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Butter Chicken

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

Note: By popular demand, we’re featuring this recipe again. Great reports across the board!

I originally loved the looks of this recipe, submitted by Tasty Kitchen member lillieknits, because I knew I had almost all the ingredients in my kitchen (important, since I don’t live around the corner from a grocery store)…and because the sauce contained both tomatoes and cream. Yum. My favorite.

But after I made it…oh, boy. Was I a believer. Definitely delicious and flavorful, but also extremely easy to throw together. It’s a great addition to any dinner rotation!


You need these spices…AND ground coriander, which I didn’t have in my pantry.


Chop up several cloves of garlic.


And throw everything in a mixing bowl! Chicken breasts, garlic, all the spices…and the juice of a whole lime. Cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge for several hours, just to let everything meet and fall in love.


After marinating the chicken, dice up a whole onion.


Heat 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter in a large skillet.


Let the onions cook for several minutes…


…Until they’re golden brown and translucent.


Next, Add the chicken breasts to the pan. I sort of scooted the onions over so the chicken would go right against the pan.


Cook the chicken for a couple of minutes, then flip it to the other side.


Pour in the tomato sauce…


And the diced tomatoes. Now cover the pan and cook it for 30 minutes.


Right before serving, pour in the cream. Of course.


Try to pour it all around the edges of the pan to make it easy to stir together.


Come on. This is absolutely too much for me. And you should smell it!


Just slowly stir around the chicken—you could even remove the chicken for a minute or two to make it easy to stir.


When it’s all combined, throw in a bunch of chopped cilantro.


Stir it to combine, and make sure the sauce heats back up.


And that’s it!


The recipe says to serve it over Basmati rice, but I didn’t have any…so I just used plain white rice.


The Verdict: It was splendid! The tomato/cream mixture combined with the spices…oh, man. I loved it. (FYI: According to Erika, Butter Chicken is also known as “Chicken Makhani”.)

Here’s the printable recipe:

Butter Chicken

Thank you for sharing, lilliekits!


Comments are closed for this recipe.

Amanda on 11.22.2010

Yum, yum, YUM!
It was delicious.

Arta on 11.22.2010

I made it for this weekend – simply wonderful. I could not get enough of it.

PATRICIA on 11.1.2010

what u think about this recipe .

Christy on 10.20.2010

This looks fabulous! I will definitely add this to my recipe list this week. Thanks for sharing.

Steve on 10.4.2010

My wife made this the other night and it was great!

Sara on 10.4.2010

This recipe is fantastic! My brother, who is the pickiest 21 year-old alive, requests this recipe when he comes over for dinner. The last time he was over, he stole the left-overs! This dish is so delicious and easily one of my favorites.

Ellie on 10.2.2010

Just made this for my flatmates tonight, and it turned out amazing. I added a lot more cayenne than is called for, but we like it hot. :) Thanks for the recipe!

emily v. on 9.15.2010

Made this last night…my first ever attempt at Indian and it was AWESOME!! So easy. Everyone loved it!


Patricia on 9.12.2010

This looks wonderful! The chicken is now marinating! I will be cooking it tonight for supper!

Bob on 9.10.2010

Can someone tell me if Cardamom a new spice or you in a cardigan? I think you mean Cardamon love.

Maria on 9.9.2010

I made this on Tuesday, and it was great! However, when I brought my bowl to the table last night, it flew out of my hands and definitely has left some orange stains on our new-ish beige carpet. Don’t hold bowls of this if you’re klutzy like me!

Miss Heidi on 9.7.2010

Well, as usual I can not make a recipe without changes, but OH MY, we loved this. I converted it to a crock pot recipe,Had to drive soon, sauteed the chicken first, then added chunky tomato sauce and chili blend seasoning , which included pepper, coriander and garlic, added the lime and extra onion, cooked on low and YUM! over rice.Thanks for the timely recipe !

Judy on 9.6.2010

I am rookie cook, but I managed to pull this recipe off. Delicious!!I will definitely do it for my husband and son when I return home.

Nancy in KC North on 9.5.2010

Had the butter chicken this evening and it was a hit at our house. I also fixed spicy green beans and purchased some pre-made Naan. Almost as good as going to our local Indian restaurant.

Regina Williams on 9.5.2010

This recipe is amazing! I just cooked it for my family and they loved it! I don’t care what you call it, it’s good. Thanks Ree

Angela on 9.5.2010

This is a delicious dish! My husband loved it. A little time consuming, however very worth it. I loved the sauce so much that I made the sauce another time and added shrimp and served it over pasta.

Melody on 9.4.2010

what kind of cream is this in the receipe

Lindie on 9.4.2010

my son in law made buttery chicken last Sunday and I’ve been wanting it again ever since! He used a mix he got at World Market but this looks simple.

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ClaireS on 9.4.2010

Making this tonight. Chicken and spices and garlic are getting friendly as I type. Anxious to see my family’s reaction to it …. the marinating chicken smells so much like the food we enjoyed when we lived in the Maldives. Also, I’m a little heavy handed with the cayenne, so we may be drinking lots and lots of water. :)

Cynthia Conciatu on 9.4.2010

This looks delicious!

Shar on 9.4.2010

Loved this recipe but made a few changes so it wouldn’t be so “soupy”. After I cooked the bite-size chunks of chicken for 10 minutes, I ended up with lots of liquid so drained it from the pan. Then strained the liquid from the diced tomatoes before adding them with the tomato sauce. Also only added 1/2 pt. heavy cream and it was perfect.

Mama Bear on 9.3.2010

I made this recipe, almost exactly, and it was delicious!
Since I live in Smallcity, USA, I was unable to find cardamom, surprise! So I skipped it, and instead of rice I served it over whole grain couscous. Also since I had skipped the cardamom and held wayyyyyy back on the cayenne, I added 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of Red Curry Powder with the tomatoes. Instead of 30 minutes on the stove, I threw it in my dutch oven and it sat at 350 or so until my girls got home from swim practice, which ended up being much longer than 30 minutes. I did not have the cream in it at that point, but added it just before serving. All was well and it was delicious!

Shawnee on 9.3.2010

Fixed this the other night. Absolutely delicious!

MaryBeth on 9.3.2010

**sniff sniff** I smell it from here! Deeeeelish!

anne on 9.3.2010

I love this one. I didn’t have chicken so I used pork tenderloin and insted of heavy cream I used half and half….heavenly good!!!!

Gidget on 9.3.2010

Thank you for reposting this recipe.
We all loved it, my husband says this is a keeper!

Paula on 9.3.2010

Yummy to my tummy! Husband also likey!

Susan on 9.3.2010

We really enjoyed this. The only problem was too much sauce and not enough chicken. Next time I’ll cook more chicken breast. Wonder how this freezes? Would be good to take for lunches.

Susan Barrera on 9.3.2010

Made this last night and…OH MAY! I poured the sauce down my throat and drank it like hot chocolate. KEEPER KEEPER KEEPER

Bonnie in Michigan on 9.3.2010

My 16 year old son made this for our dinner last week. Easy and delicious. Less complicated than the Indian version, but wonderful flavor.

Sally on 9.3.2010

Oh my! Made this for dinner last night. What a treat! It was great! Thank you.

Ra on 9.2.2010

I have lived in India for several years and constantly run into “western” foods that are made in Indian style…they do not taste the same at all! They do the same thing to Chinese food here. So I wouldn’t worry about making an Indian dish in America that seems a little Western. This looks great:)

bamacurl on 9.2.2010

had this recipe on my to-do list for a while. Made it 2 weeks ago – the family loved it and already asking for it again!

BVem on 9.2.2010

While you could make it this way, you could also grind the suateed onions and tomatoes into a paste and then continue the cooking. That gives a really smooth sauce.

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ClaireS on 9.2.2010

Oh MY! Sounds like the kind of thing I need to do tomorrow — so I don’t have to even THINK about dinner!

Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

Window On The Prairie on 9.2.2010

Looks very tasty. Suzanne

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cookincanuck on 9.2.2010

I have had this on my “must-make” list for so long, but have never got around to cooking it. You have convinced me to change that right away…tonight, in fact.

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nanny on 9.2.2010

This has become one of favorite go-to meals since the first time it was posted! We love it, even my persnickety grandson loves it, he can’t get enough of it!

JJ on 9.2.2010

I could just take a bath in that.

sherri on 9.2.2010

This is a favorite at our house. We have it at least twice a month. Yum!

mickdess on 9.2.2010

I cut the chicken into small pieces and served over mashed potatotes and topped with cheese. Probably killed the “authenticity” of the recipe, but I’m still full this morning!

AmandatheGinger on 9.2.2010

I just made this recipe for the second time on the weekend. Sent my boyfriend back to college yesterday, and he took 3 big containers of it with him (I’ve been instructed to ALWAYS make a double recipe, because it freezes really well, and keeps him happy!)….and I MAY have saved some for myself, and it’s waiting happily in the fridge for me to eat at lunch today! mmmmmmm sooooo yummy!

Mary Peterson on 9.1.2010

OMG!! Looks great and thank goodness I live two blocks from the grocery store. Cardamom? Hmmm…have only had it in Xmas bread!

Tanya on 9.1.2010

HOLY HANNAH!! I saw this recipe, ran to the store (don’t be jealous, it’s a horrible store) and bought the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. INCREDIBLE flavors!!

I think my husband my let me stay in the house now that I have this recipe up my sleeve. He’s in LOVE with cilantro.

AmyG on 9.1.2010

Just finished making and eating this tonight!
SOOO good! And really easy too.
I didn’t have cardamom…but it was delicious anyway.
My kiddos (all but one) chowed down and enjoyed!

Diane Edmondson on 9.1.2010

I make a version of this that my family loves so much they fist fight over leftovers! Not really, but most times the sauce is all that’s left the next day! I serve it over wide egg noodles and have even used whole wheat pasta. It’s delish no matter what you serve it with!

Heidi on 9.1.2010

Can’t wait to try it!

KateyC on 9.1.2010

Made this for my family when it was first featured, and it was a HIT. Now that I’m back at school, I made it for my roommates and they’d have it weekly if they could. We also do a “lower fat” twist — sometimes I replace the pint of heavy cream with just a scant cup of 2% or whole milk. I’ll also cut down a bit on the butter and throw in some olive oil. Still delicious!! Without the cream it’s less “saucy” and more soupy, but we like it that way!

von Krag on 9.1.2010

Here’s my version, try both as they’re great and so easy to make. :)

Balti Butter Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds), cut up in bite-sized pieces

1/2 small carton plain yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup – 1 cup ground almonds
3 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp crushed bay leaves
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger pulp (I used a small finger)
1 tsp garlic pulp (I used 4 cloves)
14 oz can tomatoes ( I use either Red Gold or Muir Glen petite diced )
2 tsp salt

3/4 stick butter
1 tablespoon corn oil
2 medium onions, sliced or chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
4 tablespoons cream (optional)
1/4 teaspoon each cayenne, black & white pepper (optional)

Place the yogurt, ground almonds, all the dry spices, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and salt in a large mixing bowl and blend together thoroughly.

Cut up the chicken/pork and add to the yogurt mixture, blending well. Set aside.

Melt the butter and oil in a medium karahi, wok or frying pan. Add the onions and fry for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken/pork mixture and stir-fry for about 10 minutes.
Stir in about half of the coriander and mix well.

If you want a thinner consistency, add cream (I use yogurt), stir in well and bring to the boil.

Serve over rice ( I use jasmine ), garnished with the remaining chopped coriander.

Makes about 8 1-cup servings.

Tiffany Bray on 9.1.2010

I made this for dinner tonight and absolutely loved it!! Ate way to much…

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