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Some things stand the test of time in a league of their own. Butter Chicken is one of those classic dishes – the balance of flavors – sweet, acid, silky, and char. One thing has always been missing from popular home Butter Chicken recipes: using a tandoor to achieve the result of this char is key in experiencing Butter Chicken the way it was intended to be tasted.

Why your tandoor helps this dish: The 750° F char from the tandoor adds a key depth of smoke and slight bitterness. The balance between this taste and the added sweetness in the recipe is the x-factor. Using charcoal or a gas burner, the high heat is extremely important in creating molecular reactions to increase flavors.

3-4 Bone-In Chicken Legs or 6-8 Chicken Thighs
3 Tbsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Demerara sugar or Jaggery
1 Tbsp Papaya Paste or other meat tenderizer
2 Tbsp Mustard Oil
2 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
4 Tbsp Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Ginger Paste
2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
2 Tbsp Ground Coriander
2 tsp Turmeric
4 Tbsp Sour Cream
2 tsp Black Salt
3 tsp Hing
2 Tbsp Ghee
1 inch Cinnamon stick
6 Green Cardamom
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
10 Unsalted Cashews
2 Tbsp Tomato paste
2 Tbsp Kasoori Methi
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup Ripe Organic Red Cocktail Tomatoes or San Marzano style
1/4 Cup Water
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
The Chicken:
(We recommend Organic or Halal Chicken Bone-in Legs or Boneless Thighs)
  • Ensure chicken is room temperature.
  • Score chicken pieces (slice/poke chicken)
  • Add 1 Tbsp Sea Salt, and 1 Tbsp Papaya Paste or other meat tenderizer
*Let sit covered for 30 minutes* – Discard any water/liquid after
Mix Chicken Marinade in bowl:
  • 2 Tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 4 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp Black Salt
  • 2 tsp Hing
*Add Chicken to 2nd Marinade and Massage well*
*Marinate for 1-12 hours in Fridge*
Start up your tandoor – when clay wall temperature is around 700-800° F, skewer chicken pieces and let cook in tandoor for about 12-15 minutes for boneless or 15-20 minutes for bone-in. Check for doneness before removing.
The Sauce:
  • *Nonstick pan on medium
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee (add more if you’d like)
  • Add Whole Spices – 1 inch Cinnamon stick, 6 Green Cardamom, 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds, 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • *Saute for a few seconds
  • Mix 2 Tbsp Garlic Paste, 1 Tbsp Ginger Paste, 10 Unsalted Cashews
  • *Saute for a minute
  • Add 2 Tbsp Tomato paste, 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin, 1 Tbsp Coriander Powder, 1 tsp Hing, 1 tsp Turmeric, 1 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder, 2 Tbsp Kasoori Methi
  • *Saute for a minute, avoiding any burning
  • Once cooked, juice of 1 lemon
  • *Saute for a minute, avoiding any burning
  • Add 1 cup Ripe Organic Red Cocktail Tomatoes or San Marzano style, and 2 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • *Cover, cook for 5 minutes
  • Add 1 Tbsp Demerara sugar or Jaggery, and 1/4 Cup Water
  • *Cover, cook for 5 more minutes
  • Blend mixture into smooth paste (Liquify in Blender)
  • Taste and add a little salt if needed.
  • Strain paste through a strainer to make liquidy sauce (add hot water over strainer if you’d like to make more sauce. It should be a bit liquidy.
  • Add 1/4 cup unsalted butter (we recommend Amul/Kerrygold) to a pan on low/medium, then add sauce.
  • *Cook uncovered on low/medium for 5 more minutes, continuously stirring to avoid burning.
  • Add baked chicken. Mix on low for 5 minutes.
  • Add to platter. Palm some ground Kasoori Methi over the dish.

Enjoy this amazing dish at home!

Did you make this recipe?
Send photos to service@tandoors.com & we will credit you on Instagram & our email list!

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  • Mouth Cover
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