How to Make Traditional Butter Chicken at Home | Restaurant Style Recipe

A personal favourite and a classic Indian dish with rich flavourful sauce and delicious tandoori chicken. This has been the best homemade butter chicken recipe I've come to love and use every time now! It adheres to the traditional recipe with my own personal touch of sweetness to offset the heat. Serve it with a side of delicious homemade naan, which you can read about here.

This recipe will go through the steps of marinating the chicken, making the gravy, and assembling the dish all together.

  • 7-8 green cardamom
  • 3-4 small pieces of mace
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon salt + salt to taste
  • 5 tablespoon kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1.5 tablespoons of dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt or hung plain yogurt
  • 1 28 oz. can of tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey or 1-2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Prepare First Marinade. Trim excess fat off chicken thighs. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of chilli powder and 1 tablespoon salt to make a mixture. Add in the chicken and mix well. Wrap bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 25-30 mins.
  2. Meanwhile prepare second marinade. Put 50 grams of ginger and 50 grams of garlic in a food processor, add some water and blend until smooth. Use half of ginger garlic paste and put in a bowl. Add in yogurt, 2 more tablespoons of the chilli powder, a tablespoon of garam masala and a teaspoon of salt. Mix in this mixture to the first marinade and mix well. Refrigerate this for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Set oven to preheat at 475F
  4. To prepare the sauce, heat up 2 tablespoons of butter to melt over medium heat in a heavy bottom saucepan/kadai and add your cardamom and mace. When it starts to become fragrant, add in rest of ginger garlic paste and stir until slightly golden brown.
  5. In the meanwhile, puree your can of tomatoes in a blender/food processor.
  6. Once oven has preheated, lay out a sheet pan with aluminium foil put your marinated chicken on it. Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes/until cooked.
  7. Add in tomatoes into your saucepan/kadai and mix well.
  8. Once sauce starts simmering, add in 1 teaspoon of salt, rest of chilli powder and cook until you see oil disperse on the sides of the pan.
  9. Next crush the dried fenugreek leaves between the palm of your hands and add to your sauce. Mix and cook for 2-3 more mins. Then blend in the rest of your butter and add in your honey/sugar. Mix and cook for 3-4 minutes
  10. Now take your sauce and transfer it into a blender/food processor and blend until smooth.
  11. Over a sieve, transfer the blended sauce back into your saucepan/kadai and use a spatula or a wooden spoon to sieve out your sauce.  Discard the remain dry parts remaining in the sieve. You should now be left with a smooth looking sauce.
  12. Finish the sauce by adding the rest of your cream and a teaspoon of garam masala. Taste and correct for salt.
  13. Once chicken has cooked, cut them into bite sized pieces and add to sauce and let simmer with the lid for 5-10 minutes. Your excellent butter chicken is ready to serve with naan/rice.


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