Butter Chicken

Creamy, saucy and mildly flavoured gravy – butter chicken can be relished with rice, naans or parathas.

If you have not tasted butter chicken yet it is high time you tried it out. I had been preparing chicken in a variety of ways but the day butter chicken walked into my kitchen it has refused to leave.

The traditional butter chicken recipe calls for tandoori chicken being immersed in a rich, velvety smooth gravy. As history of the dish goes, butter chicken was born out of the necessity of saving left over tandoori chicken from going bad. But what do you do if you, all of a sudden, want to have butter chicken? Can you prepare it without the tandoori chicken?

Such a situation often befalls me. And to satisfy the taste buds a super fast version of the traditional recipe has to be whipped up.

It is true that nothing can beat the original but this quick butter chicken recipe is not going to disappoint you. I would also suggest that you use ghee, as mentioned in the recipe. Ghee has a flavour of its own which refined oil cannot match.

Being mildly spiced it goes down well with children too. And that I am speaking with personal experience.


  • You can prepare the gravy simultaneously while cooking the chicken.
  • To get the traditional recipe feel, the chicken can be grilled in the oven.

If you try the recipe, please do leave a comment in the comments section. If you have any feedback it is always welcome.

Butter Chicken

Creamy, saucy and mildly flavoured gravy - butter chicken can be relished with rice, naans or parathas.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Servings: 4


  • Boneless breast pieces cut in cubes - 400 gm

*For marination*

  • Curd - 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi - 1tbsp
  • Garam Masala powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 1tbsp
  • Salt - as per taste

*For the gravy*

  • Large white onion - 1 chopped
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh cream - 2 cups
  • Tomato puree - 1 cup
  • Salt as per taste
  • Ghee - 2 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

*To cook the chicken*

  • Oil - 3 tbsp


  • Wash the chicken cubes.
  • Mix all the marination ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add the chicken cubes, mix well and set aside for at least 30 mins. If you can leave it overnight all the more better.
  • To cook the chicken, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a fry pan.
  • Working in batches, cook all the chicken pieces to a golden brown.
  • To prepare the gravy, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a heavy bottom wok or pan.
  • Add the chopped onion.
  • Continue cooking the onion till it turns translucent.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the chilli powder, cumin powder and garam masala powder. Cook for a minute.
  • Mix in the tomato puree and half a cup of water. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the fresh cream and mix well to a get an even consistency.
  • Allow the gravy to come to a boil.
  • Keeping the flame on a low setting, add salt to the boiling gravy.
  • Add the cooked chicken pieces.
  • Mix well.
  • Give the gravy one last boil and turn off the flame.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice, parathas or naans.
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