4-6 servings

Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Dehli, India authentic butter chicken

“A simple meal at home is better than an elaborate one while away.”  This recipe for Dehli Butter Chicken epitomizes a simple meal.  Invented at a restaurant in Delhi in the 1950s, now in America, it is widely popular. Made with the leftover tandoori chicken into a tomato gravy, rich in butter and cream. Served with basmati rice and naan.  This is one of my favorite dishes. I enjoy serving this to friends and family.  If you are squeamish to spicy food, don’t add the chilies. 

Chicken preparation:

1 lb. Chicken boneless and sliced into strips

1-2 tablespoons Tandoori seasoning or curry seasoning

1 tablespoon yogurt

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon salt

Salt and pepper




4 tablespoons ghee

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 tablespoons of each grated ginger and garlic paste

2 teaspoons garam masala

1/4 cup whole cashews

1 tablespoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon fenugreek powder

4 green cardamon (optional)

2″ cinnamon stick

1 black cardamon (optional)

1-2 teaspoons Indian Indian chili powder or cayenne powder

1/2 cup chopped onions

1-2 fresh green chilies chopped

2 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 28 oz. can of tomatoes, or a combination of both


Final Step after blending:

1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

5 tbsp butter

1/2 cup cream

1 tablespoon ketchup

Salt to taste                                                              

In a small bowl mix together the grated garlic and ginger, making it into a paste. 

Cut chicken into strips.  Coat with tandoori seasoning, garam masala, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Heat a large skillet, and add the ghee. Heat the ghee and then add the chicken strips, and fry in the pan until browned.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

To another pan add 2 tablespoons ghee, and melt. Add the cumin seeds, onions, and garlic/ginger paste to the pan. Sauté until the onions have softened.  Add a small amount of water to release the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Now add the coriander powder, garam masala, cashews, cinnamon stick, black and green cardamom pods, fenugreek leaves, green chilies, chili powder, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, and salt. Add more liquid if the sauce is dry (liquid from canned tomatoes). Cover and cook slowly for 30 minutes.

When the sauce has simmered, add it to the blender. Blend into a fine puree.  Strain the sauce back into the same pan with a fine-meshed strainer, making sure there is minimal waste. Add to that the butter, chicken, sugar, ketchup, cream, and additional garam masala to your liking. Allow to simmer for a few minutes to cook the meat through. Salt to taste.

Garnish with a small amount of cream and a sprinkling of garam masala. Serve with rice and naan.

Recipe adapted from Moti Mahal Delux restaurant                                  





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