Food by VICE

Butter Chicken Recipe

Spicy and tasty AF, this simple dish requires the chicken to be marinated twice, resulting in perfectly tender meat.

by Tayub and Mudassar Amjad
Oct 25 2017, 11:00pm

Servings: 4
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 24 hours


for the first marination:
2.2 pounds|1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, mashed into a paste
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and mashed into a paste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon mustard oil
kosher salt, to taste

for the second marination:
2 tablespoons mustard oil
2 tablespoons tikka paste
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground fenugreek
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

for the sauce:
3 1/2 tablespoons|50 grams unsalted butter
1 teaspoon green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
4-5 green chilies, stemmed and diced
13 ounces|400 grams tomato purée
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon whole garam masala
1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 cup|250 ml heavy cream
cashew nuts, for serving
steamed rice, for serving
naan, for serving


1. For the first marination: In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the vegetable oil, mustard oil, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, and salt. Toss to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 6 hours.

2. For the second marination: Combine the mustard oil, tikka paste, yogurt, coriander, cumin, chili powder, fenugreek, lemon juice, garam masala, and salt in a large bowl. Add the marinated chicken and marinate for another 18 hours.

3. Light a grill. Working in batches, grill the chicken, turning as needed, until charred and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

4. Make the butter chicken: Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. Cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, and chilies. Cook for 2 minutes more, then stir in the tomato purée, chili powder, whole garam masala, dried fenugreek, salt, and 1 cup|250 ml water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

5. Stir in the honey and garam masala powder, along with the chicken. Simmer 5 minutes longer, then stir in the cream and cashews. Serve alongside rice and naan.

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