Butter Chicken Curry Recipe

Butter Chicken Curry Recipe

I’m a huge fan of curry. Korma, masala, dhansak – everything. It’s rich, spicy, flavourful and the perfect dinner all year round. Paired with breads and rice, they’re filling and delicious. My butter chicken curry recipe is super easy to make and will leave you wondering why you ever order takeaway. The tomato based sauce is rich and creamy and showcases a perfect blend of spices that complement each other.

The marinated chicken thigh adds an extra depth of flavour and the natural yoghurt helps make the dish mild and palatable. Of course, you can adjust the spice level to your liking. I am a bit of a spicehead myself but I really enjoy the mild creaminess of this dish as it lends itself to tender chicken and a rich tomato gravy. When cooking the chicken, it’s absolutely essential to get that ‘char’ on the surface of the meat. This will impart extra flavour and texture and is a step I’d definitely pay attention to when making this recipe.


Homemade butter chicken and flatbreads yo #cooking#foodie

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In place of a traditional tandoor oven, a conventional oven with a grill will work just fine. Skewer the chicken into kebabs and place under the grill to achieve that delicious char, amping up flavour to the max.

This butter chicken curry recipe is super versatile too. If you like chunky veg, green capsicum and chunks of onion add an extra flavour profile. Potato works well too. The sauce can pretty much be customised exactly to your liking with heat and main ingredient. Lamb is a delicious alternative to chicken, but personally I think the tender chicken thighs work perfectly in this sauce.

Have you checked out my other recipes? If you’re a fan of something spicier, why not try out my Tom Kha recipe?


5 from 8 votes
Butter Chicken Curry Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Marinating Time
2 hrs
Total Time
1 hr

Butter chicken curry is a delicious Indian favourite. It's rich and creamy, and the perfect balance of spices make this a weeknight dinner staple! 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
Author: Bethany
For the chicken
  • 3 tbsp tandoori masala spice mix
  • 800 grams skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into 3-4 inch pieces
  • 150 ml natural yoghurt
For the sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 large brown onion chopped finely
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 inch knob ginger minced
  • 3 chillies chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3 large tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 300 grams passata
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 50 ml water
  • bunch fresh coriander for garnish
For the chicken
  1. Mix the chicken with the yoghurt and the spice mix and allow to marinade in the fridge for 2 hours at least.

  2. Heat your grill to highest setting. Skewer the chicken pieces and place over a deep baking tray. Allow to cook through under the grill for 8-9 minutes, until flesh is charred. Turn the skewers to ensure an even char. Place to side until ready to use in sauce.

For the sauce
  1. In a pan over a medium heat, add the oil and melt the ghee or butter. Add the onion and allow to soften until translucent.

  2. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes

  3. Add the spices and cook for a couple of minutes, before adding the spices and the tomato paste. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  4. Add the water, passata and the chicken stock and allow to cook for 10 minutes to allow the raw tomato taste to cook out. 

  5. Using a handheld blender, blend the sauce until smooth. You can also use a normal blender for this step.

  6. Return to heat, and add the cream. 

  7. Add the chicken and allow to heat through. Serve up with some fresh coriander over rice or with Indian breads such as naan or chapati.

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