Butter Chicken Recipe

The ultimate family fakeaway this butter chicken is delightfully decadent. Rich, creamy sauce with tender, tasty chicken. Perfect.

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I love Butter Chicken. When we get takeaways (more often than we should!) I like to try new things occasionally (husband has sweet and sour chicken balls from the Chinese, every single time!) but, I do have my favourites that I come back to when I fancy something comforting that I know. These favourites are also usually the things that I try to make at home when I’m having a go at a Fakeaway.

A few months ago, I ordered something new from our local Indian Takeaway restaurant. It had an authentic-sounding name and sounded like I might enjoy it, creamy and buttery, which is always a bonus. It was AMAZING! Quite possibly the best takeaway I have ever eaten. So, obviously, when Jo and me went out for an Indian a few weeks later, I looked for the same thing. Again, it was wonderful. Mild, but such a fantastic flavour.


I got home and Googled it, thinking I could try and make it myself. It was, of course, Butter Chicken. Murgh Makhani. Which I’ve eaten about a million times before. Clearly, I’m impressed with an authentic-sounding name.

What Is Butter Chicken?

Butter Chicken really is what it sounds like. It’s a bit like a Tikka Masala, but with added buttery goodness, and in my books, adding butter to anything is a win. It’s incredibly popular, and jars of Butter Chicken sauce have started to crop up in supermarkets in the last few years. If you like a mild curry with plenty of flavour, but you are bored of tikka masala and korma, Butter Chicken is certainly something to try.

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Now, I can’t claim to be an authentic Indian Cook. I have no secret grandmothers recipes to pass down, I tend to look at a few recipes online, throw things in to taste, and try to make things as easy as possible. If you want something authentically Indian, this might not be it. If you want an easy family fakeaway that the kids will love, give it a try.

Does Butter Chicken Need Ghee?

I want to say no. I’ve made it with a combination of half olive oil and half butter, which was fine. But, ghee is better. If you’ve got the time, and inclination, you can make your own ghee. But, I buy mine in a big tin from Asda. It lasts for ages, and it smells so good when it’s melting in the pan. It’s worth it just for that.

Healthier Butter Chicken

You might notice that my recipe is full of fat. There’s ghee, full-fat yoghurt and double cream all in one dish. In my opinion, it’s worth it. I’d happily go to the gym for an hour to burn this off (not straight after though, I would not recommend that!). If you wanted to make it a bit lower fat, you could try single cream, or even half fat creme fraiche, and low-fat yoghurt. I can’t honestly tell you how well this would work, I’ve never tried it!

How to Serve Butter Chicken Curry?

I normally just have butter chicken with homemade naan bread. It’s very rich and filling, so I can’t handle much more. Rice is fine too though, and chapati or a wrap can be a good alternative if you don’t want anything as heavy as naan bread but still want to dip.

Can You Freeze Homemade Butter Chicken?

Yes! This curry will last in the fridge for a couple of days, in a sealed tub. But, if you’ve got leftovers that you don’t want to eat in the same week (and eating this twice in one week might be a bit much!) Place it in an airtight tub after it’s cooled down and freeze. Thaw in the fridge, and reheat slowly on the hob until the chicken is piping hot. If the sauce is a little too thick, adding a little water will help.

The Recipe

Butter Chicken in Serving bowl with rice and naan to side
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Butter Chicken

Homemade Butter Chicken is a fantastic fakeaway the whole family are sure to love
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Marinading time12 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken, curry, fakeaway
Servings: 4 People
Author: Donna


For the Marinade:

  • 4 Large Chicken Breasts – Chopped into chunks
  • 100 ml Full-Fat Natural Yoghurt
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – Crushed
  • 1 Inch Root ginger – Grated, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Hot Chilli Powder
  • Big Pinch Salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil – or a few sprays of a calorie controlled spray
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 Onion – Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – Crushed
  • 1 Inch Root Ginger – Grated, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 400 g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Hot Chilli Powder
  • 200 ml Double Cream
  • 2 tbsp Light Brown Sugar


For the Marinade:

  • Place the diced chicken in a lidded tub with the yoghurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chilli and salt
  • Mix together, cover and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight

For the Sauce:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chicken, disregarding any yoghurt and other juices
  • Fry until browned and remove from the pan, leaving to one side for later
  • Gently melt 2 tbsp of ghee in a large pan or heatproof dish
  • Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add the garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds, coriander, cumin, chilli and garam masala and mix in
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes and 50ml of water, stir and bring to a simmer
  • Simmer for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Remove from the heat and either use a stick blender in the pan or pour into a stand-alone blender and whizz until smooth
  • Return to the pan if needed and bring back to a simmer
  • Add the chicken
  • Pour in the cream and sugar and stir
  • Bring to a simmer and add the final tbsp of ghee
  • Stir well and cook for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and hot
Nutrition Facts
Butter Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 609 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41g63%
Saturated Fat 23g144%
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 226mg10%
Potassium 361mg10%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 44g88%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



  • If the sauce is too thick, add a little extra water
  • Serve with rice or naan bread for a filling family meal
  • Add extra calories for rice and naan bread
Disclaimer:The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, such as specific ingredients used, but I have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Tried this recipe?Mention @donnadundasblog or tag #donnadundasblog!
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