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Indian Butter Chicken A popular Indian dish made with tender chicken simmered in a rich, Indian spiced tomato cream sauce I love introducing my kids to unique flavor combinations and Indian food is no exception. Butter chicken is one of their most requested dishes!

Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken. A popular Indian dish made with tender chicken simmered in a rich, Indian spiced tomato cream sauce. 

Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Keyword butter chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Author Modern Honey - www.modernhoney.com


Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 lbs. Chicken Breast (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 3/4 cup Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger (or 1 teaspoon dried ginger)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Butter Chicken Sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 1/2 medium Onion (finely diced)
  • 1 1/2 cups Tomato Puree
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes (add more if you want it to be more flavorful)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Salt
  • Cilantro (chopped, for garnish)
  • Rice or Naan Bread


Butter Chicken Marinade:

  1. Start by marinating bite-size chicken breast pieces with whole-milk yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, ginger, garlic, and salt. Place all of the ingredients in a gallon-size Ziploc bag and let marinate for at least 1 hour. Overnight is ideal.

Butter Chicken Sauce:

  1. After marinating, sauté the chicken in a skillet, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and set over medium-high heat, until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Set aside.

  2. Heat butter in the same skillet and add onion.  Saute until onion starts to become tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomato puree, spices, sugar, and salt. Cook until onions are completely translucent and soft -- about 10-15 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

  3. If you desire a smooth sauce, carefully add the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Always be careful when using a blender with hot sauces. It can explode so make sure to slightly vent the top.

  4. Add chicken to the sauce and heat for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve on top of rice or with Naan bread.