Butter Chicken also known as Murgh Makhani, this popular dish needs no introduction. While this Butter Chicken may be a decadent treat, it is a healthier Thermomix alternative to take-away versions and well worth the effort. After releasing this recipe, the Skinnymixers Facebook Group begged me to put out my first cookbook ‘A Little Taste of India’ – available in the Skinnymixers Shop or Apple Books.
This viral Butter Chicken Thermomix recipe took the Thermomix Community by storm in 2014 and has been the top Skinnymixers recipe every year since. Don’t be turned off by the length of this recipe – it is written in simple step by step instructions to help even a new user of the Thermomix TM6 TM5 TM31/Bellini / Smith and Noble.
My Butter Chicken Thermomix recipe is mild for those who are sensitive to spice and children seem to love it. One of the ‘must make’ Thermomix recipes, it is easy to follow and will definitely impress.
Naturally gluten free and there are instructions to make it dairy free / vegetarian / keto / LCHF /low fodmap friendly below.
BEFORE YOU START – TIPS FOR THE BEST BUTTER CHICKEN
Leave yourself enough time the first time you make it – some beginners take 90 min. Enjoy the process, it isn’t hard or complicated!
Check that your Apple Cider Vinegar isn’t double strength. Not all apple cider vinegars are equal in taste, I recommend using Braggs ACV with the mother.
Using Pepper Free Garam Marsala helps keep this dish very mild. If you don’t mind a little spice, using one with pepper is fine.
Don’t use a tea bag or device to hold your whole spices together. The flavour will be impacted and it can void the warranty of your Thermomix.
Use fresh spices! You can find all of these spices in all major supermarkets. I prefer to get my spices from Grandma’s Pantry, as they are fresher, gluten free & very high quality.
The food colouring, nut meal & honey are optional. If you aren’t used to a thick/creamy sweeter butter chicken then leave any of these out to suit your preference.
If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #skinnymixers — We love to see your creations on Instagram &Facebook!
Slow Cooker Method
This recipe makes a lot of sauce. When you transfer this thermomix recipe to the slow cooker, for the best results you double the marinade & chicken but leave the sauce amount the same.
Make the sauce and transfer to the slow cooker with the marinated chicken in Step 10.
Add nuts to mixer bowl, mill 10 sec/speed 9/MC on. Set aside.
Without washing the bowl, (change to blunt blades for bellini and use speed 1 instead of reverse) add marinade ingredients to mixer bowl. Blend for 2 sec/speed 9/MC on. Scrape bowl down and repeat 3 times.
Add the chicken and stir through marinade for 10 sec/speed 2/reverse/MC on. Scrape mixer bowl out completely, set aside in a separate bowl to allow chicken to marinate.
Without washing the bowl, add tomato paste ingredients to mixer bowl. Blend 1 min/speed 8/MC on. Set tomato paste aside in a separate bowl again.
Without washing the bowl, add onions to mixer bowl and chop 5 sec/speed 5/MC on. Scrape bowl down.
Add 60 g or 2.1 oz butter to mixer bowl, cook 10 min/100°C or 212°F/speed 2/butterfly/MC on.
Add remaining butter (65 g or 2.3 oz), cinnamon, whole cloves, cardamom, star anise, cumin and paprika to mixer bowl.
Cook 5 min/100°C or 212°F/slowest speed/reverse/butterfly/MC on.
Add reserved tomato paste mixture, garam masala and 2 tsp salt to mixer bowl. Cook for 4 min/steaming temperature/slowest speed/reverse/butterfly/MC on.
Add reserved marinated chicken mixture to mixer bowl. Cook for 12 min/100°C or 212°F/slowest speed/reverse/butterfly/MC on.
Add reserved nut meal, cream and honey to mixer bowl. Cook for 4 min/100°C or 212°F/slowest speed/reverse/butterfly/MC on. While cooking, use your spatula to stir the curry occasionally.
Pour curry into an insulated server, remove whole spices, stir through chopped coriander and let it sit covered for 10 min.
Original Recipe: If you want to add fenugreek, its 1 tsp at step 7.
Dairy Free: Use coconut cream & 100 g of oil.
Keto / LCHF: Omit honey & nuts or use macadamias/almonds.
Low Fodmap: Replace the garlic with a little garlic infused olive oil & use the green part of leeks to replace the onions. Omit the nuts & use Rice Malt Syrup instead of honey.
Vegetarian: Replace Chicken with vegetables such as pumpkin, cauliflower and beans and cook until tender. You can also add some drained tinned chickpeas when adding the cream & honey.
Important note: DO NOT increase the quantities of any ingredients - this will avoid overloading your mixer. Unless you are cooking chicken on the stovetop or slow cooker.
Use the blunt blade, speed 1, chop the meat in 3-4cm cubes or wide strips. After the first 5 mins or so of cooking stop the machine and release the meat that has got tangled around the blade. Be sure to not overcook.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Frequently Asked Butter Chicken Questions
Can I use Ground Spices?
1 tsp ground ginger powder
2 pinches of cardamon powder or 1 tsp cardamon seeds
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon powder
a pinch of the clove
How can I remove the spices easily?
As you are slowly pouring the Butter Chicken into the thermal server – using a silicone spatula you can usually find a few easy spices, then use it to look for the rest prior to adding the coriander.
Can I add more Chicken?
The Butter Chicken recipe makes a lot of sauce, but the chicken is at maximum weight capacity. If you need to make more we recommend cooking on the stovetop or slow cooker (see Slow Cooker Tips below). Some Skinnies like to freeze the extra sauce for a quick meal or use it for butter chicken pizza or even Butter Chicken Kievs!
Why is there Food Colouring in the recipe?
The food colouring can be left out for those who don’t like to use it, BUT a little secret…this is how the Indian take-away shops get their butter chicken to look that vibrant (unnatural) red colour! (You can find proper tandoori colouring at Indian grocers/supermarkets)
What is the Super Skinny version of the Butter Chicken?