I wasn’t really sure why this curry dish was called Butter Chicken because the recipe I was taught (during a local cooking class) had no butter at all.  So, I did a little research and it turns out the original recipe developed a looong time ago, did use butter to combine with tomatoes, spices and cream to give a delicious chicken curry.

This is a recipe I have tweaked and tampered with since doing an Indian cooking class.  It is now fairly quick and easy to prepare even though the ingredient list is quite lengthy so it does require a little pre-planning to ensure everything is on hand.

It is worth getting the individual spices and not buying a pre-made paste for this dish.  The flavour is far superior and you will easily use the spices up making this dish (and other curries) over and over.

The curry can be served with rice and a range of chutneys and breads – our favourite is roti bread.  It makes a large quantity so is ideal for dinner parties too.  Enjoy!

Butter Chicken Curry


1 medium onion

10g (a knob) of fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1 kg chicken thighs, chopped into large pieces

6 green cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

6 whole cloves

3 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

70g raw cashews, ground or chopped in food processor

200ml plain yoghurt

440g tin diced tomatoes, strained (don’t use the juice)

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

4 tablespoons cream


Pre-heat oven to 180C and get a large, shallow baking dish ready.

Process the onion, ginger and garlic in a small food processor until finely chopped and set aside.

Combine the chicken, spices, cashews, yoghurt, strained tomatoes, salt and sugar in a large bowl and combine well to coat the chicken.  It can be set aside at this stage to marinate for a few hours if desired.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and saute onion, ginger and garlic mix for a few minutes.  Add chicken mixture, stir well to get all ingredients combined and cook for a 2-3 minutes.  Pour mixture into shallow baking dish.  Pour in cream and stir through with a fork.  Cover with foil and put into oven.  After 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve with rice, chutneys and bread.

Serves 6 – 8

The Klutzy Cook Notes

The ground spices – cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala – can be combined in a larger quantity and stored in the pantry.  Use 1 teaspoon of the mix for this recipe.  This curry blend can then be used as a curry flavour base and other spices added as required.

If you have any questions or comments about this Butter Chicken Curry recipe, please leave them below.  Plus, don’t forget to share the recipe with your friends (click the buttons below)!


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