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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

"Almost Perfect" Butter Chicken

My family and I absolutely loves Butter Chicken!  Whenever I am back to Auckland for visit, Butter Chicken is a must for me to indulge into.

I have in fact cooked few versions/recipes of Butter Chicken but non of those are of the similar taste that I have tasted to that "Shamiana"or "Masala" restaurant Butter Chicken.  Either it was too tangy in the sauce or it doesn't have that herbs in taste.

I have almost 5 or 6 recipes I have bookmarked previously but wasn't ready to try it out.  Yes, I did alot of google searching, even go to the extend of studying one recipe comparing with another what herbs and spices to go into it.  Until one day I searched in the youtube and saw this video and it just clicked to me that this is just the right one.  

Well, one of the ingredients is "dry fenugreek leaves" which I have doubted whether I can find it here.  I tried searching at the local hypermarkets here and no... they don't have it.   Going to the Indian grocery spice shops  one shop after another and no....they don't have.  So, I thought maybe I go ask at the wet market to see whether they have the fresh fenugreek leaves (daun halba).  Oh no...they don't have too and some they don't even know what I am talking about.  And one young Indian lady just shove me the curry leaves instead!

Well, one of the weekend, I went to the city looking for it at the Indian shops again.  I went straight to the worker and asked "Do you have kasuri methi?"  He just went to one of the corner and gives me a pack of it.  You wouldn't believe it as I wanted to jump up high with joy when I finally found what I want!!

Cooking Indian food is not my forte, but butter chicken is my favourite so I will try and try and try to achieve that butter chicken taste that I had wanted;  just like "Shamiana" butter chicken!

Recipe inspired from Vahrehvah with changes

500g boneless & skinless chicken thigh, cut into long strips
1 sprig coriander leaves
50g butter
80ml cream (cooking cream or heavy cream or whipping cream)
1 tsp tomato ketchup (optional)

1 tsp ginger garlic paste 
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp salt 

2 tbsp oil
1 medium size onion
400g tomato
1 green chilli
6 pieces cashew nuts
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp dry fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi), lightly crushed
1/4 - 1/3 cup water
2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste


Marinade the chicken pieces with the marinade ingredients for 30 minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat the pan with the oil and lightly pan fry the chicken 10 minutes till fragrant.  Dish out the chicken pieces and set aside.

In the remaining oil in the frying pan, add in the cumin seeds, onion, ginger garlic paste, and some water in.  Give it a stir for a minute then add in the coriander powder, cashew nuts, chilli powder, fenugreek leaves. green chilli, and lastly the tomatoes.  Stir to combined all up and cover with a lid.  Cook for about 10 minutes till tomatoes are soften.

Remove from heat and let it cool slightly before pouring it into the blender.  Blend till all mashed up.

In a clean frying pan, add in the butter, pour in the juice from the chicken pieces, and the tomato puree mixture (I strained the tomato mixture before pouring into the pan), add in some water in,  salt to taste (I add about 1 tsp) and the sugar.  Let the sauce comes to a boil and add in the tomato ketchup (optional), 1/2 cup cream and stir to combine the sauce up.  Lastly add in the chicken pieces and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Dish up and serves with steamed rice or naan bread.

Do watch his video

*  The Butter chicken has the mild sweet in taste.
*  Those butter chicken serving in the restaurant/hotel has more vibrant in orangy colour as 
    they add artificial colouring in it. 

This is the dry fenugreek leaves ("Kasuri Methi")

Should anyone of you needed some of this dry fenugreek leaves, email me and I will send some to you.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest - Indian Subcontinent hosted by  


  1. Mel, I tasted Butter Chicken for the first time when my auntie cooked it for me. It was delicious! Then later I tried it at a restaurant but I did not like the taste. Yours looks good and you went through a lot of trouble to look for kasuri methi. I am sure it was well worth it. I wish that I could taste your Butter Chicken!

  2. Oooooo.....This is so tempting, love the rich and thicky sauce very much too:)

  3. This is kind of comfort curry, must be go very well with white rice.

  4. Thanks for the offer, but I really don't need the kasuri methi.. can you send a plate of butter chicken instead? ^^

    1. Hahahahhah.......I definitely will send one plate right up if we are nearby!

  5. Me too! Is butter chicken commonly seen in Malaysia coz if I eat in the food court in Sydney, sometimes I will go to order butter chicken. In fact, both my children also like this dish & tell me:"Mummy, I want to eat the red chicken," hahaha

    1. No, butter chicken is not commonly available in Msia; if only they were then I wont have to cook this at home. Yeah, I know butter chicken is more well known in Australia and NZ. I really loves butter chicken.

  6. Hi Mel, Your butter chicken looks very delicious! I think I can get this fenugreek leaves here in Little India market. Would like to try to cook this for sure. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Cooking is definitely not my forte but this so appeals to me... How I wished u were my neighbor.. I will go "dinner on u, desserts on me"

  8. So, this is an Indian version of butter chicken, when i saw the title i thought you were referring to the Chinese style butter chicken. I learned something new :)) I would drown the rice with the creamy sauce!

  9. YUMMY! I love butter chicken and yours look very delicious, Mel! I need to go to Indian market to check fenugreek leaves. I heard about them many times, yet I haven't hunt down.... I'd love to make this so it's a must item on my shop list now. I will make a lot and eat next day... must be even yummier!

  10. Wow! Every curry dish seems to be even more tempting than the next one, yours looks so thick and creamy, I can imagine mopping up the sauce with pieces of naan or chapatti:D

  11. Hi Mel, wow ! All the way to find and get kasuri methi ... bet that you had enjoyed this yummy Butter Chicken to the fullest with great satisfaction ^-^.

  12. You are tempting my appetite with this yummy Butter Chicken. I love any dish with thick flavourful gravy.

  13. Hi Mel, WOW! This dish is soo appetizing , my kind of comfort food . Love to try out your recipe as I've never had Butter Chicken before . But 1st I've to get the dry fenugreek leaves . Another treasure hunting mission! LOL Thanks for sharing this recipe . ;)