Butter Chicken

Chicken cooked in tomato, cashew nut and cream sauce; a popular Indian recipe. 

Total Time (Mins): 
Prep Time (Mins): 
Cook Time (Mins): 

For Marinating:
Boneless chicken: 200 gm
Yoghurt: 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4tsp
Pepper Powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For Gravy:
Ginger: 2 inch
Garlic Pods: 6-7 
Tomato Puree: 6 tbsp
Bay Leaf: 1
Green Cardamom: 2
Cumin Powder: 2 tsp
Green Chili: 2 (cut lengthwise)
Sugar: 1 tsp
Cashew nut: 3 tbsp
Milk: ¾ cup
Fresh Cream: 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Red Chili Powder: 2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder: 1 ½ tsp
Dry Fenugreek leaves/ Kasoori Methi: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander Leaves for garnish
Butter: 2 tbsp
Ghee: 2 tbsp

Cooking Method: 
Frying, Simmering
Skill Level: 

1) Combine the items for marinating and refrigerate for 1 h. 

2) Soak cashew nut in ½ cup of milk for 30 min. Grind to a paste and keep it aside.

3) Dry roast fenugreek leaves or kasoori methi. Cool and powder it using pestle and mortar.

4) Grind ginger, garlic and tomato puree with 3 tbsp of water and keep it aside

5) Heat ghee in a fry pan. Fry the chicken pieces till it is 3/4th done (approx 4-5 min). Transfer to a plate and keep aside. Reserve the remaining marinade. 

6) Add butter to the fry pan. Add bayleaf and green cardamoms. Fry for 1 min.

7) Add pureed tomato, ginger and garlic mixture with the reserved marinade. Fry till the oil separates. Add the sugar. Fry for 1 min.

8) Add green chili, turmeric, red chili, coriander and cumin powder. Fry for 1 min.

9) Add cashew nut paste and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Adjust the salt.

10) Add chicken pieces and simmer for 5 min. Oil will start to separate.

11) Mix cream with the remaining milk and add to the mixture.

12) Add garam masala and kasoori methi. Simmer for 2 min. 

13) Remove from fire

Common Mistakes: 

Do not overcook the chicken while frying. Chicken swells up and changes color from pink to white with light golden brown color.  


1) Marinate the chicken in tandoori masala powder and yoghurt. Cook in tandoor for more flavor.

2) For home made version, grate 2 raw beetroot and mix ½ tsp of turmeric. Dry it in the sun and grind to a powder. Use ½ tsp of this mixture in marinade. This mixture gives the intense red color characteristic of tandoori masala. 

Alternative Ingredients: 

1) Substitute tomato puree with grated tomato or puree of 3-4 blanched skinless tomato. Add 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup to it.

2) Substitute cashew nut with blanched almonds or skinless peanuts



Serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander leaves. Best served with tandoori naan.

Dish Type: