If a recipe for butter chicken has no butter in it, can it still be called butter chicken? I hope so, because “spiced cream chicken” sounds a little iffy, although that’s closer to the truth in this version of the popular Indian dish. Butter chicken (also known as murgh makhani) is what I imagine Indian comfort food must be like (along with rajma, of course) – it’s creamy, it’s filling, and it’s got a nice kick to it.
This recipe makes a fairly large amount of sauce, which is a definite plus, since this sauce is *awesome* and the leftovers can be repurposed in any number of ways. My suggestions? Try it cold as a veggie dip, a spread for sandwiches, or a dipping sauce for some naan. Mmm…naan…I’ve always meant to try making my own naan, but then it’s always sitting there so conveniently at Trader Joe’s that I just haven’t gotten around to it. Have you ever tried making naan? If you have, I’d love to hear what your favorite recipe is! Anyway, as far as cooking goes, this butter chicken with cauliflower and peas is a quite simple meal, but flavor-wise, it’s rich and complex and sure to please!
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cups uncooked rice (I use a mix of brown and white rice)
- 2 cups peas
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute (it will get a bit sticky, so stir constantly!). Add the tomato paste, using a wooden spatula to spread it out in the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add all the spices, stirring to combine. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the water and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Place the chicken tenders in the skillet, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, until the meat is no longer pink. Once cool enough to touch, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- While the sauce is simmering and the chicken is cooking, prepare the cauliflower in whatever way you prefer: steaming, parboiling, etc.
- Serve the chicken, cauliflower, and peas over rice, and spoon sauce on top.
Heather @ Sweet Precision says
Yummy!! I love to order butter chicken when we’re out to eat but I’ve never thought about trying to make it on my own. And I certainly don’t think you need butter in the ingredients to use the same! Either way it looks delicious 🙂
Thanks! I’m probably biased, but I actually like this sauce more than most of the ones I’ve had in restaurants (and I liked those, too!), so I hope you get a chance to try it!
That looks delicious, your photos are fantastic!
Thanks so much 🙂
Erin | The Law Student's Wife says
Too much of this sauce sounds like the best “problem” ever!
Haha yes, definitely! Leftovers are a wonderful, wonderful thing 🙂
Chris @ Shared Appetite says
Oh this dish is beautiful! I’ve been hearing about butter chicken a few times lately… I think that’s my sign that I need to try this recipe out!
Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try it – I’ve made butter chicken for my family and for a bunch of my friends and they all loved it!
Laura Davidson (@BlogOverThyme) says
Butter chicken is one of my favorite things EVER. This looks so good!!
Oh, me too! It was an awesome day when I realized I could easily make it at home 🙂
This looks so delicious! Great photos, too!
Thanks! It’s one of our favorites 🙂
Wow! what a great recipe, love everything about it!!
Butter chicken is one of my favourites, and I always ask for extra sauce when I order it out! If I ever have leftovers (which is rare), I like turning them into pizza: naan for the crust, butter chicken sauce, some chopped veggies and some cheese and bake it in the oven. So good. Great recipe!
Oh wow, butter chicken pizza sounds like a great idea! I’ll definitely have to try that – thanks for the suggestion 🙂
When I studied abroad in London, butter chicken was my favorite but I haven’t had it since!! Need to try this homemade version for sure!
Well, I hope you get a chance to try it, and that it takes you on a lovely trip down memory lane! 🙂