Authentic Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken Recipe

A wonderful cook ahead meal. It reheats well and I think is even more delicious the next day. Butter chicken is a classic for good reason. A best seller in any curry house but i'm not a fan of the red food colouring that's sometimes added. I don't know why it's necessary. The natural colour from the tomato paste is gorgeous and sans the artificial additives. 

My family loves this recipe. I often make double so we've got plenty of leftovers for the next day!

Serves 4


1kg diced chicken thigh fillets
1 grated brown onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large tablespoon butter or ghee
2 large tablespoons tomato paste
100 ml pure cream
1/2 cup water
Salt & pepper


In a large bowl place the chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, spices, lemon juice and yogurt. Mix well to coat every piece of chicken in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of two hours.

In a hot pan, melt the butter and brown the chicken in batches. Don't overcrowd the pan or the chicken will stew. 

Return all the chicken to the pan and add the tomato paste, cream and water. Season well. 

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 30-40 mins until the sauce is rich and the chicken is tender.

Serve with rice or naan.