Butter chicken

Recipe from: 8 October 2010
butter chicken

Ingredients 23
Servings 4
Time 30 mins


  • 1
    boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1
    lemon or lime, juiced
  • 6
  • 8 - 10
  • 10
    piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 10
    coriander seeds
  • 5
    cumin seeds
  • 3- 4
    cardamon pods, seeds
  • 8 - 10
  • 5
    dried chilli flakes
  • 5
  • 250
    full-cream plain Greek yoghurt
  • 30
    coconut butter or any other nut oil
  • 2
    large onions, finely chopped
  • 15
    finely chopped garlic
  • 10
    finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 400g
    tomato puree
  • 500
    prepared chicken stock
  • Handful of curry leaves/dried fenugreek leaves
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • 45
  • Fresh coriander leaves to garnish


50 mins
Place the chicken in a glass or plastic bowl and add the lemon or lime juice.
Cover and set aside until you’ve prepared your spice and nut mixture.
To do this, heat a dry, clean pan over medium heat and add the cloves, peppercorns, piece of cinnamon stick, bay leaves, coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds and almonds.
Gently roast the spices and nuts for a few minutes or until lightly toasted and aromatic, stirring frequently.
Tip the contents into a grinder and grind into a powder before stirring it into the yoghurt.
If you do not have a spice grinder, place the mixture into your processor and add the yoghurt, then blitz.
Now add the spiced yoghurt mixture to the chicken, stir well, cover and set aside to marinate for an hour or two.
To cook the dish, heat the coconut butter or oil in a large pan and add the onions.
Sauté until golden then add the garlic and ginger.
Cook lightly for a few seconds then add the tomato puree, chicken stock and curry or fenugreek leaves.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until the sauce has reduced considerably and thickened to your liking.
Now add the chicken and the yoghurt-spice mixture to the simmering sauce and stir.
If you dislike the extreme tart taste of the tomato and yoghurt combo, add sugar to taste. If the dish is not salty enough to your liking, add salt.
Now bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes just until the chicken is cooked right through: any longer will make the chicken tough and stringy.
Finally, add the butter and stir through.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice, sambals and naan breads.

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Read more on: poultry  |  sauté

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