20 October 2018 Lorraine 0Comment
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Who doesn’t love Butter Chicken, it is one of the most popular Indian dishes and just the mention of it gets everyone salivating. My kids absolutely love Butter Chicken, although I had to stop making it for a while because they had too much of it and didn’t want to hear the word butter chicken. Now that they’ve had a break they are happy to eat it again and this time it was super-delicious. I’ve created many versions of this recipe and I was never totally satisfied so I’m constantly tweaking my recipe until I know it’s perfect.  I’m hoping this is my final tweak as this recipe couldn’t be more perfect. I must have tried making a hundred different versions, just kidding…well not exactly a hundred but enough to make me crazy. I’ve cooked this chicken dish for all my family and friends and everyone loves it and I’m also sure everyone’s had a different version of this recipe.

I think this Butter Chicken is a really simple dish to prepare and even the most novice cook can make this dish with ease, especially if you have the right recipe and all the ingredients. As I always say freshly roasted and ground spices are the best so if you do have the time it will be worth it. I also love using fresh tomatoes but here in Johannesburg we don’t always get the kind of tomatoes I use in my cooking so I have to sometimes settle for canned tomatoes.

I don’t always use butter when cooking my sauce as the cream adds enough creamy, richness to the dish. However, everybody prefers to cook this dish their way so if you prefer butter or ghee over oil feel free to use it.  This recipe seems to have tick all the boxes for now, although I could change my mind in a few months. I am really indecisive, ask my hubby that sometimes goes shopping with me, my indecisiveness may lead me to create another version of this dish. So if I post another recipe in a few months don’t be too surprised. If you’re looking for a vegetarian dish with the same sort of creamy, delicious sauce then you’ve got to try my Paneer Makhani

Butter Chicken

Servings 4


  • 500 gram chicken breasts or thighs I prefer the breasts
  • 2 tbsp tandoori marinade any store bought Tandoori marinade is fine. I love the Amina's marinade here in SA
  • 3 tbsp greek yogurt or any plain yogurt will work
  • 400 gram canned tomatoes diced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • 1 tspn ground coriander
  • 2 tspn Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tspn masala optional
  • 1 tspn garam masala
  • 1/2 tspn turmeric
  • 1 tspn dried fenugreek/methi leaves
  • 2 tspn sugar or 1 tspn honey
  • 1/2 cup/125ml fresh cream
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or light olive oil
  • 2 tspn ginger/garlic paste
  • salt


  • Marinate the chicken with the Tandoori marinade and yogurt and refrigerate for an hour or overnight
  • Heat oil and add cumin seeds, fry until it starts to burst. Add bay leaf and onion. Sauté until onion is translucent.
  • Add ginger/garlic paste and fry for a further minute.
  • Add turmeric, ground cumin, coriander, Kashmiri chilli powder, masala. Mix well and cook the paste for 2 minutes. Add a few drops of water to prevent scorching
  • Add the tomatoes, season with salt. Add sugar. Cover and simmer on low heat until tomatoes are cooked, about 20 minutes
  • Whilst the sauce is cooking you can flash fry the chicken or pop it into the oven using the grill function just until it browns. Do not overcook your chicken if using breasts. Set aside
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, crush the fenugreek leaves in your hands and add it to the sauce together with the garam masala and cream. Use a stick blend and blend the sauce until it's smooth and creamy
  • Add the chicken and let it heat through. Switch off the stove and let the chicken cook through in the sauce. Serve with roti, basmati rice or naan bread

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