Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani in Hindi, is a rich and creamy dish originating from the Indian subcontinent. It features tender chunks of chicken marinated in a blend of yogurt and spices, then cooked to perfection in a buttery tomato-based sauce.

The sauce, which is the hallmark of the dish, is made from tomatoes, garlic, and various spices such as garam masala, cumin, and coriander, all simmered together with cream or yogurt to create a luxuriously smooth and flavorful curry.

This dish is beloved worldwide for its mild yet deeply aromatic flavors and its ability to be paired perfectly with naan bread or basmati rice, making it a comforting and satisfying meal.

What is butter chicken sauce made of?

Butter chicken sauce is a symphony of flavors, primarily composed of tomatoes, garlic, and a rich blend of spices including garam masala, cumin, and coriander. These ingredients are gently simmered to meld their distinct tastes into a harmonious sauce.

A generous amount of butter is introduced to the mix, lending the sauce its signature velvety texture and rich flavor. Finally, cream or yogurt is stirred in, adding a luxurious creaminess and slightly tangy taste that balances the spice and enriches the sauce’s body.

This combination results in a decadently smooth curry that envelops the tender chicken pieces in a cloak of aromatic and comforting warmth.

Is butter chicken spicy or sweet?

Butter chicken strikes a unique balance between being mildly spicy and subtly sweet, making it an appealing dish to a wide range of palates. The spices, such as garam masala, cumin, and coriander, contribute a warm, aromatic complexity that is not overwhelmingly hot, allowing the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and cream to shine through.

This interplay of flavors ensures that butter chicken offers a comforting warmth without the sharp heat found in other curry dishes. Its gentle spice level, combined with the creaminess of the sauce, creates a taste profile that is both rich and inviting, with a hint of sweetness rounding out the experience.

What do they call butter chicken in England?

In England, butter chicken is often referred to as “chicken tikka masala.” This dish shares similarities with the traditional butter chicken, featuring tender pieces of chicken enveloped in a creamy, spice-infused tomato sauce.

Chicken tikka masala has become a beloved staple in British Indian cuisine, celebrated for its delicious blend of flavors and its comforting, slightly spicy taste. The distinction between the two dishes can sometimes blur, as both involve marinated chicken in a creamy tomato-based sauce, but chicken tikka masala often has a slightly thicker sauce and may include grilled chicken pieces, known as “tikka,” adding a subtle smoky flavor to the dish.

How is butter chicken different from curry?

Butter chicken stands out from other curry dishes primarily due to its specific preparation method and the unique blend of spices used. Unlike many curries that might boast more aggressive heat and a complex amalgamation of spices, butter chicken tends toward a milder flavor profile. It is characterized by its rich, creamy sauce made from butter, cream, and tomatoes, which offers a luxurious texture and a gentle heat that appeals to a broader audience.

The specificity of its spice blend, including garam masala, cumin, and coriander, offers warmth without the intensity found in other curry variations. Furthermore, the method of cooking the chicken — typically marinated and then cooked in a tandoor before being added to the sauce — imparts a distinctively smoky flavor that is less common in other types of curry.

This nuanced combination of flavor, texture, and preparation distinguishes butter chicken as a notably different culinary experience from other curry-based dishes.

Slow cooking Vs Stove Top

The cooking method chosen can significantly influence the flavor and texture of dishes, particularly when comparing slow cooking to traditional stovetop cooking, or cooking “on the hob.” Slow cooking, often done with a crockpot or slow cooker, allows ingredients to simmer at a lower temperature for an extended period.

This method is particularly effective for tougher cuts of meat, which become tender and succulent over the long cooking process, allowing flavors to meld together in a rich and deep manner. On the other hand, cooking on the hob offers a quicker, more hands-on approach, suitable for dishes that require sautéing, boiling, or searing. It allows for greater control over the cooking temperature and timing, ideal for recipes needing specific textures or for ingredients that cook at different rates.

Each method has its unique benefits, with slow cooking enhancing depth and complexity of flavors over time, while hob cooking provides immediacy and versatility, allowing chefs to adjust and adapt as the dish progresses.

See our Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe Here

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 200g Yogurt 2 Onions
  • 1 Tablespoon of Garam Masala
  • 1 Tablespoon of Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoon of Curry Powder (hot/mild) Chicken Stock Pot
  • 40g Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger Puree
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Puree