If you enjoy your chicken cooked in a flavorful tomato gravy with Indian spices, then you have to try this simple but tasty chicken butter masala recipe.
What is in this chicken butter masala recipe
For the tomato gravy, you will need:
- cashew nuts
For the chicken, you will need:
- chicken pieces
- Caribbean green seasoning with chadon beni, cilantro, garlic, ginger, pepper
- whole geera or cumin seeds
- bay leaf
- chili powder
- garam masala (get it on Amazon)
- cooking cream
- cilantro leaves (we call it celery in T&T)
I used boneless, skinless chicken breast for this recipe, but you can use bone-in chicken pieces here.
Authentic chicken butter masala calls for the chicken to be seasoned with yogurt, ginger, garlic, garam masala and pepper before being grilled.
This recipe is very different in its chicken preparation. I used Caribbean green seasoning and simply sautéed until cooked instead of grilling. So, this isn’t an authentic Indian recipe; but rather an adaptation.
How to make chicken butter masala
The chicken and tomato gravy are cooked separately before bringing them together to create this delicious side dish. Here’s what I did to make this recipe.
Season the chicken
Clean the chicken thoroughly; wash with flour and lime and mix in your favorite seasonings. I used my homemade Caribbean green seasoning which had chadon beni leaves, garlic, ginger, fresh hot pepper, and thyme. You can use any variation of the seasoning you like.
Place in the fridge to marinate anywhere from two hours to overnight.
Make the masala gravy
To a small pot on low heat, add chopped onions, garlic, ginger; cashew nuts, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
Next, add in tomatoes and water.
Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes on very low heat. Check the pot periodically to make sure the water hasn’t boiled off. If the water is low, add another quarter cup of water.
After 20 minutes, set aside to cool. Once cooled, add to your blender and puree until smooth. Everything from the cashews to the cinnamon stick will turn into a thick, smooth paste.
Set aside or store in the fridge until you are ready for the gravy.
Tip: Batch make the puree and freeze it. Doing this will cut down on the prep and cook time for this recipe. You can also use other ingredients like cauliflower and mushrooms to make vegetarian spin-offs of this butter masala recipe.
Cook the chicken
Once the chicken is well marinated, place a small saucepan on medium heat with a little butter. Toss in the chicken. Stir occasionally as the chicken releases its own natural liquid. Once the liquid has boiled off and the chicken develops a light sear, remove from the heat and set aside.
Here I cubed the chicken breast before cooking.
Fry the spices
Add butter to a large skillet on medium heat. Add whole cumin seeds (whole geera) and allow to toast for half a minute.
Next, add in the bay leaf and chili powder. Feel free to boost the amount of chili to spice up your dish. Cook for another half a minute.
Bring everything together
Pour in the blended tomato puree to the toasted spices. Cover completely and allow to cook for two minutes.
Once the puree begins to boil, add in the chicken. Mix to coat the chicken completely. Add water to prevent the puree from burning if necessary.
Next, add in the masala powder, salt, and sugar. Cook for another two minutes.
Finally, mix in the cream and cook for another two minutes. Stir in the cilantro leaves or use the leaves to garnish.
Serve this chicken butter masala hot with garlic butter naan and other Indian gravies.
Chicken butter masala recipe
Simple Chicken Butter Masala Recipe
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 1 inch ginger (sliced)
- ¼ cup cashew nuts
- 3 large tomatoes (chopped, without seeds)
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 3 cardamom
- 1 cup water
- 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, cleaned)
- 1 tbsp Caribbean green seasoning with chadon beni, cilantro, garlic, ginger, pepper
- 1½ tbsp butter
- ½ tsp whole cumin (geera) seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cooking cream
- ½ cup water
- 1 – 2 tbsp cilantro leaves to garnish
- Clean chicken thoroughly, removing fat and unwanted bits.
- Wash the chicken with flour and lime.
- Add Caribbean green seasoning and pepper.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight to marinate.
- Once marinated, cut the chicken into cubes.
- Place a skillet on medium heat.
- Add ½ tbsp of butter.
- Toss in the chicken.
- Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Allow the chicken to release its natural liquid.
- When this liquid has boiled off, let the chicken pieces develop a sear before removing from the heat.
- Set aside.
- Place a small pot on low heat.
- Add all the tomato gravy ingredients: onions, garlic, ginger, cashew nuts, deseeded tomatoes, cinnamon, clove, cardamom and water.
- Cover completely and cook for 20 minutes.
- Stir occasionally. If the water is too low, add water, a quarter cup at a time.
- After 20 minutes, remove from heat.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Add to blender and puree.
- Set aside.
Chicken butter masala
- Place a large skillet on medium heat.
- Add 1 tbsp butter and allow to heat up.
- Toss in whole cumin seeds.
- Toast for 30 seconds.
- Add bay leaf and chili powder.
- Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour the blended tomato gravy.
- Mix and cover completely.
- Allow to come to a boil for 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken.
- Mix to coat completely.
- Add water, masala powder, salt and sugar.
- Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in cream and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot.