Indian Butter Chicken

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An EASY, ONE-POT recipe for a classic Indian favorite!! Juicy, BUTTERY chicken simmered in a CREAMY tomato-based sauce! Next time you’re craving Indian food, you can make it yourself in 30 minutes!!

Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick + 1 stick), divided
  • 1 large sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, diced small
  • 1.50 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger or 1+ tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (see Notes below)
  • one 8-ounce can tomato sauce (I used no-salt added; see Notes below)
  • basmati rice (or your favorite rice), for serving
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, or to taste for garnishing


  1. To a large skillet add 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), onion, and sauté over medium-high heat until the onions begins to soften and caramelize about 5 minutes; stir intermittently. It does not have to be fully caramelized before moving on.
  2. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is done; flip and stir often to ensure even cooking.
  3. Add the garlic, stir to combine, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir frequently.
  4. Add the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (does not make it spicy but adds depth of flavor), and stir to combine.
  5. Add the remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and heat until it has melted; stir frequently to encourage melting.
  6. Add the heavy cream, tomato sauce, stir to combine, and allow mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. Taste and if desired, add additional salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, etc.
  7. Add rice to the serving plates and top with chicken and as much sauce as desired.
  8. Evenly garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Dish is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Indian Butter Chicken

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