Cooking Blog - Indian Butter Chicken
Cooking Blog - Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

A recipe for Indian butter chicken, where chicken thigh or breast can be used and you can marinate the chicken for 2 hours up to over night.

Many spices are used in this dish and there is actually no butter at all in the ingredients.

After the chicken marinates, the chicken pieces are then roasted on a tray for 15 minutes, then pulled off the watery tray using tongs, discarding the juices produced and transferred to a fry pan for the rest of the time cooking.

Most of the spices, like bay leafs and cardamom pods come together in the frypan, resulting in a delicious and authentic Indian butter chicken.


Why is the chicken marinated in half a cup of greek yoghurt?

Different marinates produce different results, some marinates would marinate the chicken for a couple of hours. In this recipe, the chicken can marinate in the yoghurt and one tablespoon of lemon juice among other ingredients overnight without losing tenderness or juiciness, which is what would happen if the marinate had harsher acidity levels.

What does this butter chicken taste like?

After being marinated, the chicken has a tenderness and tanginess from the yoghurt marinade and after being cooked has a fiery flavour and aroma from the spices used, but has an element of sweetness with the rich creamy tomato sauce used.

Which spices are used in butter chicken?

In this butter chicken, the different spices used are garam masala, bay leafs, cardamom pods, cloves, a cinnamon stick and chilli powder.

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Cooking Blog - Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

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  • Prep Time: 11 minutes
  • Cook Time: 32 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 43 minutes
  • Category: Mains


A recipe for Indian butter chicken.



For marinate:

  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1kg chicken thigh, cubed

For curry:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 bay leafs
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1½ tbsp garlic paste
  • 1½ tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1½ cups of basmati rice


For marinate:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix garlic paste, ginger paste, yoghurt, chilli powder, garam masala, oil and lemon juice.
  2. Add chicken thigh to the bowl, cover and refrigerate to marinate for 2 hours to overnight.

For curry:

  1. Heat an oven to 200°C, then on a baking tray lined with baking paper, using tongs, put each individual piece of chicken on the tray, discarding the rest of the marinate sauce and roast them for 15 minutes.
  2. In a large fry pan, heat oil over a low heat, then add bay leafs, cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick and stir occasionally for 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger paste and stir often for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add chicken pieces to the fry pan, discarding most of the juices left in the baking tray and stir often for 2 minutes. Add tomato puree, chilli powder, garam masala and salt and stir occasionally for a further 10 minutes. Turn of the heat and add honey and cream to the fry pan and stir to finish the butter chicken.
  4. Cook rice as per packet instructions, then serve butter chicken with rice.


Allow an additional 2 hours to overnight for the chicken to marinate.


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 1034