Easy Butter Chicken

I’m so behind my Community Kitchen posts due to the done time.

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors celebrated the Vasakhi in the month of April by making an Indian Feast. Vasakhi (or Vaisakhi) is an ancient harvest festival in Punjab. It also marks the beginning of a new solar year, and new harvest season.

Joyce and Sydney partnered again to make this Easy Butter Chicken.


Charlene prepared a menu of Indian feast which consist of Butter Chicken, Roti, Okra Sabzi and a Samosa style Potatoes and Peas side dish. It was a wonderful meal.


Stella decorated the dining table with the colours of the India flag. The setting adds festivities to the Vasakhi festival. Even the flowers are of the same colour, how thoughtful.


The South Arm Cooking Club for seniors also had another thing to celebrate on that day.  They had a few minutes of fame on TV as the senior’s kitchen was filmed and interviewed by the Shaw crews.  The seniors kitchen was featured on the Shaw program ”Express’ on the weekend of May 1.  Unfortunately, I could not get a copy of the program to show it here.

This recipe is adapted from Allrecipes.com and Tahera Rawji and it serves 6.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup plan yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayene pepper


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts, ground in a food processor (optional)


Here is an excerpt from ‘The Spice of Life’ on cumin shared by Stella:

Cumin is the seed of a small plant related to parsley but found in hot climates, especially North Africa, India and the Americas.  The seeds are boat-shaped and resemble caraway seeds, but are lighter in colour and have tiny bristles.  They should be roasted before being ground, but can then be used to spice up a whole range of dishes including curries, stews and rills.  Cumin is very commonly used in Mexican, Spanish, Indian or Middle Eastern cooking.  A word of warning, however, go easy on cumin as half a teaspoon is ample for a family of four.

Cumin has long been believed to help people suffering from disorders of the digestive tract including heartburn, nausea and diarrhea, probably due to its stimulating the production of pancreatic enzymes.  Cumin is also believed to have important anti-cancer properties, due to its ability to neutralize cancer-causing “free-radicals” and by enhancing the liver’s detoxification enzymes.


butterchicken-4-300x200Rinse the chicken in cold water, pat dry with paper towels, cut into bite-sized pieces. Add yogurt, salt, garam masala and cayenne pepper.
butterchicken-5-300x200Mix the marinate ingredients with the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients, i.e. chopping onion, garlic and ginger.
butterchicken-6-300x200Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir-fry onion with salt until soft and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
butterchicken-1-200x300Combine garlic, ginger, chili powder, cumin, coriander, bay leaf and lemon juice in a small bowl.
butterchicken-7-300x200Add the above spices to the onion, cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
butterchicken-8-300x200Add crushed tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened.
butterchicken-9-300x200Add chicken, including the marinade, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender and the sauce is almost dry, about 15 minutes.

Add half-and-half and ground cashew nuts, then simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Butter chicken is best served with steamed rice or naan or roti.

Joyce and Sydney, thank you for making this saucy Butter Chicken.

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  1. Chris

    Made this for dinner tonite…totally awesome! Kids were impressed too. Better than the President’s Choice sauce. Thanks so much for the recipe.

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