The “Friday night fakeaway” is a thing in our house. Our toddler has his favourite (“Basagne”!), and we usually have an Indian. Why pay an absolute fortune for a takeaway Indian meal when you can make a better tasting one yourself? This slow cooker Butter Chicken recipe (or Murgh Makhani if you’re an officiando) features regularly on our fakeaway recipe list – if you make it you’ll see why!
This Butter Chicken recipe is made from ingredients you’re likely to have in the cupboard, which means no special shopping trip. The only difference between this and a “proper” takeaway curry is that this has a bucket-load less fat in it (oh, and it’s cheaper…).
The first time we cooked it, there wasn’t a scrap left at the end of our meal (complete with complaints of “OMG I’M SO FULL”). The second time we cooked it we made more to ensure we had some left for the freezer – and there wasn’t a scrap left at the end of that meal either! Suffice to say, our family LOVES this curry for a Friday night fakeaway.
What is the difference between Butter Chicken and Murgh Makhani?
Nothing, they’re exactly the same dish! Butter Chicken is also known as Makhan Murg, and is India’s most popular curry both domestically and globally!
Can I use chicken breasts for Butter Chicken?
Absolutely. Some people say that you should only use chicken thighs as they are more favoursome and are less prone to drying out in the slow cooker, due to their higher fat content. Chicken breast will work fine too, just make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly (details in the recipe card below).
Do I need a slow cooker to make Butter Chicken?
The taste will be better by slow cooking the recipe, but if you’re pushed for time it’ll still taste amazing if you replace the slow cooking with 30 minutes of simmering on a hob. Ensure that you set the chicken aside after searing, and re-add it 10 minutes before the end – this will ensure the chicken stays succulent and doesn’t dry out.
Can I freeze leftover Butter Chicken?
Absolutely, some say it tastes even better second time around as the flavours have had even longer to meld together! It’ll keep in the freezer for up to three months. Defrost it in the fridge over night, and ensure it’s piping hot all the way through before serving. You can also keep it in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
- 6 chicken thighs
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp chilli powder mild
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 0.5 tsp ground ginger use fresh ginger if you have it
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
- 150 g tomato puree (a small can)
- 125 ml yoghurt plain
- 250 ml coconut milk (full fat, not light)
- coriander roughly chopped
- In a little oil over a medium heat, seal the chicken and transfer to the slow cooker. In the same oil, fry the onions until translucent, and add the crushed garlic, cooking for another minute. Add the onions and garlic to the chicken that's already in the slow cooker.
- In a bowl, mix together the garam masala, tumeric, curry powder, chilli powder, ginger, sugar, salt and pepper. In the same bowl, mix in the tomato puree, followed by the yoghurt and coconut milk.
- Pour the spice mixture over the chicken and onions in the slow cooker, and stir well.
- Cook on low for up to six hours. Once cooked, check the seasoning and adjust if required. Serve with plenty of chopped coriander.
- It’s possible to use chicken breast instead of thighs, but cook for four hours on low rather than six to prevent your chicken drying out.