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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


  • Kadai or wok


  • 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil or butter
  • 2 medium (14 oz) onions chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more if needed
  • 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
  • 1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasurimethi)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  • 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 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 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 chicken is fully cooked, 10 to 12 minutes.

    TESTER TIP: 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 heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more chili powder or salt, if desired.
  • Garnish with a pat of butter and cilantro leaves. Serve warm.