Friday, 5 October 2012


Why is butter chicken so universally popular? People just can’t get enough. It seems that the majority of individual orders made in Indian restaurants are for butter chicken. Why? Most food tends to appeal to a particular palate. By that I mean, the way a spicy West Indian goat curry can be adored by some, and thoroughly avoided by others; or the way a British shepherd’s pie may seem heavenly to one, and a ghastly concoction to another. However, somewhat extraordinarily, butter chicken seems to have universal appeal regardless of cultural bias or experience. It appeals to all palates, including difficult to please children! This is by no means a small feat, and is one of many reasons to marvel at this dish.

A combination of marinated chicken with yogurt and spices including garam masala, garlic, lemon, fresh ground peppercorns, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili and then a sauce adding butter, tomato puree (preferably with fresh tomatoes), cloves, cinnamon, fenugreek and cream makes up this very special dish. Vibrant, fragrant, sweet, spicy, savory, creamy and hearty are the adjectives that come to mind immediately. As overused as food adjectives tend to be, if you've had this dish you can no doubt close your eyes and identify all those characteristics in your memory. There is probably no single answer as to why this dish is so universally appealing, but, sometimes it’s nice not to understand something and just enjoy. Butter chicken is a truly harmonious dish and lives up to its reputation as a global phenomenon. 


  1. Butter chicken: all day, everyday.

    Chili chicken: all dayer, everydayer!

  2. Looks incredible! Now I want butter chicken again....