Restaurant-Style Butter Chicken

Recreating the takeout classic at home.

2-4 servings

Time: 1 hr

By Ethan Chlebowski

This recipe was originally part of my "restaurant vs. low cal" recipe video series. If you're looking for the lower-calorie version of the recipe, you can find that here.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Marinated chicken

    • chicken thighs
      , cubed
      ~300 g~3/4 lb
    • yogurt
      , plain
      30 g2 spoonfuls
    • salt
      4 ga sprinkle
    • chili powder
      2 ga sprinkle
    • cumin
      2 ga sprinkle
    • garam masala
      2 ga sprinkle
    • garlic
      , minced
      2 cloves
    • fresh ginger
      , minced
      1/2" knob
    • lime juice
      1/2 lime
    • cooking oil
      5 ga drizzle
  • Curry gravy

    • cooking oil
      , or butter
      28 g2 spoonfuls
    • tomatoes
      , chopped
      400 g
    • cashews
      50 g
    • garlic
      , minced
      1 clove
    • fresh ginger
      , minced
      1/2" knob
    • onions
      , diced
      1/4 onion
    • chili powder
      4 ga sprinkle
    • garam masala
      2 ga sprinkle
    • sugar
      , optional
      2 ga sprinkle
    • turmeric powder
      1 ga sprinkle
    • salt
      to taste
    • water
      , to adjust sauce
      as needed
    • heavy cream
      45 g
    • butter
      28 g
    • fenugreek leaves
      , crushed
      2 ga sprinkle
  • For serving

    • basmati rice
      , cooked
    • naan
    • cilantro
      for garnish


Step 1: Marinate the chicken

After chopping the chicken thighs into cubes, add them to a bowl with the chili powder, ground cumin, garam masala powder, salt, crushed garlic, ginger, lime, and yogurt.

Mix to combine and set aside for 15 minutes to let .

Step 2: Sear the chicken

When ready to cook, set a cast iron on medium-high heat, add a light drizzle of oil. the chicken pieces until and cooked through.

Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Step 3: Start the gravy

Set a fresh pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the cooking oil or butter, and the onions. for 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, cashews, garlic, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, a small pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of turmeric. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add some water to thin the mixture, enough to blend well in the next step, (about a cup). Stir to combine.

Step 4: Blend & simmer

Pour the sauce into a food processor or blender and pulse until completely smooth. Over the pan, pour and push the sauce through a metal strainer back to the pan.

Turn the heat on medium. Add the butter, heavy cream, and cooked chicken. Stir the sauce and let until it thickens to your liking, usually about 6-10 minutes.

Step 5: Finish & serve

Crush the fenugreek leaves (kasoor methi) between your hands and sprinkle a pinch over top of the sauce.

Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust as needed with salt, spices, or a bit more butter for texture.

Serve the butter chicken with rice, naan, or vegetables. Garnish with cilantro, and optionally, an extra drizzle of heavy cream.



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