Butter chickens mildly creamy, spicy and savory flavors make this a popular dish around the world!

Butter chicken is one of the most popular dishes in the world and one found on the menu on almost every Indian restaurant in the United States.  Like so many other famous dishes, butter chicken started as a chef's dish using the spices, juices and other ingredients leftover from other dishes.

The reason for the popularity is that the mildly creamy, spicy and savory flavors appeal to just about everyone!  This recipe uses spices you can find in any grocery store (if you don't have them already) and can be made ahead a day or two ahead of time and then cooked and on the table in about an hour.

Active Prep Time: ~ 20-25 minutes

Cook Time:  ~ 65-75 minutes

Total:  ~ 1.5 hours

Inactive Prep Time:  1-24 hours

Serves 6-8 people


For the Pork
  • 3 pounds organic pasture fed chicken thighs;
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt;
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice;
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons turmeric;
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala;
  • 2 tablespoons cumin;
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter;
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil (or vegetable oil);
  • 2 medium, yellow onions (diced);
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced);
  • 3 tablespoons ginger (grated);
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds;
  • 1 cinnamon stick;
  • 2 medium tomatoes (diced);
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (diced, without seeds);
  • 2/3 cups chicken stock;
  • 1 1/2 cups cream;
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste;
  • 3 tablespoons almonds (finely chopped or ground);
  • Kosher salt (to taste)


  1. In a large combine yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin.  Whisk until throughly mixed together;
  2. Add the chicken to the marinade making sure the chicken is coated completely.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1-24 hours;
  3. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large pan until it starts to foam;
  4. Add to the butter the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent (stir frequently);
  5. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds and continue cooking over medium heat until onions start to turn brown;
  6. Add the cinnamon stick, jalapeño, tomatoes and salt and keep cooking for about 10 minutes (or until jalapeños start to get soft);
  7. Add the chicken and all of the marinade to the pan with all the other ingredients and cook for about 5 minutes;
  8. Add the chicken stock, bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer (uncovered) for about 30 minutes;
  9. Add the cream and tomato paste, stir thoroughly and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes;
  10. Add the almonds and cook for 5 more minutes;


    1. Serve over rice and garnish with green onion or cilantro;
    2. Enjoy!