Indian Butter Chicken

If you have trouble finding the spices, you can substitute paprika for the Kashmiri Lal Mirch and skip the Kasuri Methi.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Marinating time: 30 minutes minimum, 8 hours maximum
  • Yield: 4 servings


For the chicken and marinade:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup full-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Lal Mirch
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste

For the sauce:

  • 8 to 10 whole almonds
  • 8 to 10 whole cashews
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dried coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Kashmiri Lal Mirch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kasuri Methi

To serve:

  • Cooked rice, roti, or naan bread


1 Marinate the chicken: Bring the chicken and the rest of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the marinade into the chicken.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.

How to Make Butter Chicken assemble the chicken and the marinade ingredientsAuthentic Indian Butter Chicken Recipe marinate the chicken

2 Soak cashews and almonds in water for at least an hour to (or up to overnight) before preparing the rest of the recipe.

3 Cook the chicken: Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil to the pan.

Working in batches, remove chicken from the marinade and grill them on the pan for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through (clear juice runs out of it when you cut into it). Do not crowd the pan.

Once cooked, transfer the chicken into a separate dish. Cover and set aside for later.

Best Butter Chicken Recipe grill the chicken

4 Start making the sauce: Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium sized Dutch oven or a skillet on medium low heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the ginger garlic paste followed by sugar. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomato and cook for 8 to 10 minutes on medium high heat, until all the extra liquid is cooked off. The sauce should be a loose, paste-like consistency.

Add coriander, garam masala, Kashmiri Lal Mirch, and salt. Stir and cook on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe add the butter and garlic and ginger How to Make Butter Chicken add the spicesAuthentic Indian Butter Chicken Recipe add the tomatoes

5 Puree the sauce with the nuts: Transfer the paste to a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add the soaked cashews and almonds. Blend into a smooth paste.

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe puree the sauce with the nuts

6 Finish the dish: Return the paste to the cooking pan over medium heat. Add the water to the paste and stir to make a smooth sauce.

As the sauce begins to boil, add the grilled chicken and heavy cream. Stir well. Cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

Authentic Indian Butter Chicken Recipe stir the sauce Best Butter Chicken Recipe add the cream and the chicken

7 Rest the butter chicken: Turn off the heat and uncover the pan. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and the kasuri methi. Cover again, and let the dish rest for 8 to 10 minutes so the flavor of kasuri methi can marry into the butter chicken.

8 Serve: Serve the butter with a side of steamed basmati rice, roti, or naan. Leftovers will keep refrigerated, covered, for five days.

You can freeze this dish in an airtight covered container or a zip-top bag for a month. Thaw and reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat to retain the texture.