Butter Chicken

Long time you guys! 😀

But the wait is worth because I’m here with an amazing recipe of Butter Chicken. You won’t find a recipe better than this and I promise you that! This butter chicken has chunks of tandoori chicken that require separate time and care. The gravy is a heavenly marriage of smoky, spicy, and creamy flavours. I cannot begin to tell you how loved this recipe is in my family. It is, most definitely, a “Shahi” dish.

This dish is inspired from one of my favourite eateries in Islamabad, Pakistan i.e. Khoka Khola. I’ve had their butter chicken countless times and I couldn’t help but curate a recipe similar to theirs. This recipe takes an unusually long preparation time while the cooking time is hardly 15 minutes. The end result will be a treat to your taste buds. Let’s begin!

Ingredient List:

Recipe Difficulty Level: Intermediate 
Serving: 5-6 people 
Prep Time: 30 mins 
Cook Time: 15 mins

For Tandoori Masala Powder:

Coriander Powder (ثابت دھنیا پاؤڈر)
	1 tablespoon

Black Cumin Seeds (ثابت کالا زیرا)
	1 teaspoon

Garlic Powder (لہسن پاؤڈر)
	1 teaspoon

Ginger Powder (ادرک پاؤڈر)
	1 teaspoon

Whole Cloves (ثابت لونگ)
	2 cloves

Nutmeg (جائفل)
	small quarter-inch piece

Mace (جاوتری)
	2 pods

Fenugreek (قصوری میتھی)
	1 teaspoon

Cinnamon Powder (دار چینی پاؤڈر)
	1/4 teaspoon

Black Pepper Powder (کالی مرچ پاؤڈر)
	1/2 teaspoon

Black Cardamom (کالی الائچی)
	1 pod

Paprika Powder (پیپریکا پاؤڈر)
	1 and 1/2 tablespoon 

Whole Spice Powder (گرم مصالحہ)
	1/2 teaspoon

For Marination:

Boneless Chicken (بغیر ہڈی والی مرغی)
	300 g (cut in 2-inch cubes)

Yoghurt (دہی)
	1 cup

Tandoori Masala Powder (تندوری مصالحہ پاؤڈر‬)
	2 tablespoons (slightly heaped)

Red Chilli Powder (لال مرچ پاؤڈر)
	1/2 tablespoon

Salt (نمک)
	to taste

Gram Flour (بیسن)
	1 tablespoon

Cooking Oil (تیل)
	1 tablespoon

Coal (کوئلہ)
	for smoking the marination

For Gravy:

Tomatoes (ٹماٹر)
	3 medium-sized

Cooking Oil (تیل)
	1 tablespoon (for frying chicken)

Unsalted Butter (نمک کے بغیر مکھن)
	2 tablespoons

Bay Leaf (ڪڙي پتا)	
	1 whole

Whole Peppercorns (ثابت کالی مرچ)
	5-6 pieces

Whole Cinnamon (ثابت دار چینی)
	1 2-inch piece

Ginger Garlic Paste (ادرک لہسن پیسٹ)
	1/2 teaspoon

Talhar Chilli Paste (تلہار مرچ پیسٹ)
	1 teaspoon

Water (پانی)
	1 cup

Cashew Paste (کاجو پیسٹ)
	1 tablespoon

*Cooked Chicken and Marinade*

Cream (کریم)
	3 tablespoons

Butter (مکھن)
	for garnish

Cashews (کاجو)
	for garnish

Coriander (دھنیا)
	for garnish

Cream (کریم)
	for garnish

Tools Required:

Mortar & Pestle OR Food Processor (if grinding spices)
Tablespoon and Teaspoon
Mixing Bowl
Aluminium Foil OR Small Bowl (for holding coal)
Cling Wrap
Kitchen BLender
Wok OR Cooking Pot
Wooden Spoon OR Spatula
Cooking Stove


  1. Firstly, we are going to make the tandoori masala powder. If you're using store bought tandoori masala you might as well move on to the next step. Simply grind coriander powder, black cumin seeds, garlic powder, ginger powder, whole cloves, nutmeg, mace, fenugreek, cinnamon powder, black pepper, black cardamom, paprika powder, and garam masala. Set aside.
  2. DSCN9582Take boneless chicken and cut it in 2-inch cubes. In the chicken, add yoghurt, tandoori masala powder, red chilli powder, salt, gram flour, and cooking oil. Coat the chicken evenly with the marinade.
  3. DSCN9580Create a hollow space in the centre of the marinated chicken. Place a piece of foil or a small bowl to hold the piece of burning coal. Smoke the coal and cover the bowl for 10 minutes to let the flavour merge in.
  4. Take out the piece of coal and cover the marinated chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, take your tomatoes and roast them on open fire till the skin is charred. Peel the charred skin off and blend the tomatoes to a purree. Set aside.
  6. After the chicken has been marinating for long, grease the pot with a tablespoon of oil and place chicken cubes on a medium heat. Fry the cubes separately. Do not overcrowd the pan. Let each piece take its time to sear. Take them out on a plate.
  7. In the same pot, add butter, bay leaf, peppercorns, and whole cinnamon. Let them toast in the butter on a medium high heat.
  8. When the butter starts bubbling, add ginger garlic paste and saute. Add talhar chilli paste or powder and mix.
  9. Add prepared puree along with half cup of water. Add the leftover marinade in since it has all the good stuff. Add remaining half cup of water.
  10. Add cashew paste and mix it in. Add in the cooked chicken and coat it with the gravy till homogenous. Cover the pot and let it simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  11. After 10 minutes, turn the flame on high and cook till you get the required consistency of gravy. The gravy thickens once it cools so do not evaporate a lot of it. Mix the cream in and stir till combined. Turn off the heat.
  12. Sprinkle butter pieces to create tiny pools of melted butter. Do not mix them in. Tastes so good!!



Do try and share your thoughts on this recipe. I really hope you like it. Click on the link below to watch the video tutorial for Butter Chicken.

Butter Chicken

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