Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is a very popular dish served at almost every Indian and Pakistani restaurant.

Traditionally chicken pieces cooked in a tandoor oven are used in this dish. This method of cooking adds a smokey flavour to the dish.

Not many restaurants actually make it that way.. so dont be disheartened if you dont get that flavour at home. You arent missing out on much 🙂

With this recipe you can make this dish to match that served at these restaurants, if not surpass it!


You will need:

500 gms chicken breast- skin and fat removed- chopped into approx 2 cm cubes

1.5 large onions (approx 1 cup)- grated finely

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 large cloves of garlic – minced

2 tablespoons tikka masala spice – I used Mangal brand as it is not too hot, plus one tablespoon extra

1 tin of chopped tomatos- pureed (you can mash while cooking, but for a perfectly smooth sauce you should puree)

2 tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste)

Handful of chopped fresh corriander

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon butter (optional)

approx 150-300 ml cream (optional- more or less to taste)-  Add a little bit at a time until desired richness/colour is achieved. The more cream you add, the more orange your sauce will be and vice versa.

Approx 1/2 cup of oil

To make:

Mix approx 2 tablespoons of the spice mix with the chicken pieces and leave to marinate for a few hours if you have the time.

In a saucepan, heat your oil and fry off the chiken pieces until they pick up some colour. Remove from oil and set aside. To the same pan, add onion/ginger/garlic and fry off on medium heat until cooked for a few mintues. You should  have enough oil for the mix to fry off and not ”sweat”. This is essential in building the flavour.

The raw smell should dissapear before moving onto the next step. Do not brown the onions. Add a tablespoon of butter then a tablespoon of spice (more or less to taste) and fry off for a minute. Do not burn the paste.

Add a tin of tomatos and fry off for a couple of miuntes. Add about a cup of water and allow to gently simmer. Add sugar, corriander and salt and pepper to taste. Make sure the sauce is smooth.

Allow the sauce to cook for approx 20 minutes until the tomatos are well cooked, and the sauce flavour intensifies. You also want the sauce to reduce to a thick consistency. You can remove the lid of the saucepan and simmer until desired thickness is achieved.

Add the chicken pieces and allow to simmer in thes sauce for about 10 minutes. Finally add the cream and switch off the heat.

Serve with steamed rice /yogurt mint raita and enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Butter Chicken

  1. Powder. It is a yellow/organge coloured box. Mangal Brand.

    You can pretty much use any tikka masala or tandoori spice powder, but I can stand behind the flavour of this one 🙂

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