We don’t like to take shortcuts or substitute ingredients in our kitchen if at all possible, so when we heard that this popular Indian dish is made from leftover tandoori chicken, we knew we had a lot of prep work to do before we could even get started! As the name implies, this dish is creamy and buttery, and moderately spicy, with the predominant flavors being tomato, garlic, fenugreek, and earthy Kashmiri chili powder (buy whole or ground in your local Indian spice section.)  There is a reason why this may be the most well known Indian dish, enjoyed the world over and with countless numbers of regional variations… So whether you make your own food at home or you just have a favorite local Indian restaurant, if you have never tried butter chicken before we highly recommend you do so! Enjoy the photos and recipe below 🙂



This is a creamy, buttery, tomato-based chicken dish with a moderate spice level, as pictured above

Tomato Masala:

1 kg fresh chopped tomatoes
2 tblsp butter
1 tblsp oil
8 small green cardamom pods
1 tblsp chopped garlic
1 pinch whole mace threads
1 tsp salt ( to taste)

Butter Chicken:

2 lbs tandoori chicken, cooked and chopped
3 tblsp butter
1 cup fresh cream
tomato masala from above
2 green chillies, julienne
1 tblsp ginger, julienne
1 tblsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 pinch green cardamom powder
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
1 tblsp honey
salt to taste

Melt 2 tblsp butter and oil in a large pan on medium-high heat.
Add chopped garlic, green cardamom pods, and mace threads and stir until aromatic.
Add chopped tomatoes, salt to taste, and continue cooking on med-high heat until very soft, about ten minutes. While you are waiting you can julienne your green chillies and ginger.
When tomatoes have softened, add contents of pan to a blender and process on high speed for twenty seconds or so.
Strain the blended tomato mixture through a sieve and collect in mixing bowl. This is the tomato masala.
Melt 3 tblsp butter in a large pan on med-high heat.
Add ginger and green chillies and stir until aromatic.
Add tomato masala and mix well.
Add Kashmiri chilli powder, green cardamom powder, and kasoori methi.
Heat to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for ten minutes.
Add tandoori chicken pieces and cook until just heated through.
Add fresh cream and honey, mix well, and warm just to a simmer.
Serve with fresh naan breads or basmati rice.