Updated: Nov 18
The aftermath of the festival finds me with a delightful dilemma: leftover tandoori chicken. But in the spirit of resourcefulness and delicious ingenuity, this is where the magic of Butter Chicken begins to simmer.
Murgh Makhani, as it's traditionally known, isn't just a dish—it's a happy accident turned culinary legend, born from the clever use of leftovers and a rich, buttery tomato sauce.
Transforming the smoky remnants of tandoori chicken into Butter Chicken feels like a culinary nod to the past while still stirring up something fresh and exciting. The leftover marinade, mingling with tomatoes, cream, and a host of warm spices, creates a sauce that's velvety and comforting—almost like it's giving the tandoori chicken a second life.
It's a beautiful cycle, really, where nothing goes to waste and everything is celebrated, from the last flicker of a candle to the final spoonful of spicy marinade.
So here I am, still riding the wave of Diwali's culinary inspirations, about to share with you a Butter Chicken recipe that's close to my heart. Whether you're looking to extend the festive eating or simply in the mood for some rich, indulgent comfort food, this dish promises to wrap you in a blanket of creamy, spiced goodness.
Let’s not let the party stop with the festival—grab your leftover tandoori chicken, and let's get started with the recipe!
Fresh Tomatoes, 600g
Garlic, 5 Cloves
Sea Salt, Pinch
Unsalted Butter, 3 TBSP
Green Cardamom, 5
Cinnamon Stick, 1 Inch
Red Onion Finely Minced, 1
White Pepper, Pinch
Green Chili Deseeded Finely Chopped, 2
Cashew Nuts Finely Chopped, 20
Chili Powder, 2 TSP Adjust To Preference
Shahi Garam Masala Homemade, 1.5 TSP
Leftover Tandoori Chicken + Marinade Homemade, 1 Recipe
Fenugreek Leaves, 1 TSP
Heavy Whipping Cream, 100g
Fresh Coriander Coarsely Chopped, A Handful
Charcoal, 1 Piece
Ghee, 2 TBSP
Turmeric Rice Homemade, For Serving
Coriander Chutney Homemade, For Serving
Cast Iron Pot / Heavy Pot
Mortar & Pestle
Please visit my "How To Make Shahi Garam Masala" page for the recipe.
Please visit my "Turmeric Rice" page for the recipe.
Please visit my "Tandoori Chicken" page for the tandoori chicken and coriander chutney recipes.
I like to make use of my vegetable scraps to make a simple stock.
I simmer the scraps with 1L of water for 5 to 8 mins.
Cover and steep for 5 mins.
Drain and discard all the residue.
Blitz tomatoes in a blender until smooth.
Set aside until ready to use.
Add garlic, ginger and salt to a mortar and pound until paste forms with a pestle.
Set aside until ready to use.
In a cast iron pot over medium heat, add butter.
Once the butter has melted, add in green cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
Saute until aromatic.
Add in onion and season with salt and white pepper.
Saute until lightly caramelized.
Add in the garlic ginger paste and saute until aromatic.
Followed by green chilies, cashew nuts, chili powder and garam masala.
Saute until well combined and aromatic.
Deglaze with a splash of that simple stock.
Add in the tomato puree.
Stir to combine well.
Add in the leftover tandoori chicken and marinade.
*Slice the tandoori chicken into quarters.*
Followed by 500g of that simple stock.
Stir until well combined.
Bring it up to a simmer.
Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for about 10 to 15 mins or until the stew is slightly reduced and thickened.
*Stir occasionally to prevent burning.*
Add in fenugreek leaves and stir to combine well.
Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt, chili powder or garam masala.
Add in cream and stir until well combined.
Cook for another 2 to 3 mins.
Remove from heat and garnish with coriander.
Place a piece of charcoal in an open stove fire.
Once the charcoal is burning, remove and transfer it into a small metal bowl.
Add the ghee over the charcoal.
Immediately place it onto the butter chicken, cover and smoke for at least 15 mins.
Serve immediately with turmeric rice and coriander chutney.
You have to give this a try...