One of my goals for this year is to start cooking outside of my comfort zone. I recently made Indian food for the first time and it was SO fun! The Chicken Makhni (aka Butter Chicken) from The Chutney Life cookbook is literally life changing. I knew I was going to want it again and again, but sadly this “weekend project” as Palak calls it just isn’t doable for a weeknight for my schedule.
Fast forward to a lazy Sunday and a serious craving that brought life to this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken to life. I took the liberty of taking the core elements of butter chicken, removing the hard to find ingredients, and letting the flavors build in the slow cooker to give it that classic lazy girl factor almost all my recipes have.
You can find all the essentials like my slow cooker, cutting board, spices and more I used for this recipe here!
Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala?
Sometimes butter chicken and chicken tikka masala are confused as the same thing, but there are some key differences between the two. In butter chicken (Murgh Makhani), the key ingredients for the sauce are tomatoes, butter, cream, and a mix of spices like garam masala and fenugreek. This creates a rich, creamy, and slightly sweet sauce. For chicken tikka masala, the sauce also includes tomatoes but is made with onions, cream, and a blend of spices such as garam masala, paprika, and turmeric. This sauce tends to be tangier and slightly spicier compared to butter chicken.
So, while both use tomatoes and cream, Butter Chicken leans toward a creamier, mildly sweet sauce, while chicken tikka masala tends to have a tangier and spicier flavor profile due to its different spice blend and use of onions.
Talk Spices To Me
Let’s talk about garam masala and kasuri methi. Both bring depth and tons of flavor. Garam Masala is an Indian spice mix that brings warmth by blending spices like cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and more, adding a rich, cozy flavor. Kasuri Methi, dried fenugreek leaves, are a go-to in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, with a unique herbal taste—kinda earthy and a bit bitter—that’s perfect for boosting the flavors in curries and veggies.
You can totally find garam masala most grocery stores, but if you’re not near an Indian market, getting your hands on kasuri methi might be more of a challenge. You can find garam masala here and kasuri methi here!
What’s In It For You?
- Chicken Breasts: Lean protein, supports muscles and provides essential amino acids.
- Olive Oil: Healthy fats, antioxidants for heart health and reducing inflammation.
- Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Jalapeño: Antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, boosting immunity.
- Tomato Paste, Roma Tomatoes: High in antioxidants like lycopene, can protect against diseases and support heart health.
- Honey: Contains antioxidants and antimicrobial properties.
- Spices (Garam Masala, Cumin, Coriander, Black Pepper): Aid digestion, provide antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Butter, Heavy Cream/Coconut Milk: Adds richness; coconut milk adds beneficial fats (MCTs).
- Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves): Antioxidants, digestion aid, and heart health support.
- Cilantro: Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and detox properties.