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butter chicken with rice
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5 from 11 votes


This butter chicken is a very simple recipe, and it's all made from scratch. The chicken is tender, juicy with full of delicious Indian spices. Serve it over jasmine rice and Naan (Indian bread). Perfect comfort meal for weekdays dinners.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken, chicken curry, indian butter chicken, jasmin rice, naan
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 561kcal
Author: Julia


  • Large skillet with lid


  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 5 pieces (900 g ) chicken breasts cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp garam masala seasoning see for non spicy garam masala blend in the blog post
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ½½ cup heavy cream 35 %
  • ½ cup sour cream or white yogourt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp cilantro for garnish


  • In a large skillet, reheat 2 Tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Brown onion for about 5 minutes or until soften and brown. You may lower the heat to medium-low the last 2 minutes. Don't burn the onion.
  • Add to the skillet garlic, garam masala spices, fresh grated ginger and stir to combine it all together. Cook all this for about a minute.
  • Add to the skillet another 2 tbsp of butter and once the butter is melted, add cubes of the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown them from all sides. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until you the colour of the chicken turns white.
  • Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste and coat the chicken with it. Bring the Indian butter chicken to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add to the butter chicken the heavy cream, sour cream or white yogourt and stir until well combined. Stir in also remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Season with salt and pepper in needed.
  • Serve garnished with lime and cilantro. As a side serve with rice and naan.


As a tomato sauce I used "crushed tomatoes in a can", but you can use any kind of tomato sauce, like strained tomatoes or diced tomatoes in a can.
Storing, it doesn't happen very often, but if there are any leftovers, store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and use the butter chicken within 3 days.
Freezing, you can freeze butter chicken in an air-tight container up to 3 months. Defrost in refrigerator overnight.
Reheat the butter chicken in the skillet on medium high heat. Add 1/2 cup of water to dilute the sauce, because it will thicken in the refrigerator.  Or you can reheat the butter chicken with rice (1 portion previously refrigerated) on a microwavable plate for 2 minutes.