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butter chicken
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5 from 3 votes


Spicy chicken cooked in rich and creamy tomato sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 341kcal
Author: Tania Sheff


For the chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion large, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 chili peppers red or green, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 tomatoes medium sized, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup milk or 1/2 cup of cream instead
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cilantro and chili peppers to garnish



  • To start off, throw ginger and garlic into a small food processor and blend until smooth. Divide into 2 parts. (If you do not have a food processor, just chop them as small as you can with a knife)
  • Place chicken pieces into a mixing bowl. Add half of the ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, chili powder and salt. Combine everything together.
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat up 4 tbsps of olive oil on high heat. Place 1/3 of the chicken in the hot oil and fry until slightly brown, but not cooked through, for about 5 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. Transfer the fried chicken onto a clean plate and reserve for later.


  • After you have removed the last batch of chicken, add 3 tbsps of butter into the same Dutch oven. Throw in the onions and fry for about 3-4 minutes. Add chili peppers, garam masala, turmeric, coriander powder and cumin seeds. Stir, and fry for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and water. Stir, trying to scrape the browned bits. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  • After the tomatoes are cooked, we need to puree the sauce. You may do so by using an immersion blender, or, if you don't have one, by using a regular blender and working in batches. Remember that the sauce is really hot; so, do not fill your blender more than 1/3 of its capacity and, while blending it on the lowest speed, keep the lid a little ajar to let the steam escape.
  • Transfer the pureed sauce back into the Dutch oven and bring back to a boil on low heat. We are almost done, I promise. :-)
  • Add ketchup, honey, a bit of salt and milk. Taste the sauce to see if it needs any more salt or seasoning.
  • Add chicken, stir and keep cooking on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve with basmati rice, warm naan bread or vegetables.




Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 677mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 4.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1.6mg