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Indian Butter Chicken


  • 2tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1kg boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in large chunks
  • 50g butter
  • 2teaspoons garam masala
  • 2teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1tablespoon grated fresh green ginger
  • 1⁄2teaspoon chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1cinnamon stick
  • 6cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1(400 g) can tomato puree
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • 1⁄4cup plain yogurt
  • 1⁄2cup cream
  • 1tablespoon lemon juice


  • Heat a wok until really hot, add 1 Tbsp oil.
  • Add half the chicken and stir-fry for about 4 minutes or until chicken is a nice colour.
  • Remove to plate.
  • Add extra oil and cook remaining chicken.
  • Remove from wok.
  • Reduce heat and add the butter.
  • When melted add all of the spices and stir-fry until fragrant- about 1 minute.
  • Return chicken to wok and stir to coat with the spices.
  • Add the tomato and sugar and simmer for 15 minutes- stir occasionally.
  • Add the yogurt, cream and lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit.
  • Serve over rice.
  • **This dish can be frozen. After step nine cool completely then store in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. To reheat, thaw in bag in fridge overnight then add contents to saucepan. Reheat gently, then simmer for 8 minutes – add the yoghurt, cream and lemon juice and simmer for 5 more minutes.


  • Aishwariya

    I followed the recipe exactly..Didn’t enjoy it. I Have had better butter chicken..Wasn’t very spicy and didn’t have much flavor

  • sksgrad

    There are far better butter chicken recipes available on this site. As written the dish was very bland and it improved slightly with the addition of cumin, garlic, and onion powder.

  • Peachie Keene

    We absolutely adored this dish! Funny story… My brother-in-law lives in India, and he flew in for a suprise visit the same night that I was cooking this. He knocked on our door and came inside and the first thing he said was ‘it smells like you’re cooking Indian food in here’. What a coincidence 🙂 He passed however, and exclaimed that he was ‘ready to eat some American food for once’ – LoL 😀 I made and used Quick Garam Masala and instead of cardamom pods (couldn’t find any!) I used 6 teaspoons of ground cardamom. I served this with Butternut Squash With Cumin Couscous. Perfect!

  • Helen V.

    I just made this. My husband and I didn't think it was as good as the Butter Chicken we have had in restaurants. The tomato taste was stronger than the restaurants and it wasn't very spicy. It needs something else in it.

  • jewliegurl28

    Disgusting waste of ingredients. Rated five stars by those who have no sense of taste, smoke, have never had really good Indian food or douse everything they eat in ketchup. Don't waste your time or ingredients with this one.

  • Bogey’sMom

    Loved this. Relatively uncomplicated recipe that produced a delicious dinner.

  • JustJanS

    Tastes just like restaurant butter chicken-delicious. An easy to follow recipe that we both loved so much thank you!

  • Marysdottir

    Fast, easy, very good! I used sour cream since I had no yoghurt – it was delicious. Thanks so much for posting this.

  • shelley13

    I really loved this recipe, and I only made a few adjustments. First I boiled my own tomatoes, took the skin off and pureed them and added these instead of canned tomatoes. i also added an extra half tsp of sugar and also a little salt. I didn’t have any cream, so I used unsweetened coconut cream instead, and it turned out very delicious! We ate the chicken with fresh homemade roti.

  • Gabo

    I’m sorry – I was so hoping that this recipe would turn out, because I adore butter chicken, but it just didn’t. I found that there was way too much sauce, and it was quite soupy. I tried to reduce it but just ended up making the chicken tough. I also thought that the tomato taste overpowered the buttery-ness, and the spices weren’t pronounced enough.