Chicken/ Curry/ Dinner/ Indian recipes

Butter Chicken

22 April 2024

Every Sunday I cook a meal for Martin who I got connected to via @thuisgekookt . I always make 2 portions: 1 for the evening itself and the other to be frozen for later in the week, so I’m always on the look out for recipes which will keep longer and even better if they’re even tastier after a few days. Curries are great for that. They’re great eaten on the day, but oh so good a few days later after all the flavours have married together.

This is a recipe inspired by @spicetripwithpaulami , I adjusted a few ingredients here and there but man oh man this is good! Full of spices, juicy chicken, rich and creamy sauce. Super indulgent and delicious. And look at the colour!

Indian Butter Chicken

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Dinner Indian
By Saffron Serves: 4 as a main, 6 as a side
Prep Time: 10 minutes + Marinading time Cooking Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes + Marinading time


  • The chicken
  • 1 kg chicken thighs, skin off, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp kurkuma
  • The curry sauce
  • ± 25 raw & unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp kurkuma
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp (kashmiri) chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 4-5 cm ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp fenegriek leaves (optional)
  • 200 ml full fat cream or coconut cream
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • To serve (suggestions)
  • Small handful koriander, roughly chopped
  • Steamed rice
  • Naan, storebought or homemade


The prep


In a large bowl add the chicken thighs and the rest of the marinade ingredients. Let marinade in the fridge at least 30 minutes (upto 1 day in advance).


Let the cashew nuts soak in hot water for at least 10 minutes.

The chicken (see notes)


Preheat the oven to 200°C and divide the chicken over a lined baking tray. Roast the chicken for ± 30 minutes until cooked through and slightly starting to char.

The curry sauce


To a blender add the whole tomato and the spices (2 tsp kurkuma, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp garam masala). Add a drop of water and blend into a smooth paste (add more water if needed, there should be no pieces of cashew visible anymore).


In a large pot heat the ghee and the oil and add the onions, sauté for 5 minutes on medium, heat. Then add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another 3 minutes.


Add the tomato paste and and stir to coat well and let sauté for 2 minutes while you keep stirring.


Add the pureed curry paste and the can of chopped tomatoes and let it simmer away for 5 minutes.


Add the chicken with all the resting juices, a teaspoon of sugar, the fenegriek leaves (if using) and 300 ml of water (add more if needed, the sauce should cover the chicken nicely).


Bring to a simmer and then add the cream. Let bubble away for another 10 minutes before ready to serve.


Taste and season with salt, pepper and some extra sugar if you feel it needs it.


A great curry to eat straight away but even better made ahead of time!


I like to roast the chicken in the oven so I can make the sauce in the meantime, but you could also first fry off the chicken in the pan first. When it's cooked through remove from the pan and set aside while you continue to make the curry sauce the same pan.

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