Butter Chicken Paste

Butter Chicken…. or as it is known in India, Murgh Makhani.


Lets first disavow the story that this was created in the UK, It was not, It is a dish whose origins can be traced back to the Punjab region of India and has been cooked there for one hundred and fifty years. The dish that everyone confuses this with is Chicken Tika Masala which was created in the UK, it is similar, but not the same.

Butter Chicken is a rich dish, the name itself suggests this, but it is so simple and requires very little skill, specially since we have just created the paste you need to anchor the dish.

The origins of butter chicken is traced back to the introduction of Tomato into India and this is said to be about 1850. Tomato now plays a vital part in many Indian dishes.

The method is simple, but should you want to complicate things, then that to can be done.

500 grams of chicken pieces (bone in or bone out, skin on or skin off is your choice, but if you choose bone in, make the total weight 750 grams) cut into bite size pieces.

Should you wish to be very authentic, then two hours before you intend to cook, place the chicken pieces in a bowl and add a spoonful of yoghurt, massage through and allow to stand (unless the day is super hot, I see no need to refrigerate, but you decide, I have an aversion to cooking cold meats).

In a pan that can be used right through the dish, it does not have to go in the oven, and place on a medium heat, add a splash of peanut oil, once heated add the chicken pieces and start to cook, they need to be cooked until they are 85 – 90 % cooked, so keep turning them. Remove the chicken from the pan and put aside.

Pour a little of the oil from the pan and add half a bottle  (125 grams) of the Peter Watson Butter Chicken Paste and stir over the medium heat, add then 1 cup of cream and continue to cook, scraping up the little brown bits that have been left from the frying of the chicken, they are all about flavour. Continue to cook until the sauce is well amalgamated and a has thickened.

(Option… you can use all cream or half cream half yoghurt, it is your choice. Do not be tempted to use other milks such as coconut cream, it will completely change the dish.)

Return the chicken to the sauce and still on a low heat, allow the chicken to cook in the sauce for a further 8 – 10 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.

Add then the juice of half a lemon, a scattering of parsley or cilantro and serve with either rice, or a flat Indian bread.


Come along on the 25th August for the new factory Christening day 10 am to 2 pm and we will give you a taste.

Peter Watson

23 Robert Street

Collingwood 3066

Telephone 61 3 94170209

~ by peterwatson on August 1, 2012.

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