Indian food is honestly one of my favorite takeout foods. I’d never tried it until I married Thomas! We didn’t eat very adventurous food growing up, and that’s something I want to do for our kids. Thomas grew up eating Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, etc. and he has the broadest pallet when it comes to food, plus he’ll try anything! His sisters are the same way, so I love that about their family. Bringing in different cuisines to our home feels so special too, to get to taste and try different flavors of the world and teach that to our kids!
We are already huge fans of Palak Paneer (our go-to order when we eat out & I have our recipe posted here)! Thomas thought it’d be fun to try out a different Indian dish. Sometimes when I have this one in an Indian restaurant it feels so sweet. Thomas skipped the sweet part and it came out AMAZING. We hit a few bumps along the road, and learned from that. Plus we got some tips from some of you on Instagram (thank you)! This recipe seems complicated, but honestly it was so easy overall. We’ll definitely be making it again soon!
The other thing with Indian food is that you may not have all the spices/ flavors that you’d typically use. You can always buy your spices in bulk (best way to save money) and buy a little at a time if you don’t want to commit to the spice yet. We make Indian a good bit now that we’ve accumulated most of the spices. The recipes we’ve found use a lot of the same ones anyway so once you have them you’re all good!
Okay, it’s time for the recipe! It’s yummy, comforting and just such a satisfying meal. Don’t forget to serve it over basmati with a side of garlic naan (Indian meals don’t feel right to me without the naan, haha). If you try it out, I want to know what you think! Tag me on Instagram in your story or photo or send me a picture! I always love hearing how our recipes turn out and your reviews!
For the Chicken:
-3 chicken breasts, chopped
-1 tsp red chili powder
-1 tsp sea salt
-1 tsp turmeric
-1 tsp coriander
-1 tbsp chopped ginger or paste
-4 cloves garlic, chopped or paste
-4 oz plain yogurt
-1 tbsp butter
For the Sauce:
-13.5 oz full fat canned coconut milk
-2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 whole red onion, chopped
-14.5oz can diced tomatoes
-2 tbsp butter
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp garam masala
-1 tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp coriander
-1/2 tsp turmeric
-1 bay leaf
Start by slicing the chicken breasts in half and chopping them into cubes. In a large bowl, add the chicken red chili powder, sea salt, turmeric, coriander, ginger, and garlic. Then add in the yogurt. Mix everything together well and let marinate for at least 20 minutes or overnight (the longer it marinates the softer the chicken with be, but it is just as delicious with the short marinade!)
Heat a large pan (we used a 12in cast iron), and heat 1 tbsp of butter. Add the chicken to pan and cook until browned and cooked through. We use a meat thermometer for everything, so make sure internal temperature is 165F degrees. Once it’s cooked, remove the chicken from the pan.
In the same pan cook the sauce. Add oil, either avocado or olive, and 1 tbsp butter. Then add the garlic, ginger and red onion and 1 bay leaf. Cook until the onion is soft and darker in color. Then add your spices and mix together well: salt, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and coriander. Next, add in your diced tomatoes, coconut milk and another tbsp of butter (it’s called butter chicken for a reason 🙂 ). Mix together and leave heat on medium high for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Blend the sauce with either a blender (this works the best!) or an immersion blender until all onions, ginger, and the tomatoes are crushed and sauce is pretty smooth.
Pour blended sauce through a fine strainer to ensure the sauce is super smooth and creamy. Push the sauce through to make sure you get every last bit of liquid! Reheat sauce on low heat and once warm add in the cooked chicken. Marry together and top with fresh cilantro. Serve with basmati rice and warm naan bread!