Butter Chicken Naan Pockets

butter chicken naan pockets 4

Butter chicken and naan are totally gaga for each other, don’t you think? It’s tough to have one without the other. And so I wrapped butter chicken in naan dough, then baked it into a sort of butter chicken calzone. With or without cheese, it’s one of our new favourite things to eat around here.

butter chicken naan pockets Collage 1

I originally wrote this recipe for the April issue of Parents Canada – streamlining it for print with the use of bottled sauce. You could, of course, use any butter chicken recipe you like, or even use takeout. Once cold, it will easily spoon into the middle of a circle of dough without running amok; you can then top it with a wee mound of grated cheese and seal the pocket to bake into a gooey pocket – I want to give them a go on the grill, and see if the added char will make them even more reminiscent of the smokey flavour naan gets from a traditional tandoori oven.

butter chicken naan pockets Collage 2

Bonus: they happily go into lunchboxes (six days of school to go!) and are pretty perfect for picnicking, too.

Butter Chicken Naan Pockets


June 18, 2013

  • Makes: Makes 6 pockets.


Naan dough

1/2 cup warm water

2 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup canola oil

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1 large egg

Butter chicken filling

canola or olive oil, for cooking

2 lb (1 kg) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

a jar of your favourite butter chicken sauce

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1/2-1 cup grated mozzarella (optional)


1Start with the naan dough. In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. If it doesn’t foam, the yeast is inactive; replace it with a fresh jar of yeast.

2Stir in the flour, salt, canola oil, yogurt and egg, and stir until the dough comes together, then knead for a few minutes, until it’s soft, smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size; about an hour.

3Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 7–8 minutes, until opaque and starting to brown. Add the butter chicken sauce and cilantro and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Let cool as you wait for dough to finish rising. It's even better if it gets a chance to chill completely in the fridge.

4Divide the dough into six pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into an 8-inch circle or oval. Pile a spoonful of butter chicken onto each circle, top with a bit of grated cheese and fold over, pinching the edges (you may have to fold the edge up over itself) to seal. Transfer to a parchmentlined baking sheet and cut a few slits on the top of each with a sharp knife. Preheat the oven to 400?F.

5Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbly and golden.


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9 comments on “Butter Chicken Naan Pockets

  1. Joanne
    June 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    My son will LOVE these!

  2. Barb
    June 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    You. Are. A. Genius!

  3. kathy
    June 18, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    i heard this on cbc this morning, thanks for posting it. this def looks like something to take on road trips on for lunchs. I haven’t made butter chicken for ages, I’m going have to buy some chicken cause now I’ve got the craving. Your recipe says bottled sauce. Have you ever tried Sandy Richard’s recipe. I”m sure it came out of one of her books I’ve used it many times. It’s just the most amazing recipe. Better than anything I’ve ever found in a restaurant or takeout joint. You should give it a try. I usually put it on low heat after the chicken gets thrown into the sauce. Cover and cook it slow and low. Until the chicken is falling apart. Just use heinz soup. Campbells won’t do.


    I bet you won’t be able to stop dipping naan bread into the sauce while it’s cooking?

  4. Laurie from Burnaby
    June 18, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    oh . my . goodness!
    We had butter chicken tonight (my fiancee made the sauce) but this is incredible!
    I have to try it!
    Yum Yum

  5. Paul
    June 19, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I have never seen this recipe before, but it looks absolutely delicious! Who needs breadcrumbs when you can use this approach 🙂

  6. Jan @ Family Bites
    June 19, 2013 at 10:17 am

    You wrote this recipe for me and my road trip, right? 🙂

  7. Lana
    June 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I just really started to watch what I’m eating and now THIS?? THese are RIGHT up my alley- savoury, bread and cheese. YUMMY.

  8. Chris Caldwell
    July 13, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Congratulations. You have created the greatest calzone OF ALL TIME! Seriously, sometimes you read a recipe and think, “Where has this been all my life?”

  9. sara
    July 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    We made this for dinner tonight…AMAZING. So delicious!! Thanks so much for sharing…totally in love! 🙂

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