I’ll be honest here, I have been holding off on sharing my rendition of butter chicken for three reasons. 1) I know it’s not super authentic but that’s the miracle of cooking at home!! 2) my mom gave me the original bones from this recipe from a 1998 Chatelaine magazine so I know it’s a diamond in the rough, and 3) it’s just too dang good of a recipe that I wanted to be greedy and not share, like I said, I’ll be honest!
But the natural gravitational pull that demands humans to share great food with one another was too strong for this food enthusiast. This has been a consistently loved dish between my boyfriend and I ever since receiving the precious diamond recipe my mother uncovered in her hidden stash of “ancient” Chatelaine food magazines — I can attest that they were popular for good measure back then!
- 1 – 2 tsp of canola oil
- S + P
- 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1inch pieces
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
- 2 tsp of garam masala
- 1 tsp of ground coriander
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 2 tsp of paprika
- 680ml bottle of tomato passata
- 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream OR full fat coconut milk will also work
- 1/3 cup of creamy nut butter
(this is where WOWbutter becomes my saving grace!! the original recipe calls for almond butter but soya butter, in my only opinion, does a phenomenal job of adding a truly deep nuttiness to the tomato sauce and I can’t get over it. every. single. time.
- chopped cilantro and naan bread for serving!
In a large skillet with a lid, preheat your pan on medium heat. Add your oil and chicken and cook until the chicken turns slightly browned and there is no pink on the inside. Season the chicken with salt and pepper while cooking. Transfer the cooked chicken and any remaining fat/oil to a bowl and set to the side.
Next, if there is no residual oil in the pan, add another teaspoon. Add your white onion and cook till soft and translucent, followed by the garlic and fresh ginger and fry in the oil for 2-3 minutes. Return your chicken and any juices from the bowl back into the main skillet. Next add your spices and incorporate into the mixture evenly — spices will bloom in hot oil so be sure to allow them to cook out for at least a minute.
Next, add the tomato passata to the pan and scrape up and stir any brown bits from the bottom of the pan also. [Those are flavour bombs and we do not waste them!!] Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes on low until slightly thickened.
Once done simmering, stir in the nut butter of your choice. This is my favourite part about the whole recipe because it truly transforms the flavour immediately and tastes like nothing I’ve ever had before. Plus, I love that I have WOWbutter as a nut butter alternative because I don’t think this recipe would even be as remotely tasty without it.
Next, add the heavy whipping cream and stir into the sauce also. Season at this point — does it need any salt or pepper? Allow the sauce to simmer for an additional 5 minutes before serving. Cilantro on butter chicken and naan bread for soaking up any extra sauce are two musts in my house if I’m serving this meal.
Great for leftovers, great for lunch, great for enjoying on chilly autumn nights!
As always, peace and good eats.