Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken)

My oldest daughter turned 18 recently.  The only meal that my kiddos can request with any certainty that they will get it is their birthday meal. I don't cook to please them, I cook to please myself and whoever has hired me to cook.  I am glad to cater to them one day a year.
She knew she wanted Angel Food Cake.  Easy. (The age represented by the candles is : 1 candle = 10 years. The sum of the candles equivalence is subtracted by the number of candles on the cake to represent the birthday persons age.) The dinner, however, she kept changing.
First, she wanted fish and chips.  Then she wanted eggplant Parmesan.  Finally, the day before her birthday, she decided on Butter Chicken.  Yea!  We all love Indian style food.  Problem is, while you can get anything Italian here in Connecticut, it is difficult to find Indian spices and food.  This recipe turned out very nice, though.  I cooked it in the crock pot because we would be gone for most of the day.  She also invited a wonderful family to join us for dinner.  They approved. I doubled everything in the pictures.  The recipe should feed 6.  You don't have to cook it in the crock pot, but it sure is easy that way.
Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken)
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
juice of 1 lemon
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 Tablespoon curry paste (I found it in the Thai food spot)
2 teaspoons garam masala (I couldn't find it, so I made it. I included that recipe at the end of this one)
2 cups tomato puree
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt (I use Greek)
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Melt the butter and vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the onions.
Add the chicken and garlic.
Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the curry powder, curry paste, and garam masala.
Pour into a slow cooker, and stir in the remaining ingredients.
Cook on high 4 to 6 hours, or on low 6 to 8 hours.  Serve over basmati rice.
Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoon ground corriander
1 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Mix all the ingredients.  Store in an airtight container.


  1. Butter Chicken is one of my favorite Indian foods. This was just perfect. We had spicy curry potatoes as well as the spinach salad. Couldn't have a better dinner.

  2. Audrey, I have to tell you, this is my new absolute favorite meal! I've made it about four times since you posted it (including a double portion for the elders, who approved as well!). Today I eyeballed the spices for the first time. Fingers crossed it will turn out as delicious as usual.