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Butter Chicken

Updated: 3 days ago


Butter chicken, a name synonymous with rich, creamy curries, has become a staple in Indian restaurants worldwide. While its vibrant orange hue and decadent texture might suggest otherwise, its origins are surprisingly humble. This beloved dish is a testament to Indian culinary ingenuity, born from the desire to utilise leftover tandoori chicken.


A quick search reveals countless recipe variations online, with food blogs and vlogs dedicated to perfecting this dish. But let's face it, whipping up a complex curry from scratch isn't exactly on everyone's weeknight agenda. In fact, a recent survey found that 16% of New Zealanders eat meals from a pre-boxed supplier.


In the United Kingdom, where Indian cuisine enjoys immense popularity, Butter Chicken consistently ranks among the most popular takeaway curries. This creamy concoction has transcended borders, captivating taste buds across the globe.



The History of Butter Chicken


The exact origin story of Butter Chicken remains shrouded in some mystery. Some credit Kundan Lal Jaggi, a restaurateur in Delhi during the 1950s, with its invention. Legend has it that Jaggi sought to salvage leftover tandoori chicken by simmering it in a tomato-based gravy enriched with butter and cream.


The History of Butter Chicken

This ingenious creation, Butter Chicken, was born. Others believe the dish evolved from dishes like "Murgh Makhani" (butter chicken) which appeared in cookbooks as early as the 1930s.


Regardless of its precise origin, Butter Chicken's rise to fame can be attributed to its unique flavour profile. The dish strikes a beautiful balance between savoury and creamy, with a hint of sweetness from the tomatoes and a gentle warmth from the spices.


How to Make Your Butter Chicken Sing with Authentic Flavour


A good Indian curry paste is the foundation of your butter chicken's flavour empire. It's a concentrated blend of aromatics like coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chillis. These heroes, when expertly handled, release their potent aromas and oils, creating a flavour depth that leaves pre-made sauces trembling in their cartons.


How to Make Your Butter Chicken Sing with Authentic Flavour

Here's the thing: these spices are like shy singers. When they're just sitting around, they don't give their full potential. But when you roast them a little, it's like warming them up on stage. They release all their amazing aromas and oils, creating a deep, rich flavour that blows pre-made sauces out of the water.


The Success of Butter Chicken


Butter Chicken's adaptability is another key to its success. The base can be customised with various Indian curry pastes, each offering its own distinct blend of spices.


  • Kashmiri red chilli pepper-based paste might be used for a touch of smoky depth.

  • South Indian curry paste featuring curry leaves and coconut could be employed for a brighter, more citrusy flavour.


This versatility allows chefs and home cooks to personalise the dish, catering to individual preferences and regional influences. Butter Chicken holds a special place in Indian food culture. It represents the resourcefulness and creativity of nature in Indian cuisine, where simple ingredients are transformed into culinary masterpieces.


The Success of Butter Chicken

The dish transcends social barriers, enjoyed by families at home, celebrated during festive occasions, and savoured in casual dining settings. But what makes a truly phenomenal butter chicken? While the tender chicken and decadent sauce are crucial, there's one often-overlooked hero: the curry paste.


Why Indian Curry Paste Makes All the Difference



Life gets busy, and whipping up a complex Indian dish from scratch can feel daunting. That's where Indian curry paste comes in, offering a shortcut packed with flavour. These pre-blended pastes condense the essence of aromatic spices, saving you the time and mess of grinding whole spices.


Why Indian Curry Paste Makes All the Difference

With a jar of curry paste in your pantry, creating a restaurant-worthy butter chicken or a fragrant vegetable curry becomes a breeze. Simply saute some protein or vegetables, add the paste, coconut milk, and a touch of water, and simmer until fragrant. In less than 30 minutes, you'll have a delicious and authentic-tasting Indian meal on the table.


Pre-made pastes might seem convenient, but they're often like one-note singers: too sweet and lacking the balance of sweet, savoury, and spicy that makes butter chicken sing. For this reason, choosing a brand with fresh, high-quality ingredients becomes even more important.


Indian Curry Paste Makes All the Difference

Experience a curry paste like Sobhna's, acclaimed for its excellence and bursting with 100% natural goodness. Sobhna's pastes are all about capturing the authentic Indian flavour, recognized for their quality. Plus, they're vegan and keto-friendly, free from artificial colours, preservatives, refined sugar, MSG, palm oil, soy oil, or canola oil.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1: Is butter chicken spicy?

Traditionally, butter chicken isn't very spicy. The chillis used in the curry paste contribute some heat, but it's more about the rich and flavourful sauce. You can adjust the spice level to your preference by adding more chillis or chilli flakes.


Butter chicken is a versatile dish that caters to a range of spice preferences. So, whether you're a spice novice or a seasoned chilli enthusiast, there's a perfect butter chicken experience waiting for you!


2: What is Indian curry paste?

Indian curry paste is a bottled essence of Indian cuisine, waiting to be explored. With its diverse range of flavours and heat levels, it offers a convenient and delicious way to get on a culinary adventure through the vibrant world of Indian curries.


At the heart of every curry paste lies a carefully curated blend of roasted spices. This roasting process is key, as it unlocks a deeper and more aromatic essence from each spice. Curry paste isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Different regions in India boast their own unique spice combinations, resulting in a variety of pastes.


3: What can I serve with butter chicken?

Butter chicken, with its creamy tomato sauce and tender chicken pieces, is a crowd-pleasing dish. But what truly elevates it to a complete and satisfying meal is the perfect accompaniment. Here's a breakdown of some ideal partners for your butter chicken:


  • Basmati Rice: The most popular choice, basmati rice offers a light and fluffy counterpoint to the richness of the butter chicken sauce. Its fragrant aroma and long, slender grains pair beautifully with every bite.

  • Naan Bread: This leavened flatbread, cooked in a tandoor oven, adds a delightful textural contrast. You can tear off pieces of warm naan and use them to scoop up the flavorful sauce, making for a truly immersive dining experience.

  • Roti: A whole-wheat flatbread, roti is a healthier option compared to naan. It's slightly thicker and denser, providing a satisfying chew alongside the creamy sauce.


While the succulent chicken and velvety sauce are undoubtedly the stars of butter chicken, there's an often-overlooked hero behind the scenes: the Indian curry paste. This concentrated blend of aromatics acts as the foundation of flavour, unlocking a symphony of tastes that leaves pre-made sauces in the dust.


So ditch the one-note pre-made sauces and embrace the magic of Indian curry paste. With its versatility and ease of use, you can create restaurant-worthy butter chicken or explore a world of flavorful curries, all within the comfort of your own kitchen.


Butter chicken is a testament to Indian culinary ingenuity, a dish that transcends borders and brings people together. Now, with the help of a great curry paste like Sobhna’s, you can recreate this magic at home and experience the true symphony of flavours that makes butter chicken sing.


Experience the difference a high-quality curry paste can make! Discover a range of authentic Sobhna’s Indian Curry Paste (Mild, Medium, and Hot), bursting with 100% natural goodness.


You can also visit Sobhna’s website to browse its selection of quality products, exclusive recipe inspiration, spice blends, upcoming schedules of cooking classes, and a vibrant community of Indian food enthusiasts!


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