butter chicken recipe
Chicken Recipe

Best Butter Chicken Recipe – Quick & Delicious!


Greetings, my fellow food enthusiasts! If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, you must have heard of butter chicken, one of the most flavorful and comforting dishes out there. Today, I’m excited to share with you the best butter chicken recipe that is both quick and delicious. Whether you’re looking for a cozy dinner or an impressive dish to entertain your loved ones, this recipe is sure to impress. So get ready, put on your apron, and let’s dive into the world of rich and creamy butter chicken! Don’t forget to grab a tissue or two for the drool-worthy image below.

Why Butter Chicken is a Favourite Dish

Butter chicken is a dish that has captured many hearts and palates. This classic Indian recipe combines tender, marinated chicken with a rich and creamy tomato-based sauce, making it a true crowd-pleaser. The flavour profile is distinct, with a perfect blend of spices and aroma that permeates each bite.

The dish’s popularity also stems from its versatility; it can be enjoyed with a variety of sides, such as rice, naan bread, or a fresh salad. Additionally, it is a hearty and satisfying meal that can provide comfort during colder months or a chilly evening.

There is no denying the deliciousness of butter chicken, and that is why it should be a go-to recipe for anyone looking to add a touch of flavourful indulgence to their meals.

The Origins of Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is said to have originated in the old city of Delhi, where a chef named Kundan Lal Gujral is credited with creating the dish in the early 1900s. The chef had a restaurant called Moti Mahal Delux, which he ran with his family. It is said that he had a surplus of tandoori chicken and chicken tikka and used it to create a tomato-based gravy, which later became the signature sauce for butter chicken.

Health Benefits of Butter Chicken

While butter chicken is indulgent and rich, it also contains several ingredients that offer some health benefits. For example, chicken is a great source of lean protein, which can help with muscle development and weight loss. Additionally, the spices used in the dish, such as ginger, garlic, and paprika, have anti-inflammatory properties.

Spice Level

The spice level of butter chicken can vary depending on the recipe or the chef’s preferences. Generally, it is not a spicy dish, as the cream and tomato sauce provide a milder flavour profile. However, if you prefer a bit more heat, adding some chilli powder or cayenne pepper is an easy way to spice things up.

Essential Ingredients

To make the best butter chicken, you’ll need a few essential ingredients. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to prepare before you start cooking:

Ingredient Quantity
Chicken thighs, boneless 600g
Plain yogurt 1 cup
Garlic paste 1 tablespoon
Ginger paste 1 tablespoon
Garam masala 1 tablespoon
Ground cumin 1 teaspoon
Smoked paprika 1 teaspoon
Salt 1 teaspoon
Vegetable oil 2 tablespoons
Unsalted butter 2 tablespoons
Diced onion 1 cup
Garlic cloves, minced 2
Diced tomato 1 cup
Tomato paste 2 tablespoons
Heavy cream 1/4 cup
Fresh coriander 2 tablespoons

Ensure that you have all the ingredients from the list before you start cooking for a smooth and easy process.

Marinating the Chicken

In my opinion, marinating the chicken is the most crucial step in creating an authentic butter chicken dish. The marination process allows the flavors to seep into the chicken, resulting in a juicy and tender outcome. For this butter chicken recipe, you will need boneless chicken breasts, yogurt, lemon juice, vegetable oil, and an array of spices.

I recommend using full-fat yogurt as it adds creaminess and a tangy taste. Adding lemon juice tenderizes the chicken, making it easier to cook. The table below outlines the essential ingredients and measurements needed for the marinade.

Ingredients Measurements
Boneless chicken breasts 500g, cut into cubes
Plain full-fat yogurt 1 cup
Lemon juice 2 tablespoons
Vegetable oil 2 tablespoons
Garlic paste 1 tablespoon
Ginger paste 1 tablespoon
Paprika 1 tablespoon
Garam masala 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder 1 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon
Salt 1 teaspoon

Firstly, mix the yogurt, lemon juice, vegetable oil, garlic paste, ginger paste, paprika, garam masala, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken breast cubes to the bowl and mix them thoroughly, ensuring each piece is coated in the marinade. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight, to allow the chicken to absorb the flavors.

By following the above steps, you will have perfectly marinated chicken for your butter chicken recipe, ready to be cooked to perfection.

Cooking the Tomato Sauce

In this section, I will guide you through the process of cooking the heart of the butter chicken recipe – the tomato sauce. Start by finely chopping one large onion and mincing three cloves of garlic. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir it in for a minute until fragrant.

Tip: Be careful not to let the onions and garlic brown, as it can ruin the texture and flavor of the sauce.

Next, add one can of crushed tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce to the pan, along with a tablespoon of tomato paste. Mix well and let it come to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the flavors to combine and the sauce to thicken slightly.

Now it’s time to add the spices. Add one teaspoon of paprika, one teaspoon of cumin powder, one teaspoon of coriander powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper to the sauce. Mix well and let it cook for a few minutes to amp up the flavors.

Tip: You can adjust the spices according to your taste preference. If you want a milder sauce, omit the cayenne pepper, and if you want a spicier sauce, add more cayenne pepper or chili powder.

Finally, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the sauce and stir it in well. Let the sauce simmer for another 5-10 minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency. Take the pan off the heat, and your creamy tomato sauce is ready to be combined with the marinated chicken.

Cooking the Chicken

Now that the chicken is marinated and the tomato sauce is prepared, it’s time to cook the chicken. To ensure that your chicken is juicy and tender, it’s essential to follow the right cooking techniques.

  1. Searing the Chicken: In a large pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Place the marinated chicken into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned.
  2. Simmering the Chicken: After searing, pour the tomato sauce into the same pan. Reduce the heat to low and allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked.
  3. Checking the Temperature: To verify that the chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to ensure that it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).

Once done, remove the chicken from the sauce and set it aside. Don’t worry if the sauce looks too thin at first, as it will thicken as it cooks further. If it’s too thick, add some cream or water to adjust its consistency to your liking.

Creamy Finishing Touches

With the chicken and tomato sauce ready, it’s time to add the finishing touches that will make your butter chicken simply irresistible. Here are my top tips for adding that touch of creaminess:

  1. Add a tablespoon of cream to the tomato sauce once it’s cooked. This will give the sauce a silky smooth texture and make it even more delicious.
  2. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and add the chopped chicken pieces. Fry until the chicken is golden and crispy. Adding this extra step will take the chicken to a whole new level of flavor.
  3. Garnish with fresh coriander for a pop of color and extra burst of flavor.

Try these simple tips to add a touch of richness and creaminess to your butter chicken recipe. It’s the perfect way to finish off this classic Indian dish and create a truly indulgent meal!

recipe for butter chicken

Serving Suggestions

Now that your delicious butter chicken is ready, it’s time to think about how you want to serve it. As an authentic Indian dish, butter chicken pairs perfectly with fluffy basmati rice or naan bread. If you prefer a lighter option, you can also serve it with a fresh salad dressed with a vinaigrette.

To create a more elaborate Indian meal, you can also pair butter chicken with other classic dishes such as samosas, chana masala, or dal makhani. A refreshing drink like mango lassi or a hot cup of chai tea can also complement the flavors of your butter chicken recipe.

Dish Description
Basmati rice Aromatic and fluffy, basmati rice is a popular side dish in Indian cuisine and perfectly complements the rich flavors of butter chicken.
Naan bread Freshly baked and slightly chewy, naan bread is a perfect dipping companion for butter chicken’s luscious sauce.
Chana masala A popular vegetarian dish made with chickpeas, onions, and tomatoes, chana masala provides a balanced contrast to the creamy texture of butter chicken.
Samosas A crispy and savory pastry filled with spiced potatoes, peas, and herbs, samosas add an extra layer of flavor to your meal.
Mango lassi A refreshing yogurt-based drink, mango lassi complements the spicy notes of butter chicken and cools down the palate.

No matter what you choose to pair with your butter chicken recipe, make sure to serve it hot and enjoy it with your loved ones.

Leftovers and Storage Tips

If you’re lucky enough to have any delicious butter chicken leftovers, there’s no need to let them go to waste. Here are my tips for storing and reheating your leftovers to ensure they still taste great:

  1. Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate them as soon as possible. The leftover butter chicken can last for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
  2. When you’re ready to reheat the leftovers, the best way to do so is in a pan over medium heat. Reheating in the microwave can make the chicken dry out, so avoid using your microwave if possible.
  3. To bring back the original creaminess of the butter chicken, add a splash of cream or coconut milk to the pan while reheating. This will help make the sauce smoother and richer.
  4. If you want to take the leftovers to work or school, transfer them to a microwave-safe container and reheat in the microwave. To prevent the chicken from drying out, add a tablespoon of water or chicken broth before reheating.

Don’t let the leftovers sit in your fridge for too long! Instead, repurpose them into new and exciting dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Serve the leftover butter chicken on top of a baked potato for a quick and easy lunch.
  • Use the chicken and sauce as a pizza topping for a unique twist on traditional pizza.
  • Add the leftover butter chicken to a bowl of steaming hot rice for a simple yet satisfying meal.

With these tips, you can enjoy your delicious butter chicken for days to come.

recipe of butter chicken

Variations and Customizations

As I previously mentioned, the classic butter chicken recipe is a definite crowd-pleaser but, once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, it’s time to experiment with different variations and customizations. Here are a few ideas that you can try to make the recipe even more unique:

  • Add some heat: If you’re a fan of spicy food, you can add some extra heat to the dish by increasing the amount of chili powder or adding some fresh green chilies.
  • Swap the protein: Butter chicken can also work well with other meats like lamb, beef or shrimp. You can also experiment with vegetarian options like paneer and tofu.
  • Use different spices: While the classic butter chicken recipe uses a specific set of spices, you can tweak the recipe by using different spice blends such as garam masala or curry powder.
  • Experiment with the sauce: You can add different ingredients to the tomato sauce like cashew paste, coconut cream or even fruits like mango or pineapple for a sweeter touch.

Whether you decide to add some heat or switch up the protein, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavours and textures. With these variations and customizations, you can make the butter chicken recipe truly your own.


Thank you for taking the time to read through the best butter chicken recipe. I hope that you found the instructions clear, and the tips useful.

By following this recipe, you can create a delicious butter chicken dish that’s full of flavour, and perfect for any occasion.

Remember to gather all the essential ingredients, marinate your chicken, prepare the tomato sauce, cook the chicken to perfection, add the creamy finishing touches, and serve your butter chicken with your favourite sides and accompaniments.

And don’t forget, you can always switch things up by adding your own variations and customisations to make this recipe truly your own.

So, what are you waiting for? Get cooking and enjoy this mouthwatering butter chicken recipe!


Why is butter chicken a favorite dish?

Butter chicken is a favorite dish for many because it combines tender, marinated chicken with a creamy tomato-based sauce. The flavors are rich, aromatic, and absolutely mouthwatering.

What are the essential ingredients for butter chicken?

The essential ingredients for butter chicken include chicken, yogurt, spices (such as garam masala, turmeric, and cumin), cream, butter, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and fresh coriander.

How do I marinate the chicken for butter chicken?

To marinate the chicken for butter chicken, combine yogurt, spices (such as garam masala, turmeric, and cumin), garlic, ginger, and lemon juice. Coat the chicken pieces in the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to develop.

How do I cook the tomato sauce for butter chicken?

To cook the tomato sauce for butter chicken, sauté onions and garlic in butter until golden brown. Add blended tomatoes and cook until the sauce thickens. Season with spices, such as garam masala, turmeric, and cumin, and let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

How do I cook the chicken for butter chicken?

To cook the chicken for butter chicken, sear the marinated chicken in a hot pan until golden brown. Then, add the tomato sauce and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender. This allows the flavors to infuse into the chicken, resulting in a delicious and well-rounded dish.

What are some creamy finishing touches for butter chicken?

To add creamy finishing touches to butter chicken, you can incorporate cream and butter into the sauce. This gives the dish a rich and indulgent texture. Additionally, garnishing with fresh coriander adds a burst of freshness to balance out the flavors.

What are some serving suggestions for butter chicken?

Butter chicken pairs well with fluffy basmati rice, naan bread, or even a fresh salad. The rice can soak up the delicious sauce, while the naan bread provides the perfect vessel for scooping up every last bit. A fresh salad can add a refreshing element to the meal.

How do I store and reheat leftover butter chicken?

To store leftover butter chicken, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, gently warm the butter chicken in a pan on the stove, adding a splash of water or cream to moisten it if necessary.

Can I customize the butter chicken recipe?

Absolutely! The classic butter chicken recipe is already amazing, but you can always get creative and add your own personal touch. Try adding extra spices, such as chili powder or cardamom, or experimenting with different ingredients, such as cashew paste or fenugreek leaves. The variations are endless!

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