Butter chicken is undoubtedly the most-ordered dish in any Indian restaurant; hence I present my restaurant style butter chicken recipe for you to create the same magic at home!
If you are as avid fan of restaurant style butter chicken as I am, then I am sure you will thank yourself for landing at this page! You will love to witness how easy it is to recreate the same magical restaurant style butter chicken at your very own home and you can devour as much as you can guilt-free as home-cooked food is way healthier than any restaurant no matter how elite it is! You will know that your chicken is fresh and you are using the best of all ingredients! Hence this restaurant style butter chicken is definitely the very next dish for you to make!
If you are a butter chicken lover as well as a weight-watcher, then you must be frowning at the butter quotient of this recipe! I agree that butter chicken is not an everyday dish. It ought to be reserved for special occasions. And because I intended to make restaurant style butter chicken, I have kept the amount of butter a little higher than usual, as butter is the primary flavor of this restaurant style butter chicken. Butter is what makes this dish look so glossy and crave-worthy! Hence you can bookmark this restaurant style butter chicken recipe for your cheat day!
Honestly, I am not a food critic; but I must admit that I haven’t been successful to discover that perfect butter chicken in any restaurant yet. Either it is too sweet or too gloopy. That perfect balance of sweetness & pungency was not hitting the right chord for me which is the very reason I thought to derive my own restaurant style butter chicken recipe. After few trials, I arrived at my favorite version of butter chicken till date. There are few tricks which you must follow to churn out that out-of-the-world version of restaurant style butter chicken.
The very first trick is to use chicken thigh meat instead of chicken breasts. Just take the skinless chicken thighs, de-bone them and cut each into 5 to 6 pieces. Chicken thighs have good fat content and they absorb flavor beautifully as opposed to chicken breasts which are mainly fatless fibers. The second trick is to simmer the chicken in the creamy tomato gravy for a significant amount of time so that the spices get enough time to melt into the gravy; otherwise it will feel grainy in the mouth and you will miss that silky-smooth texture of restaurant style butter chicken.
- Chicken thigh – 1 kg, boneless & skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Butter – 100 gms
- Mustard / vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Ginger-garlic paste – 3 tsp
- Onion – 1, pureed
- Whisked curd – ½ cup
- Coriander powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Cumin powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Red hot chili powder – 2 tsp
- Juice of 1 lime
- Ripe tomatoes – 10, large
- Cooking/Unsalted butter – 50 gms
- Mustard / vegetable oil – 2 tsp
- Ginger – 1 inch, chopped fine
- Green chilies – 2, chopped fine
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red hot chili powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Fresh cream – ⅓ cup
- Salt to taste
- Combine all the ingredients listed under marinade in a bowl. Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl and add the marinade to it. Rub the marinade well into the chicken so that the pieces are coated well all over. Cover with a cling film and marinate in the refrigerator for couple of hours.
- While the chicken in marinating, prepare the rich tomato gravy.
- Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, peel and de-seed them and puree the flesh in a processor.
- Heat a skillet on medium heat and add both the butter and oil. Oil will prevent the butter from burning as it has a much higher smoking point.
- When the butter melts and the foam subside a little, add the chopped ginger and green chilies and sauté for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Make sure they do not burn.
- Add the spice powders listed under the tomato gravy and a splash of water. Sauté them till they are richly colored and oil starts separating from them.
- Now add the fresh tomato puree and stir well to mix with the spices. Simmer on low heat till the sauce is thick and has a rich, deep red color and the raw smell is gone.
- Add sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Season with salt to taste. Simmer for couple of minutes more and then turn off the heat and set it aside to mature.
- Remove the marinated chicken from refrigerator and bring them to room temperature (this step is important; so make sure to have the chicken at room temperature before starting to cook). Season with salt and mix well.
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet and add oil and the butter.
- Once the butter is hot, add few chicken pieces at a time and sear them on high heat till they have a rich caramelized crust on them and are slightly charred. Do not over-crowd the pan with too many chicken at a time.
- When all the chicken pieces are fried, return all the seared chicken pieces to the pan and fry them all together. Add sugar, lemon juice and any leftover chicken marinade. Continue to fry the chicken, till it is almost fully cooked.
- Add the spicy tomato gravy to the chicken and de-glaze the pan to lift up the sticky pan deposits which has got a lot of flavor and takes your dish to a whole new level.
- Add the cream and about 1 cup of water and stir thoroughly to combine. Check and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Bring it to boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. This step is important as I have mentioned above.
- After about 20-25 minutes, uncover the pan. Check the consistency of the gravy. If it’s too watery, you can boil off some excess water. Once the gravy reaches your desired consistency, switch off the flame.
- Sprinkle some coriander leaves, add a knob of butter and enjoy this restaurant style butter chicken with naan or tandoori roti.