Tuesday, 14 October 2008


This is one of my favourite Indian dishes but I am not sure if it is authentic butter chicken. Since I have started blogging and checking out dishes that my Indian cyber friends have prepared, I have found that most of the recipes that I consider to be Indian, have had some Malay influence. As my friend SWEETBITES recently commented, it must be the fact that Malaysia is so cosmopolitan, that most of the food has also become cosmopolitan! So, I hope that I am not ‘insulting’ any of my Indian friends from the subcontinent by calling this dish INDIAN BUTTER CHICKEN. What I can say is (it is not my intention to brag here, or as they say in Malay, “masuk bakul angkat sendiri”) in my opinion, it tastes a heck site better than some good Indian restaurant that I have eaten in.

This is how I make my Indian Butter Chicken.


1kg chicken breast or boneless thigh fillets – cut into large cubes
125g roasted cashews
50g butter
1 tbsp ghee (optional) – if not using ghee, add an extra tbsp of butter
1 tbsp veg oil
2 medium onions – finely diced
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 to 2 cinnamon stick/s
1 Indian bay leaf* or normal bay leaf
2 tsp sweet paprika
425g can tomato puree*
125ml (1/2 cup)chicken stock – I mixed 1 tsp chicken stock powder with 125ml hot water
250ml (1 cup) thickened cream

Marinade – combine the following in a large bowl
125ml (1/2 cup) natural yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp turmeric
2 to 3 tsp garam masala
2 tsp chilli powder (lessen to 1 tsp if you don’t want it hot)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed


Add the marinade to the cubed chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Reserve half the cashews and place the remaining cashews in a food processor. Process until finely ground.

Heat the butter, ghee and oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf and cook for 2 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Reduce heat to low, add the chicken and marinade, paprika, tomato puree, ground cashew and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cream and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Garnish with cashews, chopped coriander and serve with rice.


Begin this recipe the day before. The longer you marinade the chicken, the nicer the dish! If you can’t wait, make sure that you leave the marinade for at least 2 to 3 hours.

You can find Indian bay leaf at Indian grocers in Canberra.

Use only tomato puree. Do not substitute with tomato paste or tomato sauce/ketchup.


Anonymous said...

Vg, this looks so rich and appetising. Love the owls.


VG said...

Thanks Grace. I think the owls are cute.

Retno Prihadana said...

Wouw, you need really a lot of spices. I bet it´s really delicious. I´ll rather use coconut milk instead of thickened cream :).

Shreya said...

very rich curry, new to your space, like it:-)

SweetBites said...

hi VG, ur butter chicken in the kadai looks so inviting. Can i come for dinner? don't worry, i'll bring some naan bread. lol... hve u been to Kashmir Restaurant in Penang? their butter chicken is quite nice; but not as tasty as yours.

VG said...

Hi Retno

Thanks for visiting. Yes, there are plenty of spices but all ready made, so not much hassle. I have never tried with coconut milk before. maybe I should try and see how it goes. Thanks for the thought

VG said...

Thanks for visiting Shreya. Hope you come back soon. Loved the soup and ladoos on your site. I will surely be returning to your 'home'!

VG said...

Thanks Zarina. You can come over for dinner anytime! If you ever come to Oz, you must surely visit me, ya. And no need to bring any bread...I'll make you some.

Is Kashmir Restaurant stil around? Is it still in the basement of a hotel (can't remember the name)at the corner of Chulia and Penag Road? My brother used to work there whilst he was schooling in Penang (92 to 94). I am honoured that you think my chicken is better than theirs cos I used to love their food. Thanks again.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow curry looks awesome. Iam drooling over.

Kitchen Flavours said...

I tagged you Please click on the link to follow. Eggless Cheesy & Spicy CupCakes

VG said...


Don't drool too much...just come over any time dear for a meal; it would be my pleasure :)

Ohhh...my first tag. I'll put it up in the next day or so.

Salt N Turmeric said...

Vin, tht looks so sedap! i wont worry much abt the 'authenticacy' of the food as long as its not tht far off.

byk ingredients ek? nanti im gonna try this recipe.

VG said...

Hi Farina

Apa khabar? Hope all is good in your part of the world.

Ya, banyak ingredients tapi mostly dry ingredients so not that hard to prepare. Once you marinade the chicken, most of the work is done. I think it is really yum and lemak. let me know how you go.

Luv, Vin

hk said...

what would you call the indian bay leave in Malaysia,I will look for it in Indian shops ? Shouldn't it be cream n not coconut cream as it is a North Indian dish ? Kashihmir has a branch @ 6, 6A Jln Telawi, Bangsar Baru,KL. Been there once forgotten what I ate,lol Didn't know what is good there.

VG said...


Bay leaf is called 'Tej Patta' (patta meaning leaves) in Hindi and Daun Salam in Malay/Indonesia.

Yes, Hong, it should be cream and not coconut cream but it may be interesting to find out how it would taste with coconut cream. Just a thought!

The last time I was in Kashmir Restaurant was 15 years ago!