Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is one of the  India’s best known foods the world over! Restaurants all over the place have their own version of butter chicken. After trying out  various recipes of butter chicken numerous times, I have arrived at this perfect recipe of butter chicken. I don’t use butter at all in this recipe. The creamy flavour of the gravy comes from cashew nuts, ghee and fresh cream.  Here goes the recipe:


For marinating chicken

450 grams boneless chicken (cubed)
1 cup curds
a tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
salt as per taste

For the gravy

10 to 12 cashewnuts
1 tsp melon seeds
2 dry red chillies (Kashmiri chillies)
1 tsp poppy seeds
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
4 onions (chopped)
4 tomatoes (chopped)
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin-coriander powder
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp oil
2 tsp fresh cream
½ tsp sugar
salt as per taste

Butter Chicken


  • In a mixing bowl, marinate the chicken cubes with curd, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilly powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp kasuri methi and salt.
  • Keep this aside for 30 minutes. This can also be kept in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In another bowl, soak the cashews, melon seeds, red kashmiri chillies and poppy seeds in water for 30 minutes.
  • Kashmiri chillies are used to impart colour to the gravy.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the chopped garlic and saute.
  • Add the chopped onions.Saute and cook till the onions turn soft and golden brown in colour.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they turn mushy.
  • After it cools completely, transfer it to the mixer jar.
  • Add the soaked cashews, melon seeds, dry chillies and poppy seeds to the mixer jar.
  • Blend to a smooth paste. Keep this aside.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of ghee.
  • Add the marinated chicken and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • In another pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee and add the ground masala paste.
  • Saute it for a minute.
  • Add  ½ tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp red chilly powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp cumin coriander powder and mix well.
  • Add the cooked chicken and mix.
  • At this stage, add ½ tsp sugar, salt and 2 tsp fresh cream and mix.
  • Let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rotis or parathas or naans.

Note: If you  like your butter chicken to have a tandoori flavour. You can  follow the following procedure after the butter chicken is ready.

Place a piece of dry charcoal on an open flame. Let it burn till the charcoal turns red in colour. Pick up the charcoal with the help of tongs and place it in a steel bowl, Add half tsp of ghee to it. The ghee will melt and smoke will emanate from it. Place this bowl immediately  on the butter chicken, and close the lid for few minutes.  Butter chicken will be infused with smoky flavour.  Open the lid and take off the bowl. 


Further, I would like to draw your attention to my other chicken recipes: Chicken Frankie, Chicken Shami Kebab, Kerala style Chicken curry, Chicken Sukka, Chicken Ghee Roast, Chicken Kheema, Chicken Stir Fry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.