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Butter Chicken

Butter chicken can be a divisive dinner–overlooked by some, beloved by others. Let this recipe show you why it truly is a remarkably tasty dish. Layers of spice from garam masala, cumin, coriander, cumin, garlic, fenugreek, and more, make the creamy tomato sauce and chicken thighs the stuff of dreams.

A ceramic bowl of butter chicken garnished with cilantro, beside a fork, a bowl of rice, and a plate of naan bread.

Adapted from Mish Sen | Indian Kitchen Secrets | 2021

It’s safe to say that butter chicken masala is one of the most popular Indian curry dishes worldwide. Here is my simple weeknight recipe to recreate your favorite Indian take-out chicken dish at home quickly and easily, no marinating required! (A traditional way of cooking butter chicken masala requires marinating the chicken overnight). This yummy dish is packed with protein, loaded with antioxidant spices, and is low in carbs. Enjoy with rice for a mouth-watering lunch or dinner!–Mish Sen


A spice blend used extensively in South Asian cuisine, garam masala is used alone or with other seasonings. It isn’t a particularly spicy blend, even though the name means warm (garam) and spice (masala), but it does tend to get hotter the farther south you go in India and Pakistan. It adds warmth, floral notes, a little sweetness, and a touch of heat. Nearly every home has its own blend for garam masala but the general ingredients are cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, mace, and nutmeg.

Butter Chicken

A ceramic bowl of butter chicken garnished with cilantro, beside a fork, a bowl of rice, and a plate of naan bread.

Simmer pieces of chicken in an aromatic, delicately spiced, creamy curry sauce that tastes like the butter chicken masala you love to eat in restaurants. Serve with rice and naan bread to make the most of all the sauce.

Mish Sen

Prep 45 mins

Cook 25 mins

Total 1 hr 10 mins



4 servings

566 kcal

No ratings yet

  • In a kadai or wok over medium heat, warm the oil. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Sauté for a minute or so. If you notice the spices sticking to the bottom of the pan, sprinkle in a little bit of water.
  • Stir in ginger, garam masala, and salt and sauté for about 30 seconds. Fold in chicken, cook for 1 minute, then and add tomato sauce and ketchup, stirring to combine well. Cook, covered, over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add dried fenugreek leaves and continue cooking, covered, until the chicken is fully cooked, 10 to 12 minutes.

    If the sauce seems too thick while cooking, drizzle in a tablespoon or two of water to thin it out.

  • Gently mix in heavy cream until well distributed. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more chili powder or salt, if desired.

  • Garnish with a pat of butter and cilantro leaves. Serve warm.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 566kcal (28%)Carbohydrates: 5g (2%)Protein: 56g (112%)Fat: 35g (54%)Saturated Fat: 17g (106%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 346mg (115%)Sodium: 921mg (40%)Potassium: 794mg (23%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 1079IU (22%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 73mg (7%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

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Originally published September 26, 2021


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