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In Mumbai, we learn to ditch the dairy for a creamier chicken
Milk Street Bowtie Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

1 hour 25 minutes 45 minutes active, plus marinating

Butter Chicken

Free

In our take on the butter chicken we had in Mumbai, boneless chicken thighs are briefly marinated in yogurt and spices, then broiled until lightly charred. We make a separate sauce into which the chicken then is stirred. In many recipes for butter chicken, copious amounts of butter and heavy cream supply richness, but we do as we were taught in India and use cashews pureed with a small amount of water until smooth. The nut puree adds creaminess without making the dish heavy. Serve this with steamed basmati rice for soaking up the sauce.

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons garam masala, divided
2 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut crosswise into 3 strips
1 cup roasted salted cashews
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 2 pieces, divided
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Ingredients
  • 1

    cup plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2

    tablespoons honey

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • ½

    teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 4

    tablespoons garam masala, divided

  • 2

    tablespoons ground cumin, divided

  • 2

    tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut crosswise into 3 strips

  • 1

    cup roasted salted cashews

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 2 pieces, divided

  • 1

    large yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 6

    medium garlic cloves, finely grated

  • 28

    ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • ¼

    cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2

    tablespoons lime juice

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, paprika, cayenne, 3 tablespoons garam masala, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon ginger and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the chicken and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 1 hour.
    See Demo
    butter-chicken-step-1
  2. 02
    Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the broiler element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, set a wire rack in the baking sheet and mist it with cooking spray. In a blender, puree the cashews with ¾ cup water until smooth, about 1 minute; set aside.
    See Demo
    butter-chicken-step-2
  3. 03
    In a large Dutch oven over medium, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and the garlic, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon garam masala and the remaining 1 tablespoon cumin. Add the cashew puree and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and 2 cups water, scraping up any browned bits. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick enough to heavily coat a spoon, 12 to14 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
    See Demo
    butter-chicken-step-3
  4. 04
    Arrange the chicken with its marinade still clinging to it in an even layer on the prepared rack. Broil until well browned and lightly charred on both sides, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the pieces once about halfway through. Transfer to the sauce, bring to a simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the cilantro and lime juice, then let stand for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
    See Demo
    butter-chicken-step-4
Tip: Don't scrape the marinade off the chicken before broiling. The yogurt and honey help the chicken brown and char under the broiler.
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Comments
  • DANIEL K.

    My oven has 3 setting for the broiler (high, medium and low). Your recommendation for the broiler setting? Thanks.

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • Jennifer B.

    Didn't really taste like butter chicken I've had at Indian restaurants but not bad.

    0 votes
    0 comments
Down arrow

Butter Chicken

Get Ready to Cook

4-6

Servings

1 hour 25 minutes

45 minutes active, plus marinating

Tip

Don't scrape the marinade off the chicken before broiling. The yogurt and honey help the chicken brown and char under the broiler.

Ingredients
  • 1

    cup plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2

    tablespoons honey

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • ½

    teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 4

    tablespoons garam masala, divided

  • 2

    tablespoons ground cumin, divided

  • 2

    tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut crosswise into 3 strips

  • 1

    cup roasted salted cashews

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 2 pieces, divided

  • 1

    large yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 6

    medium garlic cloves, finely grated

  • 28

    ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • ¼

    cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2

    tablespoons lime juice

Step 1 of 4

Marinate Chicken

1
cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2
tablespoons honey
1
tablespoon sweet paprika
½
teaspoon cayenne pepper
3
tablespoons garam masala
1
tablespoon ground cumin
1
tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2
teaspoons kosher salt
pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut crosswise into 3 strips

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, paprika, cayenne, 3 tablespoons garam masala, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon ginger and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the chicken and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

Step 2 of 4

Puree Cashews

1
cup roasted salted cashews

Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the broiler element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, set a wire rack in the baking sheet and mist it with cooking spray. In a blender, puree the cashews with ¾ cup water until smooth, about 1 minute; set aside.

Step 3 of 4

Combine Ingredients In Dutch Oven

4
tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1
large yellow onion, finely chopped
1
tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
6
medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1
tablespoon garam masala
1
tablespoon ground cumin
28
ounce can crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a large Dutch oven over medium, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and the garlic, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon garam masala and the remaining 1 tablespoon cumin. Add the cashew puree and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to brown, about 3 minutes.


Stir in the tomatoes and 2 cups water, scraping up any browned bits. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine.


Reduce to medium and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick enough to heavily coat a spoon, 12 to14 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Step 4 of 4

Add Chicken

¼
cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2
tablespoons lime juice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Arrange the chicken with its marinade still clinging to it in an even layer on the prepared rack. Broil until well browned and lightly charred on both sides, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the pieces once about halfway through.


Transfer to the sauce, bring to a simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the cilantro and lime juice, then let stand for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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Butter Chicken

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