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Butter Chicken

This recipe is based on the Old Delhi style butter chicken recipe featured on Saturday Kitchen by chef Vivek Singh. The recipe caught my attention because it seemed so simple, quick yet the results were delicious. Vivek claimed he couldn’t have this on his restaurant menu because most people would choose it. So, we had to try it. One of the things which attracted me to this curry recipe is the lack of onions. Anyone who knows anything about currys will tell you the key is in the onions. Getting beautiful caramelised onions takes time (up to 30 minutes at times – not to mention the tears while chopping the onions!). So with up to 30 minutes saved this had to be a quick dish.

The recipe involves marinading and grilling your chicken pieces and making a seperate curry gravy. Then in the end combine the two. This is similar for a few of our curry recipes including Tandoor Chicken Masala and our Chicken Tikka Masala recipes. The butter chicken gravy is very simple to make too. You simply cook some tomatoes with some garlic, ginger and some mild spices. Once the tomatoes are cooked for 10 minutes you blend the sauce to make a smooth gravy. I then added some extra spices to give this curry a bit of oomphf.

Towards the end you add the butter for richness and you finish the curry with some garam masala and cream with the cooked chicken pieces. The result was a mild curry that was full of flavour and very simple to make. You could make this simpler by not marinating the chicken and cooking seperately. I also think some fresh green chillies would work perfectly. We enjoyed this butter chicken recipe so much we even made a version for our 10 month old baby (tomato sauce with cumin and coriander and the butter – she loved it!)


Butter Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious, creamy and smooth butter chicken that's easy to make
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2-3 servings
For the chicken marinade
  • 3-4 tbsp full fat greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic purée
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (amend according to your taste"
  • 1½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ⅔ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp tandoori masala powder
  • ½ lime - Juice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-3 breasts of chicken, cut into chunks
Butter Chicken Gravy
  • 4-5 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and cut into large wedges
  • 125ml water
  • 1 tsp ginger purée (or fresh ginger)
  • 4 garlic cloves or 1.5 tsp garlic purée
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 bay leafs
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder (again amend to your taste)
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala powder
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 80g butter, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh single cream
Marinade the chicken
  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together butter chicken marinade
  2. Add the cubed chicken and set aside (min 10 mins, ideally a couple of hours to get the full flavour through) butter chicken marinade
Cook the chicken
  1. Start cooking the cubed chicken around the same time you start the gravy
  2. Remove the excess marinade from the chicken
  3. Skewer and grill under a hot grill/bbq for around 20 minutes until cooked and you have charred bits on the end butter chicken recipe
Prepare the gravy
  1. Add around 2 tbsp vegetable oil, followed by the cloves and cardamom pods. Allow to infuse gently for a couple of minutes
  2. Next add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, turmeric and bay leafs and the water
  3. Simmer over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until the tomatoes have started to break down. butter chicken recipe
  4. Fish out the cloves & cardamom.
  5. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend to get a smooth paste butter chicken recipe
  6. If the mixture is lumpy sieve it into a fresh pan, otherwise just pour into a fresh pan
  7. Add the chilli powder and the tandoori masala powder and simmer for around 5 minutes (I also added 1 tbsp oil)
  8. Then add around 200ml of water and simmer for 10 minutes
  9. Add the butter and the cooked chicken pieces and stir until incorporated. Simmer for 5 more minutes butter chicken recipe
  10. Reduce the heat to low so that the cream doesn't split. Add the cream, dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala and season with salt and pepper. Add the sugar to taste butter chicken recipe
  11. Add a few sprigs of fresh coriander if desired and serve with basmati rice.


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1 Comment

  1. The Mongolian Chef

    Hi Carole, we do have a print option on most of the recipes, we’re working to update them all. The print option might not be available on some mobile devices. Hope that doesn’t stop you enjoying our recipes

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