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Butter chicken

I have been enjoying this dish for many years, as have many others given its worldwide popularity. Punjabi families often make it at home, and it’s served at weddings and many feasts. Though traditionally it’s cooked nice and slow, I have ensured that you won’t miss out on any of the flavour and depth of the original in this quick recipe. I am very confident that you will make this stunning meal again and again. Serve with Spiced Layered Flatbread (see page 135), naan or roti.



  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2.5–5 cm (1–2 inch) pieces


  • 3 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated


  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 50 grams (1-3/4 oz) salted butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 200 grams (7 oz) passata (strained tomatoes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon clear honey
  • 1 tablespoon double cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas Mark 7.
  2. Mix the chicken with all the marinade ingredients in a shallow roasting tin until well combined, then bake for ten minutes until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, start making the curry. Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the whole spices and let them sizzle over a low to medium heat for a few seconds. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  4. Pour in the passata, cover and cook over a medium to low heat for ten minutes.
  5. Add the salt, chilli powder, garam masala and the baked chicken and mix well. Cover and cook over a medium to low heat for five minutes until everything has come together.
  6. Stir in the kasuri methi, honey and cream, then serve. 

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