Mum's Butter Chicken


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You may think that butter chicken is a typical Indian meal, however in India, not many people cook it on a daily basis, instead sticking to the basics of vegetables and dahl(lentils), however in my Australian Indian family we love our chicken and nothing beats mum's butter chicken.

It's not just my family that loves it though, just this weekend was my younger sister's 13th birthday party, with 15 screaming 13 year old girls at our house camping out in the yard, they really needed a heartly meal to keep them warm. What better than butter chicken, but who knew that every single girl would be quietly sitting down completely clearing their plate of every last piece of chicken, some even tempted by seconds.

As long as i can remeber my mum has been making this meal at dinner parties and it's always been a favourite, with people requesting butter chicken whenever they come to our house.

So without any further ado here is the recipe:

my mum usually makes the marinade, but for a quicker and just as tasty alternative you can use any tandoor marinade in the supermarket i.e. prataks

100g ginger
200g garlic
10-12 whole red chillies
4-5 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
5 cardamom seeds
5-6 whole black peppercorns

Roast the dry ingredients of the marinade and grind them together. Add ginger and garlic until you get a thick paste

Other Ingredients

1kg boneless chicken fillets
800g tomato puree
200g butter
400ml fresh cream
200g plain yogurt
3-4 sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
salt to taste


Cut the chicken into cubes

Mix the yogurt with 4-5 tablespoons of the marinade and marinate the chicken in the mixture. Add salt to taste

Allow the chicken cubes to marinate for at leaste 6-12 hours.

Grill the marinated chicken on a very hot barbeque or under the grill or in a wok. Do not overcook as it should be juicy.

For the sauce add butter to heavy based pan. Add the cinnamon sticks and saute lightly. Do not allow the butter to burn.

Add the tomato puree and simmer gently for five minutes.

Add the chilli powder and salt to taste.

Finally add the cream and cooked chicken pieces and simmer for five minutes. Save some cream for garnishing the dish just before serving.

Serve hot with naan bread or basmati rice.


I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as our family and friends. If you have any questions or want to comment please feel free.

Extra tip: Once my mum made this for one of our friends with a cholesterol problem who really loved butter chicken but couldn't have too much saturated fat, so she substituted the cream for plain yogurt and halfed the amount of butter. It still tasted pretty good, so give that a try if your a bit health conscious

bon appetit

Foodling 2

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