Indian Butter Chicken
Butter chicken is definitely a comforting dish, with its warm, velvety sauce of curry spices coating tender chicken. I use a creamy cashew puree to mellow out the spices and thicken the luscious sauce.
Servings Prep Time
4-6servings 45minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4-6servings 45minutes
Cook Time
  • 1/2cup whole raw cashews
  • 6tablespoons ghee or unsalted grass-fed butter
  • 3pounds boneless skinless chicken thighstrimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 shallotschopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 yellow onionchopped
  • 1cup tomato puree
  • 3/4cup tomato paste
  • 3tablespoons freshly squeezed
  • lemon juice
  • 4cloves garlicminced
  • 6 green cardamom podsbruised with the butt of a knife
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3tablespoons Gingerpeeled and minced
  • 2 1/2tablespoons garam masala
  • 1tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Toasted slivered almondsfor garnish
  • chopped fresh cilantrofor garnish
  • Garlic Naanfor serving
  1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place the cashews in a bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee in an Instant Pot using the Sauté setting. Add the chicken, shallots, and onion and sauté for 8 minutes, until the chicken is browned and the onion is translucent. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons ghee, the tomato puree, tomato paste, lemon juice, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, ginger, garam masala, cumin, salt, turmeric, and fenugreek and stir to combine. Secure the lid and select the meat/stew setting, or select the Pressure Cook and Manual setting and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the cashews, rinse, and drain again. Combine the cashews and 3/4 cup water in a blender. Blend on high speed until very smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds in a high-speed blender, or 1 minute in a conventional blender.
  4. When the Instant Pot timer is done, quick release the pressure and stir in the cashew cream. Spoon the butter chicken into serving bowls. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro and serve with naan on the side.
Recipe Notes

Tidbits: Repurpose any leftover sauce by adding it to some sautéed vegetables and rotisserie chicken or cooked shrimp for a quick dinner the next day.