Simple Butter Chicken Recipe

Matty Matheson shares his fool-proof, simple, and perfect recipe for butter chicken.
Simple Butter Chicken Recipe
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours


6 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves
2 birds eye chiles
2 long red chiles
2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
3 thumbs worth ginger, peeled
½ cup|125 ml ghee
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons turmeric
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 ½ cups|785 grams tomato puree
1 tablespoon dried Fenugreek leaves
4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 kilogram)
2 cups|500 ml heavy cream
8 tablespoons|113 grams unsalted butter
fresh cilantro
cooked Jasmine rice, to serve


  1. Place the olive oil, garlic, chilies, onion, and ginger in a blender and purée until smooth.
  2. Heat ghee in a large dutch oven over medium-high. Add the onion purée and cook until the mixture darkens slightly and softens, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, coriander, and cumin and cook for 5 minutes, or until dark and sticky.
  4. Add in 1 ½ cups water. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
  5. Stir in the tomato puree and fenugreek leaves and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes more.
  6. Add the cream and butter and stir to combine. Season with salt and serve garnished with fresh cilantro with steamed Jasmine rice.

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