This slow cooker Indian butter chicken curry (chicken makhani) is unbelievably delicious and super easy to make. Serve with steamed basmati rice and plenty of naan bread to mop up the rich sauce.
Do you have a ‘takeaway’ night? Ours tends to be on a Thursday or Friday, because even food bloggers need time away from cooking! But it took many years before I was converted to the joys of a takeaway.
When I was growing up in Greece takeaways were not really a thing. People tended to cook at home and very occasionally go to a taverna or restaurant as a special treat – usually in the summer or during the holidays. This has changed significantly in recent years, especially in Athens where takeaway restaurants and fast food chains are everywhere.
I really came to appreciate the joys of takeaway food in New York where I spend 6 months as a design intern. This was a very long time ago – so long, that ‘brunch’ was still a new concept! Even as interns we worked very long hours and we tended to pick up a Chinese takeaway for dinner on our way home to our tiny apartment – so cheap, so delicious that I still dream about that moo shu pork…
Sadly I never found moo shu pork in the UK – it simply doesn’t appear on any menu I scanned. And Chinese restaurants tend to be pretty bad, at least in South East London where I live. Our area is so out of the way that Deliveroo doesn’t reach us (at least not without taking hours first). But we do have a couple of very good Indian restaurants nearby and they tend to be our takeaway of choice.
But our favourite Indian restaurant comes with a pretty hefty price tag, so ordering in is for special occasions only. Luckily this slow cooker Indian butter chicken curry (chicken makhani) is unbelievably delicious and super easy to make. It is quite a rich dish as the name would suggest, not too spicy and perfect for sharing as a family even with younger kids. I can’t make any claims to authenticity so forgive me if the spices or method are not traditional – I just know it tastes really, really good. 🙂
- 8 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 200g | 7oz Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 heaped tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 heaped tbsp tomato paste
- 400g | 14oz tin chopped tomatoes
- 125ml | ½ cup chicken stock
- 4 tbsp single (pouring) cream
- fresh coriander (cilantro) to garnish
- roughly chopped cashew nuts to garnish
- steamed rice to serve
- salt and pepper to season
- Cut the chicken breasts into large cubes and place in a bowl with the lemon juice, yoghurt, chilli powder, 1 tsp garam masala and grated ginger. Cover and chill for 30 mins.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter and the oil in a large non-stick pan. Fry the chicken, in batches if necessary, until browned. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Wipe the pan clean and add the remaining butter until it is foaming.
- Add the onion, garlic, sugar and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining garam masala, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer.
- Transfer to the slow cooker and stir everything to combine.
- Cook on low for 5 hours.
- Stir in the cream, taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve with steamed basmati rice and garnish with chopped cashews and fresh coriander.
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