top of page

How to make Butter Chicken – in 3 Simple Steps

  1. Make Butter Chicken Marinade and marinate chicken for 3+ hours (overnight is best)

  2. Cook chicken

  3. Make sauce in the same skillet

The secret to the tender, flavour infused chicken is a spice infused yogurt marinade made with fresh ginger, garlic, lemon juice and spices. The spices in Butter Chicken are turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder and cumin.

Did you know….You don’t need copious amounts of butter for a great Butter Chicken!

The beautiful Butter Chicken Sauce mostly gets its richness from cream. While some restaurants take it over the top by stirring in a (very!) generous amount of butter into the sauce at the end, I find that it’s rich enough as it is. The Butter Chicken flavour and experience – but less oily than restaurant versions!



  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt , full fat

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp tumeric powder

  • 2 tsp garam masala (Note 1)

  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper powder (Note 2)

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1.5 lb / 750 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces


  • 2 tbsp (30 g) ghee or butter, OR 1 tbsp vegetable oil (Note 3)

  • 1 cup tomato passata (aka tomato puree) (Note 4)

  • 1 cup heavy / thickened cream (Note 5)

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1 1/4 tsp salt


  • Optional blitz: for an extra smooth sauce, combine the Marinade ingredients (except the chicken) in a food processor and blend until smooth. (I do not do this)

  • Marinade: Combine the Marinade ingredients with the chicken in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours (minimum 3 hrs).

  • Cook chicken: Heat the ghee (butter or oil) over high heat in a large fry pan. Take the chicken out of the Marinade but do not wipe or shake off the marinade from the chicken (but don’t pour the Marinade left in the bowl into the fry pan).

  • Place chicken in the fry pan and cook for around 3 minutes, or until the chicken is white all over (it doesn’t really brown because of the Marinade).

  • Sauce: Add the tomato passata, cream, sugar and salt. Also add any remaining marinade left in the bowl. Turn down to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Do a taste test to see if it needs more salt.

  • Garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves if using. Serve with basmati rice.

97 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page