Butter Chicken

  • Servings
    4 servings

Great Tastes of Manitoba 2009-2010



1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
1 onion, sliced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic
14 oz (398 mL) can diced stewed tomatoes
2 cups (500 mL) whipping cream
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) salt


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder


Melt butter in medium sauce pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook slowly until the onion caramelizes to a dark brown – about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, cream, garam masala, chili powder, and salt.  Bring sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove pot from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth.* Return pot to heat.  Continue simmering over medium-low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While sauce is simmering, in a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and seasoning and brown until cooked. Remove from heat when done. When sauce is done simmering, add chicken to sauce and simmer another 5 minutes to warm chicken, stirring occasionally.  Serve over basmati rice.


Garam Masala: although this Indian blend of spices may not be familiar to your pantry, it is easy to find in most grocery stores next to your other spices and herbs.

*Sauce may also be pureed using a blender.  It is important to puree only 1 cup (250 ml) at a time to prevent the lid from blowing off. It is recommended that you remove the centre of the lid before placing it on the blender and then cover it with a dry towel and hold it down by hand. Use slowest speed.

For a lighter version: A cream such as half and half (10%) or coffee cream (18%) may be used instead of whipping cream.

For a vegetarian version: add Canadian Paneer instead of chicken. Cube Paneer and add to finished sauce and cook until heated through. Alternately, lightly pan fry cubed Paneer before adding it to the sauce.