The Best Homemade Butter Chicken!! You can make a Vegetarian Version too!

I make really good butter chicken. Ask our friends and my family…it is simply amazing. My little mirchs (this includes Mr. Hubby) just love butter chicken and would eat it every day if they had their way. Now this doesn’t happen for one very important reason. It is so rich that it is not healthy to eat every day. Now I know many of you may be wondering how I came to make such amazing butter chicken. You can thank my father-in-law and Jamie Oliver. Yup…that’s my secret. I took my father-in-law’s amazing recipe and fused it with the recipe that I saw on Jamie Oliver’s page and created my hybrid. As I said before, my butter chicken is amazing.

***Vegetarian Alert***Now I, like many of you out there, probably have vegetarian friends and family. I have also made a vegetarian version using the fake chicken breasts that you get from the frozen section of the supermarket. I like using PC Blue Menu Vegetarian Chicken Breast. This Northern Indian dish is yummy any way you have it!

Both the real and fake (as my Mr. Mirch would put it) butter chicken is made the EXACT SAME WAY. Remember one important thing though…PLEASE DO NOT USE THE PRE-MADE Butter Chicken sauces. It will truly break my heart!

Ingredients you will need for chicken and marinade:

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (if using chicken breast use about 4 pieces)

1tsp of cumin (Jeera) seeds

1 -2 heaping tbsp of tandoori masala (depending on the manufacturer some can be spicy so make sure you find one that your taste buds can handle)

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

6 cloves of garlic

1 small nub of ginger (approx. an inch)

½ lemon squeezed

Canola oil (you can put as much or as little as you like)

Ingredients for the butter chicken sauce:

1 tsp canola oil

1 – 2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp black mustard or rye seeds (they should be small in size)

1 l yellow onion

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

½ small can of tomato paste

Large carton of whipping cream


  1. In a bowl whisk together cumin, tandoori masala, Greek yogurt, oil, and lemon. *Marinade should be a bright red colour.
  2. In a food processor make the garlic and ginger into a paste. Combine the paste with the rest of the marinade ingredients.
  3. Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. Place in the marinade and make sure it is fully coated.
  4. Marinate for 4 hours or overnight if possible.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°
  6. Place the chicken evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. While chicken is in the oven prepare the butter chicken sauce. SEE SAUCE RECIPE.
  8. Once the timer goes off for the chicken. Put the oven on a high broil and broil the chicken for 15 minutes so you get the bbq style crunch on it.
  9. Once chicken is done take it out of the oven. Make sure the sauce is on a medium heat. Scoop the chicken and put into sauce.
  10. Continuously stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. The sauce should become a darker pink at this point.
  11. Scoop half of the drippings from the pan that the chicken was in and pour into the sauce. Let everything simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes.
  12. Taste!! Adjust salt, spice levels accordingly. (If you want it spicy add lal mirch/red pepper powder and simmer everything for an extra couple of minutes. If it is too spicy add some more whipping cream. Don’t have any left?! No worries. Add some sour cream and whisk it into the sauce!
  13. DONE!! Serve over basmati rice or with naan/roti!!!

Sauce Recipe:

  1. Crush the onion in a food processor.
  2. Heat up the oil in a deep pot on medium high.
  3. Cook the mustard seed till they stop popping. Make sure to continuously stir.
  4. Add the butter.
  5. Add the onions and cook till translucent.
  6. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
  7. Lower the heat and cook the sauce, stirring continuously, till it is a deep red. Make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  8. Heat up a cup of whipping cream for a minute in the microwave. Slowly pour into the pot and stir.
  9. At this point reduce heat and let simmer. You may add more whipping cream if you desire. **The sauce will be a light pink in colour don’t fret the colour will resemble the butter chicken in pictures once the chicken is added to the sauce.

This pot will have at least 6 servings.

There you have it folks!! Let me know how it turned out. Great my little mirch’s are yelling over who had the Dinotrux toys first. Got to go and stop the kid apocalypse! This Butter Chicken will appease them! Life’s a Mirch!!

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