Butter chicken, is a type of curry made from preferably boneless tender and juicy marinated chicken in a creamy spiced yoghurt based tomato and butter sauce.

butter chicken recipe

Butter chicken is prepared with marinated chicken that’s first grilled and then served in a rich gravy made with tomato, butter, with a delectable spice blend as a base.

Adding cream at the end of cooking provides enough of that richness you look for in an authentic butter chicken.

Tips on How to Make Delicious Homemade Butter Chicken

1. It is best to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts. We prefer white meat, but go with what you like.

2. While the ingredient list may look long, this butter chicken is quite simple to make. The trick is to get all your ingredients prepped first.

3. For a dairy-free option that’s still equally rich and delicious, substitute the cream with coconut milk.

4. Don’t skip adding the butter, it’s what gives the sauce that nice glossy colour and its delicious flavour.

5. Restaurants tend to use an orange-red food colouring to get that gorgeous red colour that we all love but it’s completely optional.

6. Butter chicken can be frozen but I personally don’t freeze it as I find it tends to separate. If you don’t mind that it will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer.

5 from 1 reviews
Butter Chicken
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
For Marination
  • 1kg Chicken Cut into Small Pieces (Preferably Boneless)
  • 1 Tbles Ginger And Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tbles Garam Masala
  • 2 Tsps Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • ½ Tsp Tumeric
  • Salt To Taste
  • ½ Cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 4 Tbles Olive Oil
  • A Few Drops Of Edible Orange-Red Color (Optional)
For the Sauce
  • 4 Tbles Butter Or Ghee
  • 1 Large Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tbles Ginger and Garlic Paste
  • 2 x 400Gr Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes
  • 2 Tsps Sugar
  • Salt to Taste
  • 2 Tbles Ground Cashews (Optional but Delicious)
  • ½ Cup Fresh Cream
  • ½ to 1 Cup Water
For Garnishing
  • Chopped Coriander Leaves for Garnishing
  1. Mix the ingredients for the marinade well and rub into the chicken pieces.
  2. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible for best results.
  3. Heat some oil in a large pan or pot over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add chicken pieces in batches of two or three, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for only 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm. or air fry the chicken pieces in a single layer for 8 mins on 200°C. (You will finish cooking the chicken in the sauce.)
For the Gravy
  1. Heat the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan and add all the ingredients for the gravy.
  2. Fry the onions until soft and translucent and lightly golden.
  3. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add ground coriander, cumin, garam masala, red chilli flakes,sugar, salt and ground cashews. Let cook for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and you have a rich thickish gravy.
  5. Remove from heat and using a stick blender, blend until smooth adding some water if the gravy is too thick.
  6. Stir the cream through the sauce.
  7. Add the chicken with any juices into the saucepan and cook over a low heat for an additional 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.