Butter Chicken

This week I am indulging in my love of Indian food. It is a simple recipe but with a little secret ingredient you can get the flavor of a tandoor without the extra step of grilling the chicken. What's the secret? Black cumin seeds which I discovered in India and am now totally in love with. (I also like putting them on my naan bread or cheese toast before cooking too - totally yum!)

This recipe is perfect when you have a crowd to feed or don't have a lot of time because there isn't a lot of prep or cooking time involved. I made this for dinner for my brother and sister-in-Iaw and it got their seal of approval so I know it's good.

A few things you need to know is that for best results the chicken should marinate for at least 3-4 hours and can be left overnight too stored in an airtight container, also the black cumin seeds and fenugreek really add a layer of flavor that gives an authentic taste - you can get both of these at any Indian grocery store or order it online.

Now prepare to make the easiest, tastiest butter chicken you have ever had!

  • This recipe reheats very well so you can make this dish the day before your function or dinner party and save yourself for more important things on the day

  • You can marinate the chicken, grill it and eat it just as an appetizer served with a squeeze of fresh lemon

  • You can use normal chilli powder if you don't have Kashmiri chilli powder

  • You can buy tomato passata ready made at most grocery stores - it is just liquefied tomato



1kg | 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs cut into cubes

1 tablespoon lemon juice OR vinegar

1 heaped teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder

2.5cm | 1 inch of ginger finely grated

½ a medium sized onion finely grated

1 cup plain yogurt (I used lactose-free but any is fine)

1 teaspoon salt


6 tablespoons ghee

2-3 large garlic cloves crushed

1 rounded tablespoon garam masala powder

½ teaspoon black cumin seeds (nigella/kalonji seeds)

½-1 teaspoon fenugreek powder

½ teaspoon sugar (optional)

½-1 teaspoon chilli Kashmiri powder

250ml tomato passata (liquefied tomatoes)

250ml tomato paste

100ml/3 rounded tablespoons thickened cream


  1. In a medium glass bowl add chicken cubes, lemon juice/vinegar, chilli powder, grated ginger and onion, yogurt and salt. Cover with plastic wrap to ensure it is airtight and allow to marinate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.

  2. To make gravy take a large saucepan or wok and heat ghee over a medium-high heat.

  3. Once the ghee is hot turn heat down to medium and add the garlic, garam masala, black cumin seeds, fenugreek powder, sugar and chilli powder and give a quick stir.

  4. Add the tomato paste and tomato passata and stir through again.

  5. Add the marinated chicken and allow to cook through (this usually take about 7-10 minutes depending on how big your chicken pieces are).

  6. Add cream and stir through. If you want a thicker gravy, continue to simmer stirring regularly until you get the desired consistency.

  7. Serve with rice, naan and salad.


© 2021 Eat In Style by Feritta

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