Best-ever butter chicken

Although this curry originated in Delhi, India, we couldn’t resist including this much-loved local favourite.

More than 1 hour

Serves 4


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  • ½ cup (125ml) plain double cream yoghurt
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) cornflour (mixed with a little water to create a paste)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) fine salt
  • ½ Tbsp (7ml) each garam masala, ground cumin and ground coriander
  • Pinch ground turmeric and cinnamon
  • 8-10 deboned chicken thighs or 4 chicken breast fillets
  • ⅕ cup (50g) melted butter



  • ⅓ cup (80g) butter
  • 6 pods cardamom, crushed
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½-1 tsp (3-5ml) chilli powder
  • 2 tsp (10ml) garam masala
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 green chillies halved
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) tomato paste
  • 1 can (400g) cherry tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 tsp (10ml) grated fresh turmeric
  • ⅓ cup (80g) cream
  • Pinch brown sugar
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Rotis, for serving (click here for a guide to make your own)



  1. Combine marinade ingredients and add chicken.
  2. Marinate for 1 hour or overnight for the best results.
  3. Place chicken on a wire rack on a baking tray.
  4. Heat oven to 220°C.
  5. Brush with butter and cook on the highest oven rack for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove, preheat on oven grill and grill chicken for a further 5-8 minutes or until lightly charred.
  7. Remove and set aside.
  8. For sauce, melt butter in a pan, add spices and cook for a minute.
  9. Add onion, garlic and chilli and cook for about 5-8 minutes.
  10. Stir in tomato paste and tomato pulp, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Combine turmeric, cream and sugar and add to pot.
  12. Add chicken and a splash of lemon juice.
  13. Simmer until fragrant and reduce slightly.
  14. Serve with rotis.



Browse more daily dinners recipes here.


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