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Rich and Creamy Butter Chicken

Fabulous butter chicken, created right in your own kitchen! Rich, creamy, and full of flavor, you'll love being able to cook up this famous Indian curry to serve at your table! Perfect served with hot basmati rice or naan.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword butter chicken, curry
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinating 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 691kcal
Author Lisa from A Day in the Kitchen




  • 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into chunks
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups plain full-fat yogurt
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1-2 tbs ginger minced or grated


  • 1 tbs ghee (butter is fine if you don't have ghee)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 2 tbs ginger minced or grated
  • 2 1/4 cups tomato passata (may also be called tomato puree; NOT tomato paste)
  • 2 1/4 cups cream (can use whole milk or combination of the two)
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/4 cup Butter



  • In a large ziploc bag, place chicken pieces and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • Combine yogurt, salt, chili powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, garam masal, garlic, and ginger in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add yogurt-spice mixture to the chicken in the ziploc bag, making sure that chicken is coated well.
  • Seal ziploc bag and refrigerate chicken for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).

Cooking Day:

  • Preheat oven 450 deg F/230C.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and place on a foil liked baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until chicken is browned.
  • When the chicken is in the last 15 minutes of roasting, melt ghee in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add dry spices to the ghee and stir with a spatula or spoon until fragrant (30 seconds).
  • Add ginger and garlic to spices and cook for about 1 minute with the spices.
  • Add tomato passata, cream, and honey to the pot and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil.
  • Add cooked chicken pieces to the pot and heat through.
  • Add 1/4 cup butter and stir into sauce to melt.
  • Scoop butter chicken into serving dish and garnish with a drizzle of cream and fresh coriander, if desired. Serve immediately.


  • Chicken thighs work best for this recipe as they do not dry out like chicken breasts do and stay tender throughout.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours before cooking, but overnight is best.
  • If desired, skewer the chicken chunks before roasting for more browning and charring all around the pieces. This step is not necessary.
  • This recipe makes a lot of curry sauce because my family wanted a greater ratio of sauce to chicken than in the original recipe from Amber India. You can reduce the amount of tomato passata and cream to 1 1/2 cups each, if desired.
  • If you do not have cream, you can substitute with whole full-fat milk, but your sauce may not be as thick.


Calories: 691kcal