Restaurant-style Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

This restaurant-style recipe for Indian Butter Chicken combines tender chicken pieces marinated in a rich blend of aromatic spices, simmered in a luscious tomato-based sauce, and finished off with a velvety touch of cream.

Restaurant-style Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Impress your guests with this delectable Homemade Butter Chicken that will leave everyone craving for more.

If you love Asian-style chicken dishes, try our Korean Fried Chicken Recipe Without Gochujang. Or for a creamy, savory chicken recipe, our Parmesan Marry Me Chicken is a great option.

More Chicken Recipes Try

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Crispy Cornstarch Chicken Wings
Korean Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken (No Buttermilk)
Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients for Easy Butter Chicken

Chicken marinade:

  • boneless chicken breasts
  • ginger garlic paste
  • red chili powder
  • salt
  • oil

Butter chicken sauce:

  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • garlic paste
  • cashews
  • dried fenugreek leaves
  • garam masala
  • sugar
  • Kashmiri chili powder
  • butter
  • heavy cream
  • white vinegar
  • salt to taste
Butter Chicken with Naan

How to make Butter Chicken with Fragrant Spices

To begin our journey to creating the luscious Chicken Curry with Butter Cream Sauce, we first need to prepare the chicken marinade.

Start by taking boneless chicken breasts and cutting them into bite-sized pieces or strips.

This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and absorbs the flavors of the marinade.

In a bowl, combine ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, and salt to taste. Ginger garlic paste adds a wonderful depth of flavor, while red chili powder adds a subtle heat to the dish.

Mix these ingredients well, coating each piece of chicken with the marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Next, it’s time to prepare the rich and flavorful tomato, cream, and butter sauce. Begin by blanching tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes. This will help to easily remove their skins.

Once blanched, peel the skin off the tomatoes and roughly chop them. The tomatoes serve as the base for the sauce, providing a tangy and sweet flavor.

In a pan, heat some oil and sauté the chopped onions until they turn golden brown. Add garlic paste and sauté for a few more minutes until the raw aroma disappears.

Now, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, along with a handful of cashews. The cashews contribute to the creamy texture of the sauce while adding a subtle nutty undertone and sweetness.

Sprinkle some garam masala, a blend of fragrant Indian spices, into the pan. This spice mix adds warmth and depth to the dish.

To balance the flavors and cut through the acidity of the tomatoes, add a pinch of sugar and Kashmiri chili powder.

Kashmiri chili powder provides a vibrant red color to the sauce without overpowering it with excessive heat. Allow the sauce to simmer on low heat until the tomatoes soften and release their juices.

To complement the richness, add a splash of white vinegar and season with salt to taste. The vinegar adds a tangy note that brightens up the flavors of the sauce.

Allow the butter chicken sauce to simmer gently for a few more minutes, allowing the flavors to fully develop.

Once the sauce has thickened and the flavors have melded together, and when the tomatoes have cooked down significantly, blend the sauce with a blender until it’s smooth.

Now it’s time to finish off our creamy tomato sauce.

Bring the gravy up to a simmer, and melt a generous amount of butter into the sauce, to give it a rich and velvety texture.

Butter is a key ingredient in butter chicken curry, contributing to its indulgent taste. Stir in some heavy cream, which adds a creamy and luxurious element to the dish.

To enhance the flavors, sprinkle some dried fenugreek leaves, also known as kasuri methi, into the pan.

This aromatic herb adds a unique and earthy flavor profile to the rich and creamy sauce.

Finally, it’s time to bring together the marinated chicken and the luscious buttery, tomato-based sauce.

Add the marinated chicken pieces to the simmering sauce, ensuring each piece is coated with the velvety tomato gravy.

Cook the chicken in the sauce until it is tender and fully cooked, absorbing all the wonderful flavors.

Once the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat and let the flavors meld together for a few minutes.

Garnish with a drizzle of cream, a sprinkle of dried fenugreek leaves, and a touch of chopped cilantro (optional) for a fresh and vibrant finish.

Serve your homemade restaurant-style Butter Chicken alongside fragrant basmati rice, naan bread, or roti, and get ready to savor every spoonful of this heavenly dish.

Easy Indian Butter Chicken

What to serve with Creamy butter chicken Curry

Would you believe, my least favorite thing to eat with this butter chicken curry sauce is rice?!

I always seem to opt for homemade garlic naan, plain or wholewheat parathas, chapatis, rotis, or fluffy, cumin-spiced naan rolls.

Even kitka, tortillas, baguettes, or plain bread rolls would pair well with this simple butter chicken recipe.

The velvety, rich gravy is the star of this meal, and in the end, it won’t matter what you choose to eat it with.

Here are some traditional options for you to try:

Basmati Rice: The fragrant and fluffy texture of basmati rice serves as an ideal base for soaking up the luscious butter chicken gravy.

Prepare it plain or infuse it with aromatic spices like cumin, cardamom, and cloves for an extra layer of flavor.

Naan Bread: Soft and pillowy naan bread is a classic choice to mop up the creamy sauce. You can find plain naan or opt for variations like garlic naan, butter naan, or even cheese naan for added indulgence.

Roti/Chapati: These unleavened Indian breads are healthier alternatives to naan and pair wonderfully with most curries, especially butter chicken.

They have a slightly chewy texture and are perfect for scooping up the tender chicken and sauce.

Pulao/Biryani: Elevate your meal by serving butter chicken curry gravy alongside fragrant and flavorful rice dishes like vegetable pulao or aromatic biryani.

These rice preparations incorporate a medley of spices, vegetables, and sometimes meat, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Raita: A refreshing and cooling side dish, raita is made with yogurt and can be customized with various ingredients such as cucumber, mint, or roasted cumin seeds.

Its creamy and tangy nature helps balance the richness of the tomato chicken sauce.

Salad: A crisp and fresh salad can provide a contrasting element to the meal.

Consider a simple cucumber and tomato salad with a squeeze of lemon juice or a mixed green salad with a light dressing to add a touch of brightness.

Pickles and Chutneys: Accompany your butter chicken meal with a selection of simple, homemade Indian pickles or chutneys.

These condiments, such as mango pickle, mint chutney, or tamarind chutney, offer a tangy and spicy kick that complements the flavors of the dish.

Butter Chicken with Rice

Occasions to serve Authentic Indian Butter Chicken

If you ask me, I don’t think there’s ever a time not to serve up this North Indian-style chicken curry, but here are some occasions where serving Indian Butter Chicken would be particularly fitting:

Dinner Parties: Impress your guests by serving Indian Butter Chicken as the star of your dinner party menu.

Its rich and flavorful profile is sure to leave a lasting impression and create a memorable dining experience.

Festive Celebrations: Indian festivals like Diwali, Eid, or Holi are perfect occasions to showcase the vibrant flavors of Indian cuisine.

Family Gatherings: When you want to treat your loved ones to a hearty and comforting meal, Indian Butter Chicken won’t disappoint.

Potluck Parties: If you’re attending or hosting a potluck gathering, Indian Butter Chicken can be a fantastic contribution. Remember to bring store-bought or homemade flatbreads or rice to accompany the vibrant, orange-red sauce.

Weeknight Dinners: Craving a delicious and satisfying meal after a long day? Butter Chicken Curry is a fantastic option for a weeknight dinner.

It’s relatively quick to prepare and can be served with simple accompaniments like rice or naan for a complete and fulfilling meal.

Date Nights at Home: Create a romantic and special evening by preparing Butter Chicken for a cozy date night at home.

The aromatic flavors and luxurious sauce will set the mood for a memorable dining experience.

International Food Theme Nights: If you enjoy exploring different cuisines, organizing an international food-themed dinner party is a fun way to experience global flavors.

Butter Chicken Recipe

How to store Creamy Tomato Chicken Curry

When it comes to storing chicken and sauce, proper handling and storage techniques are essential to maintain its flavor and quality. Here’s how you can store it:

Cool Down: Allow the butter chicken and sauce to cool down to room temperature before storing. Leaving it out for too long can increase the risk of bacterial growth.

Refrigeration: Transfer the butter chicken leftovers to an airtight container or cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap.

Place it in the refrigerator promptly. Make sure the container is leak-proof to prevent any cross-contamination.

Placement: Store in the refrigerator’s main compartment rather than the door to ensure a consistently cool temperature.

Duration: Ideally, consume the stored chicken within 3-4 days for optimal freshness. After this period, the flavors may start to diminish, and the dish’s quality may deteriorate.

Freezing: If you want to store the curried butter chicken for an extended period, freezing is a suitable option. Use freezer-safe containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn and maintain the dish’s taste and texture.

Remember to leave some space at the top of the container or bag to allow for expansion as the dish freezes.

Butter Chicken in a skillet

How to reheat Homemade Chicken Makhani

To reheat Indian Chicken Gravy while maintaining its flavors and textures, follow these steps:

Stovetop Method: Transfer the desired portion of chilled leftovers to a saucepan or skillet. Heat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.

Add a splash of water or chicken broth to prevent the sauce from drying out. Continue heating until the dish reaches your desired temperature.

Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the butter chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil to prevent moisture loss.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s heated through. Stir occasionally during the process to promote even heating.

Microwave Method: Place in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape.

Heat it on medium power in one-minute increments, stirring in between, until it’s thoroughly heated.

Microwaving on medium power helps prevent the sauce from splattering and maintains the dish’s texture.

Whichever method you choose, be cautious not to overheat the chicken, as it can result in dryness and loss of flavor.

Once reheated, allow the dish to rest for a minute or two before serving to distribute the heat evenly and enhance the flavors.

Creamy Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken FAQs

Is Indian Butter Chicken spicy?

The level of spiciness in Indian Butter Chicken can vary depending on personal preference and the recipe used. Typically, it has a mild to moderate level of spice, but you can adjust the amount of chili powder or other spices to make it more or less spicy according to your taste.

Can I use bone-in chicken for Butter Chicken?

While boneless chicken is commonly used for Indian Butter Chicken, you can use bone-in chicken pieces as well. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may be slightly longer to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked.

Can I substitute heavy cream with a lighter alternative?

You can substitute heavy cream with a lighter alternative such as half-and-half or milk. However, the texture and richness of the dish may be slightly different compared to when using heavy cream.

Can I make Indian Butter Chicken ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Indian Butter Chicken ahead of time. Prepare the dish as directed and refrigerate it in an airtight container. When ready to serve, reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the oven until heated through.

Can I make Indian Butter Chicken vegan or vegetarian?

Sure, just substitute the chicken with tofu, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), or vegetables like cauliflower or chickpeas. Replace dairy products with plant-based alternatives like coconut milk or cashew cream.

Restaurant-style Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

This Indian Butter Chicken recipe combines tender chicken pieces marinated in a rich blend of aromatic spices, simmered in a luscious tomato-based sauce, and finished off with a velvety touch of butter and cream.
Prep Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Indian butter chicken recipe
Servings: 4


Chicken Marinade:

  • 300 g boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to pan fry

Butter Chicken Sauce:

  • 500 g chopped tomatoes
  • 100 g chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 50 g cashews
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Salt to taste


For the chicken:

  • Start by marinating the chicken. Cut the boneless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix together ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, and salt. Coat the chicken pieces with this marinade and let them marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • In a pan, cook the marinated chicken pieces until they are fully cooked and tender. You can either grill, bake, or pan-fry the chicken as per your preference. Remove and set aside.

For the sauce:

  • In the same pan, heat oil and sauté the finely chopped onions until golden brown. Add garlic paste and cook for a few more minutes. Then, add the chopped tomatoes and cashews to the pan.
  • Sprinkle garam masala, sugar, Kashmiri chili powder, and white vinegar into the pan. Stir and let the sauce simmer on low heat until the tomatoes soften and release their juices.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, remove the sauce from the heat. Using a blender or food processor, puree the sauce until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan.
  • Over low heat, stir in the butter until melted. Then, add the heavy cream to the pan.
  • Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and heat through thoroughly.
  • Sprinkle crushed dried fenugreek leaves into the sauce and season with salt to taste. Simmer the sauce for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve the Indian Butter Chicken hot, garnished with an extra drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of dried fenugreek leaves.

With its tender chicken, rich and creamy sauce, and aromatic blend of spices, Indian Butter Chicken truly captures the essence of Indian cuisine.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, celebrating a special occasion, or simply craving a comforting and flavorful meal, Indian Butter Chicken is a timeless choice that never fails to impress!

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