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+ servings

Indian Butter Chicken

Quick and Easy Indian Butter Chicken you can enjoy with your family at home! This affordable option to ordering out is so simple you'll want to make regularly! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine india
Keyword Indian Butter Chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6


For chicken and marinade:

  • 2 lbs chicken breast or thighs
  • salt and pepper, about 1/2-1 teaspoon each
  • 2 5-oz plain greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons Fenugreek leaves or about 1 1/2 teaspoons ground
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 lemon , juiced

for sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, cut in to chunks about 1 inch pieces about 5-6 cups cut
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-6 cardamom pods, crushed* or about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon ground
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons FenuGreek leaves or ground about 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 2 sticks cinnamon optional


  1. Place chicken in a ziplock bag or shallow pan.  Add salt and pepper, Greek yogurt, Garam masala, turmeric, 2 tablespoons Fenugreek leaves, ginger and lemon juice to chicken. Mix to coat chicken. Set in fridge until ready to cook. 

  2. Place butter, olive oil in a large pan, add chopped onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes over medium high heat. 

  3. Add garlic, crushed cardamom, Garam Masala, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for about 5 minutes over medium heat. 

  4. Add coated chicken to the pan. Discard any leftover yogurt from the chicken marinade. 

  5. Cook chicken over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Chicken should be cooked in the center. When chicken is cooked, add 1 cup heavy cream and additional 2-3 tablespoons Fenugreek leaves. 

  6. Serve with rice or Naan. 

Recipe Notes

  • I have used both thigh and breast meat in this recipe, and while I usually prefer breast meat in other recipes, this is best when made with chicken thighs. For convenience, boneless, skinless thighs are found in most grocery stores. 
  • Some of the spices in this recipe are not sold in the regular spice section of grocery stores. Depending on the store you are shopping, The cardamom pods, fenugreek and garam masala may or may not be available. Take a look in the ethnic section of the store before heading to another source. If you have time and can order on Amazon, the links to various spices are listed at the bottom of the post just before the recipe for convenience purposes. I have also found garam masala, cardamom pods and fenugreek at the following stores: Smith's, Target, Harmons, Walmart (online), Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Some of the stores carry all of the mentioned spices, and some only carry a portion. The cardamom pods (peeled and crushed) will provide  the best flavor but ground cardamom will also work! Same with fenugreek leaves. Ground Fenugreek works as well as the leaves you will just need to adjust and use less because the ground portion needed  will be less than the leaves.  For every 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried leaves, you will probably need about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of ground. 
  • The cardamom pods should be peeled off the cardamom seed and the seeds then crushed using a mortar and pestle or using a sharp knife, carefully chop the seed until it is finely chopped. You may also use ground cardamom.