Butter Chicken Recipe

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

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.

READ MORE: Inside the Restaurant That Serves Drake's Favourite Butter Chicken