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Not Even Half as good as Shan

April 24, 2011

Review of Patak’s Butter Chicken Sauce

Beer I drank while cooking:

Guinness Draught, still had a couple left from St. Patty’s day.

Part I: The Cooking

I’m not going to lie you to Marge, I chose this recipe because it was already a busy weekend and I wanted something easy. I did not have high hopes for a recipe that involved just pouring the jar of sauce into a pan with chicken and simmering. I grabbed this sauce at the Indian market because I hadn’t seen it before and I am trying to leave no stone unturned. If nothing else I needed to eliminate this jar of sauce as THE butter chicken recipe. Some small part of me thought it would be amusing if the taste I was looking for was the easiest recipe available.

Along with the butter chicken I made some Ashoka Paneer Makhani, which is chunks of cottage cheese in a rich tomato sauce. It comes in a heat and eat pouch that you just have to heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. It felt a bit like preparing food for an astronaut. Like I said – I wanted something easy.

Beer I drank with the meal:

Abita TurboDog, a dark brown ale that had a lot of flavor, which was a good thing because the curry didn’t. My Brother-in-Law brought this over and I very easily drank two of them.

Part II: The Eating

We had plenty of rice and naan to go with our two curries and they did not go to waste. Neither of the curries were bad, they just weren’t good. The Paneer had some good flavor in the gravy and I added some cashews, but the cheese was…interesting. You could hear it squeaking as you chewed the squares of cheese which made it hard to concentrate on the flavor.

The butter chicken was harmless. It made for a nice meal and gave us something to dip our naan into, but it just didn’t have any real flavor. It couldn’t have been too bad because we did eat almost all of it, but I felt a little bad promising a dinner of butter chicken only to serve something so mediocre.


Last on spiciness. Last on flavor. Last on everything.

Things I learned while making this:

With the correct packaging Indian cottage cheese has a shelf life of over six months.

Naan frozen for 3 months is indistinguishable from naan purchased the day before if you brush a little olive oil on it and heat it in the oven for 5 minutes.


  • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large pan.
  •  Add  chicken breasts and stir fry until meat is sealed and browned  (approx. 5 mins).
  • Pour over the jar of sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Alternatively, use prawns, mixed vegetables or lamb. Adjust simmer time accordingly.
  • Best served up on a bed of basmati rice, with naan.

Damn Good Quote of the Day: For space food, it’s not bad.

Butter Chicken Battle

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2011 8:35 pm

    i’m still in the dark as to what butter chicken is, exactly, although butter and chicken are two of my favorite things to eat, outside of cookies and jellybeans.
    and beer! you and kira must come over and drink beer on our back porch, as soon as we can do so safetly without fear of frostbite or drowning.

  2. April 26, 2011 6:49 pm

    Interesting. I never cooked with this butter chicken sauce.

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