Butter Chicken

Recipe adapted from:

I tried both recipes above, and decided on a mashup of the two.

Servings: 4-6 (we finished the whole pot in one meal served with naan and a veggie dish)



  • Marinade:
    • 1 cup plain yoghurt , full fat
    • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 4 tsp garam masala
    • 1/4 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper powder
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 Tbsp ginger, freshly grated
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 kg chicken thigh fillets or breast, cut into bite size pieces
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Curry:
    • 2 Tbsps oil or butter
    • 1 1/2 Tbsps garlic, finely minced
    • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 cup of tomato purée
    • 1 cup of heavy cream
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • salt to taste


  1. In a bowl or large ziploc bag, combine all the marinade ingredients to marinate the chicken pieces overnight, covered.
  2. The next day, in a medium sized pot on medium high heat, add in oil (or butter) and cook the marinated chicken pieces in batches until the outside is seared (will turn white). Don’t worry about cooking the chicken all the way through – it will cook through later in the sauce. Don’t crowd the pan or else you will get too many juices and end up boiling the chicken. You want to have one layer of chicken at a time without overlapping. You may need to cook it in 3-4 batches, depending on the size of your pan. Put your seared chicken in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a clean pot (you can use the same pot as before, just wipe it down) on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the garlic and ginger until fragrant (~1-2 mins) then add in the spices (cumin, garam masala, ground coriander) and stir quickly for another 20-30 seconds to toast the spices. Stir in the tomato purée, cream and sugar until combined.
  4. Add the chicken pieces back in and let it simmer for 15-20mins. Adjust salt and sugar to taste. Serve!

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