Stovetop: Punjabi Masala Butter Chicken

August 09, 2022

Stovetop: Punjabi Masala Butter Chicken

Here's the stovetop version of my Butter Chicken that you've been craving. Why have I created another blog post for it? So that the changes are clear. The order in which you add the ingredients is different from my Instant Pot recipe and critical, with the chicken going in first in the ghee for a slight saute. I also like to test my recipes a few times before sharing them so that I can tweak the cook times. This was important in this recipe, where originally I had thought an 8-minute cook time was sufficient. It not only did not quite cook the chicken, it did not cook the sauce through. I hope you enjoy this recipe. For the Instant Pot version click here. And now I'm off to create the vegan version for you. Stay tuned for that! 


Stovetop Punjabi Masala Butter Chicken
Makes: 4 – 6 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (dairy or alternative) or ghee
1 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle *
1 black cardamom pod (no need to crush)
6 cloves, finely ground
1 cassia or 2 bay leaves
¼ cup almond flour **
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cubed
1 cup Indian As Apple Pie Punjabi Masala ***
2-4 Thai or serrano chiles, stems removed and thinly sliced or pureed
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons red chile powder or cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika (unsmoked)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted tomato paste
1 medium tomato, pureed
¼ cup water
½ cup half-and-half or heavy cream (dairy or alternative)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish

1. Heat a large, heavy saute pan (4 to 6 quarts) on your stovetop over medium-high heat. When hot, add the butter or ghee, green and black cardamom, cloves, and cassia or bay leaves. Stir and cook for 1 minute. 

2. Add the flour. Stir and cook for 40 seconds. You can also use 1/2 cup of ground blanched almonds, all-purpose flour, or quinoa flour instead. 

3. Add the chicken. Stir and cook for 1 minute. 

4. Add the punjabi masala, fresh chiles, garam masala, cumin, red chile powder, paprika, sugar, and salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute. 

5. Add the tomato paste, pureed tomato, and water. Stir and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Remember, you are not only cooking the chicken, you are also cooking the sauce. An indication that the sauce is ready is that the butter will start to separate slightly on the surface and the bubbles will become larger and slower to pop. 

6. Turn the heat off and let the dish rest for 2 minutes. Add the cream and the cilantro and stir. The cream holds up better once the dish cools slightlyRemove and discard the green cardamom husk, the black cardamom and cassia or bay leaves or leave them in for flavor and eat around them. All the other spices are edible. Serve with basmati rice or Indian bread like roti or naan

* I like to leave the husk in because it adds flavor - they are also safe to eat. 

** I like adding almonds to my butter chicken for a creamier sauce, and almond flour is an easier way to do this. If you avoid nuts, then just leave this out. You can also replace it with the same amount of all-purpose flour to add a little thickness to your dish or ½ cup blanched, sliced almonds ground first in a food processor until smooth.

*** Our Indian As Apple Pie curry starter Punjabi Masala makes this dish not only easy but gives you the Punjabi taste profile you've been craving and missing! The magic is in our sauce! Order a few jars today from our website or pick up a few jars from one of our retail partners. 

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