I'm not sure if my version is super authentic and I do have 2 methods (asterik'd at the bottom) of making this dish, but it's always received well by everyone and I think it tastes better than the butter chicken you get at some Indian restaurants. Some use ketchup or use too much tomato, so it tastes sweet, or they use way too much cream, so I feel like I'm eating milk over rice, and most of the time, the dish is dyed with red dye. Eew.
My usual version is a little less heavy on the cream and butter, but traditional butter chicken is made with plenty of both! As usual, feel free to adjust both to your liking, it doesn't affect the amount made really, just the richness (and fat content) of the dish.
People think it's a difficult dish, but it's not. It's pretty quick to put together and simple, but it definitely doesn't taste or present that way!
2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 packet tandoori masala (I used Shaan, no dyes)
1 cup yogurt
oil (whatever you like)
1 pat butter, or more if desired
1/2 large onion diced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbs garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbs garlic/ginger paste
2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream, or more if desired.
Cilantro, chopped (some for the curry, some for garnish)
Marinate the chicken chunks with masala, yogurt, salt and pepper. Let sit at the very least for 30 min, but longer the better!
In a pot, heat the oil, add the butter to melt. Cook onions with the cinnamon sticks until the onions are translucent and getting fried (don't brown). Add the tomato paste and let it caramelize, like a minute or two. Then add the garam masala, cinnamon, and garlic/ginger paste. Cook that with the onion/tomato paste mixture for a couple of minutes until you smell the spices.
Throw in the marinated chicken and I usually use the half cup of water to clean out the bowl to get the marinade out and put that in with the chicken also. Just like my mom does. Let that come to a simmer. Add the cream and let simmer and reduce until cooked. Add a little chopped cilantro and stir in. Feel free to add more water or cream if needed. You want the consistency of the curry to not be water-y, but creamy and rich looking. Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice and/or naan!
**The second way I make this dish, if I have the time, I bake the chicken pieces in the marinade at 350 in the oven until they are halfway cooked. Then I just throw that into the curry that's been made on the stove and let it all come together. You get more tender chicken this way, but that's only when I have extra time. It tastes just as awesome when the chicken is cooked with everything on the stove and it's less dishes :)**