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Chicken Butter Masala Recipe

Butter chicken masala recipe, learn to make butter chicken masala with step by step pictures.

I know..I know.. I had posted butter you must be wondering why another butter chicken....this is chicken butter masala...a simple but elegant dish....which needs no yogurt butter (any vegetable oil will do wonders; of course if you are not on a diet and too skinny go ahead and add plenty of butter).... this is the ONE chicken dish I often make when guests come over. This goes with fried rice, carrot rice, plain rice, methi rice, whole wheat roti, phulka, naan......hmmm with just about anything.

This recipe is as old as my daughter and I have lost count of the number of times I have made this dish.....I love it because there is no marination.....I love it because there is no cream.....I love it because you can call it a butter chicken and make it without butter....I sing my favorite song when I make this curry....making this curry is therapeutic for me....

Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) has this unique ability to transform a humble dish into an elegant one....I love to add them in my curries.....just take a fat pinch ...crush them with your palms to release their unique flavor.

I made this today when Nidhi's friend Nikita came home for lunch along with cappuccino muffins, and spinach  pizza which I made with all purpose flour this time.

An Update: 10/01/13-Butter Chicken Pizza- An Indo-Italian Pizza with this gravy....try it you will love me more :)

Chicken: 1/2 kg.
Onions: 1/2 kg, pulse them in the food processor or in your mixer grinder.
Tomatoes: 3 big or 4 small, pureed.(I use ball tomatoes, which has rich red colour and less sourness).
Butter/Vegetable oil: 1/2-3/4 cup. (I have never made with butter till now, coz I use too much butter for my baking, if you are not that butter scary go ahead add it otherwise stick to veg oil, today I used rice bran oil).
Kashmiri red chilly powder: 2 tsp.
Tomato sauce: 2 tbsp.
Sugar: 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp.
Fresh pepper powder: 1/2 tsp.
Ginger: 1 inch piece.
Garlic: 1/2 pod
Kasuri methi: A fat pinch.
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish.

How I made this curry.
1. Grind the oinion. Grind ginger garlic and keep aside. In a heavy bottom kadai, heat the oil, add the grinded onion, 1/2 tsp salt, and let it fry for 3 or 4 min, now add the ginger garlic paste and let it fry with the onions till it almost light brown colour. (careful here we don't need dark brown colour, light brown will be fine).

2. Now add the chilly powder, pepper, and turmeric. Mix well for a min or two.

3. Add the puree tomatoes.

4. Add the tomato sauce, sugar again mix well and let it simmer till oil comes out.

5. It should look some what like this. It took about 12 to 15 min to get this on low flame.

6. Add the chicken and mix well, add little more salt at this stage. Let the chicken simmer with the masala for another 10 min, let the chicken release its moisture and fat.

7. Add crushed kasuri methi and 1/2 cup water.

8. Cover it with a lid and simmer it till the chicken is nicely cooked and tender add little more water if the gravy is too thick. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice, roti, or naan.


  1. I also try to make my butter chicken lighter by adding vegetable oil only. The addition of kasuri methi must have enhanced the taste. The color looks so rich minus butter. Excellent dear

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. Flavorful and delicious chicken..will surely try this

  3. Mouth watering recipe.Lovely pictures.

  4. The gravy looks too delicious & irresistible!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  5. Slurp,mouthwatering here, gravy looks super delicious..

  6. What a wonderful looking curry! I can just imagine that with some rice and naan. Mmmmm.....going to check out your spinach pizza now!

  7. Makes me drool,feel like having some..

  8. It looks super tempting, apt with rice and rotis

  9. aunty
    this curry is awesome
    the first curry i made was such a wonderful 1
    i want to thank u
    everyone do try this

  10. Yay!! I so glad it came out fine Bincy....thankyou for trying it out.

  11. Wow adipoli the colour and u have kept it simple,.....
    chk my space for the 7 link game ...i have linked u

  12. I loved this chicken butter masala recipe with kasuri methi! Sounds delish!! Lovely photographs, too!

  13. Really rice, the gravy is thick & perfect for naan/roti :-)


  14. Dear Nisa,

    When I go to restaurants in America this is exactly how their chicken tikka masala looks. What is the difference between this and chicken tikka masala?


    1. Azhakatha, the answer is simple...chicken tikka masala is made with chicken tikka (tandoor baked or roasted tikkas)immersed in the butter masala and is supposed to be the most popular British my recipe I have used plain chicken ie not baked or roasted in the curry I did not use curd in this check out my butter chicken recipe where I have marinated the chicken in curd and then add it to the curry.
      Hope this helps.

    2. Nisa,

      So only difference is Chicken Tikka Masala uses roasted chicken and you used plain?

      So obtaining tandoor baked chicken and using that instead would make it chicken tikka masala?

      does chicken tikka masala use curd?

      Do you have a recipe for chicken tikka masala?

    3. Azhakatha, yes there is curd in chicken tikka masala, you can make it in your oven too..i have posted tandoori chicken recently I got a recipe from a dabha I visited, it is almost similar if you can give me your mail id I will mail it to you.

  15. Mam,do you use boneless chicken in this recipe?

    1. Anonymous-Thanks for the visit, of course you can use boneless chicken, but here i used boned chicken...keep visiting.

  16. I made this curry today and it was a hit.thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe.

    1. Hi anon- thanks a ton for the positive feedback. I am so glad that you enjoyed the curry as much as I did...thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Another wonderful recipe, Nisa! I just love your site. There are so many fantastic recipes that I want to try, and probably will one day. :)

  18. Thank you so much nisa.. The dish is delicious!!my husband went bonkers over it n insisted v make it wen guests come! I always thought butter chicken would need baked chicken, but u just helped me out here!! Thank so much again!

  19. Thank u so much nisa! I'm a beginner at cooking n this dish did wonders on my dining table! My husband couldn't keep his hands off d curry! It was truly delicious! I thot I had to bake d chicken for butter chicken, but u came like an angel n helped me out!!

    1. Hi Anitha, thank you for stopping by and for your kind glad the butter chicken came out perfect for you...thanks for the feedback too!!

  20. Hi Nisa, stumbled upon your blog recently and your blog is showing amazing recipes. This Butter Chicken recipe is wonderful with elaborated step by step pictures. Great work

  21. Hi Nisa, we tried it and it truned out to be good and very tasty... thanks a ton. In your photo, the color is yellowish red... but ours was dark brown.. what went wrong with ours?

    1. You might have sauteed the onions way too much...and must be the same with tomatoes.....anyways I glad you liked it.

  22. Wow, looks great and delicious. I love this because it's spicy and my family loves spicy dish. I think we can make this on weekends with my family especially with my mom. I'll share this to her, and try it on. Hope we can make it like what it looks like here. Thanks for sharing too.

  23. Hai Nisa,
    I got ur link from the Malayalam tv channel. Good looking recipes. I will be trying during weekends and then let u know.

  24. tried this today with boneless chicken...tasted better than resto...superb and simple recipe I must admit. I didn't puree tomatoes but thinly sliced before cooking with chicken....a must try..cut the spiced nd kida will love it too...thanx for sharing :x

  25. Hi Nisha aunty, i tried it.. and it came very well.. Thanks a lot.. You made our day in front of our guest.. Arathy..

  26. Hi I tried this andit was yummy

  27. Its very delicious and simple to prepare. I really want to appreciate you for the step by step neat presentation.

  28. I tried this, its really very delicious and very easy for preparation. I really want to appreciate you for the step by step neat presentation.

  29. Hi Mohammed, I am so happy to get your amazing feedback....thanks for stopping by :)

  30. Hi Nisa,

    I had tried this and was very tasty lot of thanks

  31. i tried this today.. and it was a super hit. but the oil didnt seperate the way you showed.. but i could see oil on the pan.. i but the taste was fab.

    thank you

  32. Hi Nisa! U inspired me! I seriously want to try this! Thanks alot!

  33. Nisa, I made this for dinner on Friday. I've been married for 33 years and my husband said this has to be one of the top two dishes I've ever made! (Would you like another husband, lol?) I absolutely loved it too. The layers of flavouring were incredible. It was also inexpensive to make. I even found fresh fenugreek at the supermarket (I live in Toronto). I can't wait to try some of your other recipes. THANK YOU.

  34. Nisa, pls can you tell me 1/2kg onions equivalent into how many onions

  35. This is one of the reasons why I am starting to love Indian recipes! This chicken butter masala is really mouthwatering. My family loves the taste of the spices in here. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Feel free to drop by to check out my recipes that I've tried too.

    Happy Food Blogging!
    Sarah @
    { Yummy Recipes }

  36. It looks very mouth watering. Yummy and tasty. Thanks for sharing.


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