Butter Chicken Meatballs

Butter Chicken is rich and luxurious Indian favourite known all over the world. Try these Butter Chicken Meatballs as a fun twist on a cherished classic. Start with roasted spices and your mouth will thank you. #butterchicken #curry #meatballs #chickenmeatballs #garammasala #tandoorimasala #spices

Rich and luxurious, here’s a Butter Chicken recipe with a twist…it’s in meatball form! Start with roasted tandoori spices and your mouth will thank you.

The Origins of Butter Chicken Curry

Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani is one of the most beloved Indian dishes around the world. The origins of this exotically spiced chicken curry can be traced to the early 1950’s in Delhi, India. There, at the Moti Mahal restaurant, a chef created this favourite curry in order to use up leftover Tandoori Chicken. The best cooks are those that can make new and exciting dishes out of leftovers and Butter Chicken is actual proof of this statement.

Rich and luxurious, here's a Butter Chicken recipe with a twist...it's in meatball form! Start with roasted spices and your mouth will thank you. #butterchicken #curry #meatballs #chickenmeatballs #garammasala #tandoorimasala #spices

Components of An Authentic Butter Chicken

For maximum flavour and authenticity, this curry should always begin with delicious Tandoori Chicken. Many recipes skip this step in the name of simplicity but making a this special dish requires time and effort. In addition to the marinated chicken, the sauce should be slightly chunky with a velvety texture. Butter (makhani) plays an important role in this recipe because that’s what gives it the characteristic sightly sweet flavour. Since many curry recipes begin and end with ghee (clarified butter), I am more than happy to add butter.

Rich and luxurious, here's a Butter Chicken recipe with a twist...it's in meatball form! Start with roasted spices and your mouth will thank you. #butterchicken #curry #meatballs #chickenmeatballs #garammasala #tandoorimasala #spices

Butter Chicken vs. Chicken Tikka Masala

When compared, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between these two dishes. The former, with it’s roots firmly in India usually has bone in Tandoori Chicken surrounded in a rich buttery sauce. The latter, sometimes considered Britain’s national dish, is made with boneless chicken baked on a skewer in a Tandoor or clay oven. It is served in a slightly spicier, even gritty tomato gravy added by the Brits who are known to prefer dishes with a bit of sauce. Not surprisingly, it was once proposed that Chicken Tikka Masala be given a Protected Designation of Origin status!

Rich and luxurious, here's a Butter Chicken recipe with a twist...it's in meatball form! Start with roasted spices and your mouth will thank you. #butterchicken #curry #meatballs #chickenmeatballs #garammasala #tandoorimasala #spices

Since both tandoori masala and garam masala vary so much according to regional and personal tastes, it is difficult to pinpoint the differences in each sauce, save for the appearance of butter. Suffice it to say, there is quite a heated debate considering the origins and composition of each dish.

Rich and luxurious, here's a Butter Chicken recipe with a twist...it's in meatball form! Start with roasted spices and your mouth will thank you. #butterchicken #curry #meatballs #chickenmeatballs #garammasala #tandoorimasala #spices

Butter Chicken Inspiration

Though I have made classic Butter Chicken many times, I wanted to re-do a version that I explored way back in 2014. That recipe began with my friend Ginni’s tandoori masala spice blend mixed in with ground turkey and in the sauce. That recipe was filed in the back of my mind until it resurfaced this week. Both my husband and son were very glad it did.

Rich and luxurious, here's a Butter Chicken recipe with a twist...it's in meatball form! Start with roasted spices and your mouth will thank you. #butterchicken #curry #meatballs #chickenmeatballs #garammasala #tandoorimasala #spices

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Butter Chicken is rich and luxurious Indian favourite known all over the world. Try these Butter Chicken Meatballs as a fun twist on a cherished classic. Start with roasted spices and your mouth will thank you. #butterchicken #curry #meatballs #chickenmeatballs #garammasala #tandoorimasala #spices

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Butter Chicken Meatballs

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Rich and luxurious, here's a Butter Chicken recipe with a twist...it's in meatball form! Start with roasted spices and your mouth will thank you.
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:35 mins
  • Serves:6
  • Freezable:Yes

Nutrition per portion

    Ingredients
    • FOR THE MEATBALLS
    • 1 1/2 lbs (700 g) ground chicken
    • 1/4 cup fine breadcrumbs
    • 2 tbsp tandoori masala
    • 1 tbsp ginger; minced
    • 1 tbsp garlic; minced
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • FOR THE SAUCE 
    • 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
    • 2 tbsp tandoori masala
    • 1 tbsp ginger; minced
    • 1 tbsp garlic; minced
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3 cardamom pods; slightly smushed
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 5 whole cloves
    • 1/2 tsp garam masala
    • 1 (796 ml) can of whole tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup whipping cream
    • fresh cilantro as a garnish
    Method
    FOR THE MEATBALLS
    1. Place ground chicken, breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic, and spices in a medium bowl.
    2. Mix well and form into 1 inch balls. Place meatballs on a tray.
    3. Refrigerate meatballs while you make the sauce.
    FOR THE SAUCE
    1. Add ghee (or olive oil), garlic, and ginger into a medium saucepan. Cook on med-low for a few minutes until slightly softened.
    2. Add tandoori masala and cook for another few minutes, stirring constantly.
    3. Add tomatoes to the pot and mash them with a potato masher until just a few lumps remain.
    4. Cover and let simmer gently for ten minutes.
    5. Stir the sauce well, then add the meatballs in a tight, concentric pattern.
    6. Cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
    7. Remove lid and slowly drizzle in cream while at the same time stirring it in between the meatballs.
    8. Add 1/2 tsp garam masala and more ghee to finish, if you like.
    9. Bring back up to temperature without boiling then remove from heat.
    10. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.

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