Indian Buttered Chicken Recipe

This Indian dish is one of my all time favourites.  I have modified the original recipe by Mitchman21, so please check my notes below.  This takes about 45 minutes to make, and it is so worth it!


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup half-and-half heavy cream
  • 1 cup tomato puree (or a can of diced tomatoes + tomato paste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)
  • 1 pinch black pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water


Step 1: Heat 1 Tbsp *butter* in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. *I also like to add 1/2 diced green pepper at this stage. You could add a little heat with a de-seeded hot pepper here as well.*  Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in *heavy whipping cream* and *very liberal 1/2 cup* yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 2: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce.

Step 3:  *I actually omit step 3 because it doesn’t feel natural.  (I do usually thicken my potato soup and butterscotch pies with corn starch, but it just feels weird to use this as a thickener in an Indian dish.)  I think the extra yogurt in Step 1 helps thicken it anyway.*

Notes:  We’ve started to skip the reduction of the sauce.  So we add the meat right after the sauce has simmered for about 10 minutes and thus let the chicken cook as the sauce continues to simmer.  This extra simmering may also help thicken the sauce.  We also do not add any extra salt/pepper per the recipe.
We serve on a bed of rice with warm naan on the side.  A salad goes nicely with it.  This will serve 6-8 people, not 4 noted on the original recipe.

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