Creamy, Spicy, and Simply Delicious: Butter Chicken Recipe

Written by: Naseem Shaikh



Time to read 7 min


When it comes to indulging in the flavors of Indian cuisine, few dishes can compare to the creamy, spicy, and simply delicious butter chicken. This iconic dish has captivated food enthusiasts around the globe with its rich, velvety gravy and tender chicken pieces. Whether you're a fan of Indian cuisine or looking to explore new flavors, this blog post will guide you through creating an authentic butter chicken recipe that will leave you craving more. Prepare for a culinary adventure filled with aromatic spices, luscious butter, and an unforgettable taste experience.

Ingredients Needed for Butter Chicken Recipe

To create a mouthwatering butter chicken recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

For the marinade:

  • 500 grams boneless chicken (preferably chicken breast): Chicken breast works best for butter chicken as it is tender and absorbs flavors well. You can also use boneless chicken thighs if preferred.
  • 1 cup plain yogurt: Yogurt is a tenderizer and adds a tangy undertone to the chicken.
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste: A combination of freshly grated ginger and minced garlic brings a fragrant and spicy flavor to the marinade.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a subtle citrusy tang and helps tenderize the chicken.
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder: Red chili powder adds heat and a vibrant red color to the marinade.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder: Turmeric powder lends the chicken a warm yellow hue and earthy flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala: Garam masala is a blend of aromatic spices that adds depth and complexity to the marinade.
  • Salt to taste: Salt enhances the overall taste and balances the flavors of the dish.

For the gravy:

  • 4 tablespoons butter: Butter is a crucial ingredient that gives butter chicken its creamy and velvety texture. It adds richness and depth to the gravy.
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped: Onions serve as the base of the gravy and provide a sweet and savory flavor.
  • 2 tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are pureed to create a smooth and tangy tomato base for the gravy.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste: Tomato paste adds richness and thickness to the gravy, intensifying the tomato flavor.
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste: Ginger-garlic paste adds a robust and aromatic essence to the gravy, complementing the spices and chicken.
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder: Red chili powder adds a kick of spiciness to the gravy. Adjust the quantity according to your preference.
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala: Garam masala is used in the marinade and the gravy to ensure a consistent flavor profile.
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi): Kasuri methi adds a unique herbal aroma and elevates the dish's overall flavor.
  • 1 cup heavy cream: Heavy cream enriches the gravy, giving it a luxurious texture. It balances the spices and adds richness to the dish.
  • Salt to taste: Salt is added to season the gravy and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish: Fresh cilantro leaves add a touch of freshness and bright green color to the finished butter chicken.

When combined skillfully, these ingredients create the tantalizing flavors and creamy texture that make butter chicken recipe an irresistible delicacy

Butter Chicken Ingredients

Marinating The Chicken

Marinating the chicken is crucial in preparing butter chicken, as it helps infuse the meat with flavors and tenderize it. Follow these steps to marinate the chicken for a butter chicken recipe:

  1. Clean the boneless chicken thoroughly and pat it dry with a paper towel. This ensures that the marinade sticks well to the chicken.
  2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can use chicken breast for a leaner option, but boneless chicken thighs also work well and provide a slightly juicier result.
  3. Combine the plain yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and salt in a bowl. Mix well to create a smooth and creamy marinade.
  4. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, ensuring each piece is evenly coated. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the chicken, ensuring it is well-covered. This helps the flavors penetrate the meat.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the chicken and marinade to a zip-top bag. Refrigerate the marinated chicken for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. For best results, marinate it overnight, giving the chicken more time to absorb the flavors.
  6. If using wooden skewers for grilling or baking, soak them in water for about 20-30 minutes to prevent them from burning.
  7. Once the marinating time is complete, the chicken is ready to be cooked. You can grill it on a barbecue, cook it on a stovetop grill pan, or bake it in the oven. The marinated chicken develops a rich color and aroma when cooked, thanks to the spices and yogurt.

Marinating the chicken ensures that every bite of butter chicken is tender, flavorful, and infused with aromatic spices. The yogurt in the marinade helps tenderize the chicken, resulting in juicy and succulent pieces that perfectly complement the creamy gravy. Take your time to marinate the chicken, and you will be rewarded with a delicious and satisfying butter chicken recipe experience.

Marinating the Chicken - Butter Chicken

Preparing The Gravy

Preparing the gravy for butter chicken is where the magic happens. Follow these steps to create a rich and flavorful gravy for a butter chicken recipe:

  1. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Butter is an essential ingredient that gives butter chicken a velvety texture and rich taste.
  2. Add the finely chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn translucent and golden brown. This process adds sweetness and depth of flavor to the gravy.
  3. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and cook for about a minute until the raw aroma fades away. The ginger and garlic add a solid and aromatic element to the gravy.
  4. Add the pureed tomatoes to the pan. You can make the tomato puree by blending fresh tomatoes until smooth. Cook the mixture for a few minutes until the tomatoes break down and release their juices.
  5. Incorporate the tomato paste into the pan and mix well. Tomato paste enhances the tomato flavor and adds richness and thickness to the gravy.
  6. Sprinkle the red chili powder, garam masala, and dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) into the pan. These spices contribute to the characteristic flavors of butter chicken. Stir the spices into the gravy and cook for a minute to release their aromas.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and gradually pour in the heavy cream while stirring continuously. The cream adds a luscious and creamy texture to the gravy, balancing out the spices and giving it a rich taste.
  8. Allow the gravy to simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors meld together. The simmering process helps intensify the flavors and ensures that the spices are well-incorporated.
  9. Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning with salt according to your preference. Keep in mind that the marinade already has salt, so adjust accordingly.
  10. Finally, add the cooked chicken pieces to the gravy, ensuring they are well-coated. Simmer the chicken in the gravy for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend and the chicken to absorb the deliciousness of the gravy.

Once the gravy is ready, you'll be greeted with a heavenly aroma and a velvety texture that makes butter chicken so enticing. Combining spices, butter, tomatoes, and cream creates a harmonious and irresistible flavor profile with this butter chicken recipe. Your butter chicken is now ready to be served and enjoyed with naan, rice, or any other accompaniment.

Butter Chicken - Preparing the Gravy

About One Stop Halal

Welcome to the Home of the Marinated Meats. We carry various marinated meat items that are hard to find in your nearby grocery stores. We deliver to your doorstep anywhere in the United States within 1-2 business days.

Serving and Presentation

Butter chicken is best enjoyed with carefully selected accompaniments that enhance its flavors and add a touch of freshness. Here are some serving suggestions to elevate your butter chicken recipe experience:

1) Naan or Roti:

Butter chicken pairs exceptionally well with freshly made naan or roti. The soft and fluffy bread is the perfect vessel to scoop up the creamy gravy and tender chicken. The warm bread complements the dish's richness and adds a delightful textural contrast.

2) Basmati Rice:

Fragrant basmati rice is another classic accompaniment for butter chicken. The long-grain rice complements the dish's flavors and provides a neutral base to soak up the delicious gravy. Serve a generous portion of butter chicken over a bed of steamed basmati rice for a complete and satisfying meal.

3) Raita:

To balance the richness and spiciness of the butter chicken, serve it with a refreshing raita. Raita is a yogurt-based condiment with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and a sprinkle of roasted cumin powder. The cool and tangy raita helps cool down the palate and adds freshness to the meal.

4) Salad:

A simple green salad can complement the flavors of butter chicken by providing a crisp and refreshing element. Toss a mix of fresh salad greens, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and red onions. Drizzle with a lemon or lime dressing for a zesty touch.

5) Pickles and Chutneys:

Indian pickles and chutneys are vibrant and flavorful additions to a butter chicken meal. Serve a variety of pickles, such as mango pickles, lime pickles, or mixed vegetable pickles, for a tangy and spicy kick. Additionally, mint or tamarind chutney can add flavor alongside the butter chicken.

6) Fresh Herbs:

Garnish the butter chicken with freshly chopped cilantro leaves for a pop of color and a hint of freshness. The bright green cilantro adds a vibrant visual appeal and complements the dish's flavors.

Remember, for butter chicken recipe serving suggestions may vary based on personal preferences and regional variations. Feel free to experiment with different accompaniments to create your unique butter chicken experience. Enjoy the dish's creamy, spicy, and simply delicious flavors alongside these carefully chosen accompaniments for a memorable dining experience.

Butter Chicken - Serving and Presentation


Creamy, spicy, and simply delicious, butter chicken is a dish that never fails to impress. By following the authentic butter chicken recipe shared above, you can recreate the magic of this iconic Indian dish in your kitchen. Combining aromatic spices, creamy gravy, and tender chicken pieces will transport your taste buds to a world of culinary delight. So, gather the ingredients, put on your apron, and embark on a journey that will leave you savoring every bite of this irresistible butter chicken.

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