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Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

Sometimes it’s our public service to share the culinary dish which in this case affects around 2 billion people. Believe it or not, there’s been a court battle raging in India to settle once and for all who gets the credit for this national treasure. So, of course we have a butter chicken recipe you’ll want to make at home.

Call us biased but no other country brings the flavors together the way India does. If culture and heritage are the heart of India, then food is the soul. Especially, Butter Chicken, which has become a signature dish of sorts. The dish has been around for almost seven decades but this year its name is popping up everywhere for totally different reasons. 

Butter Chicken

There’s a legal battle ensuing in India over the origin of the dish. Two families are fighting over whose ancestor first came up with the recipe. The issue might seem juvenile but Butter Chicken remains one of the tastiest chicken dishes out there. Considering how good this velvety creamy dish is, it’s legacy is totally worth fighting over.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. We suggest give this recipe a try and find out what the fuss is all about.


For Marinating the Chicken:

500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

Salt to taste

For the Gravy:

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece of ginger, grated

1 serrano pepper, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

4 tomatoes, crushed or pureéd

10-15 Cashew nuts

1 tbsp dried melon seeds

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp sugar (adjust to taste)

Salt to taste

Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


Marinate the Chicken-

In a bowl, mix together yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, and salt.

Add the chicken pieces and coat them evenly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

Cook the Chicken-

Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).

Thread the marinated chicken on skewers and grill.  Once cooked, remove the chicken from the grill and set aside.

Prepare the gravy-

In a blender, add the cashews and melon seeds with some water. Blend these to make a cashew paste.

Heat ghee (or butter) and sunflower oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Stir in minced garlic and grated ginger, chopped serrano pepper, and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

Pour in the pureed tomatoes and simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the tomatoes blend in, add the cashew paste. Stir till the sauce thickens.

Add ground coriander, paprika, garam masala, and turmeric. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. 

Finish the Dish-

Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the heavy cream and sugar. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the grilled chicken pieces to the sauce, coating them evenly. Cook for a few more minutes until the chicken is heated through and the flavors meld together.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and more sugar if needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve with rice or naan.

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