indian Butter Chicken Recipe