Butter chicken

The overnight marinade does all the work in Paul Merretts classic Indian chicken dish, making it a sound choice for a mid-week supper
By Paul Merrett
Butter chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the marinated chicken

  • 600 g diced chicken
  • 2½ tbsp natural yogurt
  • 2½ tbsp double cream
  • 2.5 cm ginger, finely grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

For the sauce

  • 2 onions, sliced
  • dashes of vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • pinches fennel seeds
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 100 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 100 g butter

To serve

  • basmati rice
  • paratha bread
  • chopped coriander

Tips and Suggestions

For the best flavour and texture, use a mixture of brown and white chicken meat for this curry.


1. For the marinated chicken: combine all the ingredients in a shallow, non-reactive bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

2. For the sauce: fry the onions in the oil in a large pan until lightly browned. Add the turmeric, fenugreek, cumin and fennel seeds, and curry leaves. Pour in the tomatoes and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated. Add the butter then stir in the chicken and its marinade.

3. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with basmati rice and paratha bread and garnish with coriander.

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