Main dishes

Butter Chicken

Background Information:

Butter Chicken is a popular Indian dish that originated in the 1950s in Delhi. It is a creamy and mildly spiced curry that is made with boneless chicken pieces that are marinated in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and lemon juice. The chicken is then cooked in a tomato-based gravy that is enriched with butter and cream. It is typically served with basmati rice or naan bread.

Personal Story:

I first tried Butter Chicken when I was traveling in India a few years ago. I had heard so much about this dish and was excited to try it. I remember taking my first bite and being blown away by the flavors and the creaminess of the curry. Since then, I have been experimenting with different recipes to recreate the taste at home.


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

  2. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute.

  4. Add the marinated chicken and sauté until lightly browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

  5. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.

  6. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Let simmer for another 5 minutes.

  7. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:

Butter Chicken is a great dish to serve for a dinner party or special occasion. It pairs well with basmati rice, naan bread, or roasted vegetables. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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