Butter Chicken

  • 1 kg boneless chicken skin removed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 1 cup fresh yoghurt (must not be sour)
  • 2 tsps garam masala
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 1" stick of cinnamon
  • Seeds from 3-4 pods of cardamom
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 almonds
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 tsps garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 litre chicken stock
  • 3 tbsps vegetable/canola/snflower cooking oil
  • 3 tbsps butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Mix the chicken, lime juice, salt and red chilli powder in a bowl and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
  • Roast the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves and almonds till they darken slightly and then grind into a coarse powder.
  • Mix the yoghurt, whole spice powder and all the other spices together and add them to the chicken.
  • Allow to marinate for another hour.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Fry till golden brown and then add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry for a minute.
  • Add only the chicken from the chicken-spice mix and fry till sealed (chicken will turn opaque).
  • Now add the chicken stock and remaining part of the mix to the chicken.
  • Cook till the chicken is done and the gravy is reduced to half its original volume.
  • Melt the butter and pour it over the chicken.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with naans and Kaali Daal.
  • For an authentic and traditional cooked-over-the-coals flavour: Heat a briquette of coal till red hot and when the dish is done, put the coal in the pan and cover immediately. Remove just before serving.

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