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Gourmet time

Butter chicken - To tickle your palate

Butter Chicken is one of the most popular curries at any Indian restaurant around the world. Butter chicken needs only simple ingredients, but the deliciously flavored sauce is also quite complex, with a tomato base that makes for a dish that’s both tangy and sweet when cooked right. A good butter chicken has three components: the right gravy, the right chicken, and importantly the mixing of both of those, and how it is finished. All three combine to give you this dish that’s gone from Delhi in the 1950s to all over the world, imbibing different influences and amazing flavors on its way.


600 grams Chicken breast cut into chunks

For the marinade

  • ? cup Yogurt
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ginger- garlic paste or use minced ginger and garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the butter chicken sauce

  • 75 grams butter or 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste or minced ginger and garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Chili powder or use paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ cup raw cashews soaked in warm water for 15- 20 minutes
  • 1 cup tomato puree 1 cup = 250 ml
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • Salt to taste


  1.  Start by marinating the chicken – lightly score the chicken pieces and mix together the chicken with all the ingredients for the marinade. Keep the chicken pieces into a bowl, cover with cling film and transfer to the fridge.
  2. Let the marinated chicken sit for 30-40 minutes in the fridge, or if possible, overnight.
  3. Skewer the chicken on barbeque skewers and grill them either on the barbeque or stovetop or in the oven in grill mode. Turn the pieces over halfway through, to cook them evenly. The chicken pieces should have a little char on them. Once grilled, keep aside.
  4. Prepare the cashew paste – in a blender, blend together the pre-soaked cashews with a little water to form a smooth paste. Keep aside for later.
  5. In a heavy bottom pot on the stovetop, heat some butter. Once the butter melts, add ginger and garlic paste followed by turmeric and red chili powder. Saute briefly, and add the tomato puree.
  6. Add any leftover marinade from the chicken pieces, followed by the kasuri methi leaves, and then the garam masala powder.
  7. Add in the cashew paste and honey and turn off the heat.
  8. Blend together all the ingredients using a stick blender, forming a smooth sauce.
  9. Add salt to season and let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Then add the grilled chicken pieces and mix into the sauce.
  11. Add a tablespoon of cream and simmer the butter chicken for 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat once cooked.
  12. Serve hot with naan or basmati rice.


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