March 12, 2013

Butter Chicken Recipe | Indian Butter Chicken Masala Recipe

Butter Chicken Masala is probably one of the most popular Indian chicken recipes liked by  all for its mild flavour and deliciously rich gravy. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the most popular dish in Indian restaurants and so, this is a restaurant-style Butter Chicken Recipe. 
When you talk to non-Indians about Indian food, one of the few dishes they immediately recall is Butter Chicken. They always know Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka, "Naan Bread', and Biryani. When I ask about Idli and Dosa, I mostly get blank stares back. So when my colleagues ask for good Indian restaurant recommendations in Singapore, I know not to suggest Murugan Idli Kadai because they may not even recognize that as Indian food!

Indian Butter Chicken Masala Recipe

Anyway, Butter Chicken is Indian, I do accept that. However, it has never been my first option while eating out - not now and not when I was growing up. I guess I always preferred spicier versions of chicken recipes like maybe Pepper Chicken or Chilli Chicken.

Indian Butter Chicken Masala Recipe

However, there's really something very comforting about a good Butter Chicken Recipe. If cooked right, it pairs fabulously with some naan made on tawa, a simple vegetable pulao, or even plain rotis or chapatis. I have used cream in the gravy for this Butter Chicken but you can just as easily substitute that with some pureed cashew paste for a different flavour.

Indian Butter Chicken Masala Recipe

I made this for some friends who were coming over for dinner, and paired it with my vegetable pulao recipe. The basic gravy is adapted from my Paneer Butter Masala Recipe. This is a restaurant-style Butter Chicken Masala Recipe - so enjoy!


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

  • 250 gm of boneless chicken, cubed
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1 tomato, pureed
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste or sauce
  • 1 tbsp of butter, ghee, or oil
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of minced ginger
  • 2 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder (use Kashmiri chilli powder for better results)
  • 1 tsp of garam masala or chicken masala
  • 1 large pinch of kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 tbsp of cream or pureed cashew paste (soak and grind cashew nuts)
  • 1-2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 small bunch of coriander leaves / cilantro, for ganish

How to Make Butter Chicken:
  • Heat the butter in a pan and add the minced onions. Fry until golden brown
  • Add the ginger, garlic, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric, and salt. Fry for a minute until fragrant
  • Add the pureed tomato and tomato paste and cook for 3-4 mins until the mixture bubbles uniformly
  • Thrown in the kasuri methi, milk, and the cubed chicken. Cook covered for 8-10 mins until the chicken is soft. The chicken will let out more water, just check once or twice in between and give the curry a stir. Keep the flame on sim
  • When the chicken is cooked soft, open the lid and cook for a further minute or two. If the gravy is too thick, add some water at this stage
  • When done, add the garam masala or chicken masala and the cream or cashew paste. Give it a good stir, but don't boil
  • Adjust salt, garnish with the coriander leaves, and remove from fire
  • Serve hot with tawa naan, vegetable pulao, or jeera rice

Note: You can slightly fry the chicken before adding it to the gravy. I haven't tried this but what I'd do is marinate the chicken pieces in ginger, garlic, turmeric, and chilli powder and lightly saute it until half-cooked. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe for Butter Chicken above.

For Butter Chicken recipe in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, please use the Google Translate button on the top right of this website.

Related Recipes