During the holidays a friend of ours prepared Indian butter chicken for us — it was perfect! She created the recipe by combining some points from two authentic recipes given to her by her co-workers. We love butter chicken and I’ve been meaning to make slow cooker butter chicken for the longest time, so I asked for her recipe the next day! Within the week we enjoyed the slow cooker-adapted version of my friend’s Indian butter chicken.
At first glance, my slow cooker Indian butter chicken may not look authentic, (since I didn’t add the food colouring), but the warm flavours are just right.
To speed up the preparation, swing buy an Indian grocery store and buy a jar of tandoori masala. Our spice collection outgrew our spice rack and overflowed onto our counter — with our upcoming move I couldn’t justify adding more jars so I found a recipe for how to make tandoori masala. The major difference is that the sauce is not as red due to the lack of food colouring. Another site suggests adding Kashmiri peppers to provide the colour, but beware of the extra heat!
Cook: 6 hours (low) or 3 hours (high)
Yield: 6-8 servings (prepared in a 6.5 quart slow cooker)
Combine the salt, cumin, chili powder, tandoori masala, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken pieces and toss until coated evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. I find it convenient to marinate overnight then I add the remaining ingredients prior to cooking in the morning.
Add the butter, minced garlic, diced tomatoes and tomato paste to your slow cooker insert.
Stir in the chicken and marinade.
Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3 hours).
Stir the yogurt and cream together then stir into the chicken. Add a ¼ tsp chili flakes (or to taste). Heat for about 15 minutes. Serve with a side of rice or vegetables.
Note: If you do not want to use food colouring, substitute with Kashmiri Red Chillies. They give terrific colour without as much heat as other dry red chillies. If using Kashmiri Red Chillies, leave out the chilli powder.