Authentic Butter Chicken

Nuvita Biscuits

Creamy, spicy and full of rich tomato flavour, this curry is a crowd pleaser. Butter up the family with the promise of deliciously tender North Indian chicken in a thick, creamy sauce and make mouths water as the spices fill the air. Then serve with fragrant rice and raita, and dig in.


  • 200g Greek-style natural yoghurt
  • 3cm-piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1.2kg chicken thigh fillets, quartered
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised (see note)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs cashew nut spread
  • 400ml can tomato puree
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) pouring cream
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice


Combine yoghurt, ginger, lime juice, garlic, paprika, 2 teaspoons of garam masala and 1 teaspoon of chilli powder in a bowl. Stir in the chicken. Cover and place in fridge for 2 hours to marinate.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray with oil. Cook the chicken, in batches, for 3-5 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, remaining chilli powder and remaining garam masala. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Stir in tomato, cashew nut spread and tomato puree. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cream and butter. Add the chicken and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice.

Note: Allow 2 hours marinating time. If cardamom pods are unavailable, use 1 tsp cardamom seeds. On the side: Saffron rice: Heat 1 tbs vegetable oil and 20g butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 garlic cloves, crushed; 2 tsp mustard seeds and a large pinch of saffron threads. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Stir in 3 dried bay leaves and 300g (1 1/2 cups) basmati rice. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the rice is coated with spices and lightly toasted. Stir in 1l (4 cups) water and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Set aside, covered, for 5-10 minutes to stand. Use a fork to separate the grains. Cucumber & minted yoghurt raita: Combine 250g Greek-style natural yoghurt; 2 lebanese cucumbers, seeded, finely chopped; 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint; 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind; and a pinch of sugar in a large bowl. Place in the fridge to chill.


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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Marshal on Feb 12, 2013

    Or where can i find the best indian food recipes on the net? Or what are some good recipe books i can look up?

  2. posted by diggn4richez on Mar 18, 2013

    I like it. Want to make it. Need recipe.

  3. posted by unbleevable39 on Mar 21, 2013

    My boyfriend is from Albania. He once said that nobody can cook like his mother and I want to show him that I can cook, but, I am creole and I only cook creole dishes, american dishes and soul food. Where can I find an authentic Albanian recipe?

  4. posted by kewlflame14 on Mar 25, 2013

    Just looking for some Recipes on how to make really nice Butter chicken . I want to Make it for my partner but i dont know how hehe 😛

  5. posted by Myles on Mar 25, 2013

    I hate chicken liver but I want some good recipes for it because I do want to start eating eat for it’s health benefits. Please tell me all your liver recipes! Thanks so much in advance!

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