If you’re looking for the best herbs and spices to use in your butter chicken recipe, then you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve rounded up 9 of the best spices to use in this popular Indian dish.
From cumin and coriander to garam masala and turmeric, these spices will give your butter chicken the perfect flavor.
So go ahead and give them a try the next time you make this dish!
9 Best Herbs And Spices For Butter Chicken
Butter chicken can be so much more than just chicken in a creamy tomato sauce.
By adding the right herbs and spices, you can take your butter chicken to the next level.
Here are 9 of the best herbs and spices for butter chicken:
Whether you use fresh garlic or garlic powder, this herb is a must for your butter chicken recipe!
I like to use about 2 cloves of minced garlic for every pound of chicken.
If you’re using garlic powder, I would start with 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up from there until you get the flavor you desire.
One pro tip that I have is to add the garlic towards the end of cooking.
This will help to prevent the garlic from burning and becoming bitter.
Ginger is super popular in Indian and Asian cuisine, and for good reason!
It’s got a unique, slightly spicy flavor that goes great in savory dishes.
I like to use ginger in my butter chicken recipe.
I usually add it at the same time as the other spices, and I add a little bit extra because I really like the flavor.
Ginger can be a little bit tricky to use, because it’s so strong.
If you’re not careful, you can easily end up with too much ginger in your dish.
That’s why my advice is to start with a small amount, and then taste as you go.
You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there!
Pro tip: When measuring out ginger, use the back of a spoon to slightly flatten it out before scooping.
This will help you get a more accurate measurement.
Cumin has a slightly sweet and warming flavor that is perfect for butter chicken.
It is also a key ingredient in many other Indian dishes.
I would advise using cumin seeds rather than cumin powder. Cumin seeds have a stronger flavor and will last longer.
They are also less likely to burn.
- To use cumin seeds, dry roast them in a pan until they turn light brown.
- Then grind them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
Start by using 1 teaspoon of cumin per pound of chicken.
You can always add more if you want a stronger flavor.
Pro tip: To really bring out the flavor of cumin, fry it in oil until it starts to smoke before adding it to your dish.
Floral and citrusy, coriander is a welcome addition to any Indian-inspired dish – like my butter chicken recipe!
I like to use it sparingly, though, because a little goes a long way.
My advice would be to start with 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander and work your way up from there.
You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there!
A pro tip: if you’re using fresh coriander (also called cilantro), use twice as much as you would if using the dried powder form.
Cardamom is piney, fruity, and almost menthol-like, and it’s one of my favorite spices to use in Indian cooking.
I especially love it in butter chicken, where its flavor really shines.
When adding cardamom to your recipe, start with a small amount and add more to taste.
You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there! I would suggest starting with 1/4 teaspoon and going from there.
A pro tip: When measuring out cardamom, grind up the pods first and then measure.
This will give you a more accurate measurement than if you just tried to eye it.
Cinnamon has a warm, sweet flavor and pungent aroma that is perfect for spicing up butter chicken.
I usually add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to my recipe, but you can adjust the amount to your taste.
Cinnamon is a great way to add depth of flavor to your dish without overpowering the other flavors.
It pairs well with other spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
If you want a richer flavor, you can also add a cinnamon stick to your recipe.
Just remember to remove it before serving!
Here’s a pro tip: To really bring out the flavor of cinnamon, toast it in a dry pan over low heat for a few minutes before adding it to your recipe. This will help release the essential oils and make the flavor more potent.
This intensely aromatic spice has a subtly sweet taste with a hint of bitterness.
Cloves are the unopened flower buds of the evergreen clove tree.
Cloves are used to flavor both sweet and savory dishes.
You’ll often find them in spice blends like garam masala, as well as in mulled wine and cider recipes.
When using cloves in your cooking, be careful not to overdo it, as a little goes a long way.
I like to use about 3-4 whole cloves in my butter chicken recipe.
I add them along with the other spices at the beginning of cooking, so that they have time to infuse their flavor into the dish.
Here’s a pro tip: To make removing whole cloves from your dish easier, try tying them up in a piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter before adding them to your recipe. This way, you can just fish them out when you’re done cooking!
Nutmeg is a warm spice with slightly nutty, sweet, woody flavors. It’s often used in savory dishes like butter chicken.
I would recommend using anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg per pound of chicken.
You can adjust the amount to taste. If you’re using it in a butter chicken recipe, I would also recommend adding some cumin, garam masala, and turmeric.
A pro tip for using nutmeg is to grate it fresh if possible. Grating fresh nutmeg will give your dish a more potent flavor.
If you don’t have a grater, you can use ground nutmeg, but keep in mind that the flavor will be more subtle.
Overwhelmingly earthy and bitter, almost musky, with a hint of citrus, turmeric is one of the most recognizable spices.
It’s most commonly associated with Indian cuisine, where it’s used as a base for curries, but its applications are endless.
In my butter chicken recipe, I use turmeric in two forms: fresh and ground. I find that the fresh root provides a more potent flavor, while the ground powder is more versatile.
Fresh turmeric can be difficult to find outside of specialty markets, so feel free to use ground turmeric in its place.
The general rule of thumb is to use 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric for every 2 inches (5 cm) of fresh root.
As for how much to use in your recipe, it really depends on how strong you want the flavor to be. I usually start with 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric and add more to taste.
For reference, 1 tablespoon of fresh grated turmericroot is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon of ground powder.
And finally, my pro tip: always pair turmeric with other spices like cumin, ginger, and chili pepper to round out its flavors and prevent it from tasting too bitter or one-dimensional.
9 Best Herbs And Spices For Butter Chicken
- Choose your favorite herbs or spices from this list to use with your butter chicken.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Enjoy in no time!