Cardamom butter chicken

Cardamom butter chicken

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(35 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins


Serves 4

A homemade curry to rival your favourite Indian takeaway - a rich blend of spices mixed with creamy ghee

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal460
  • fat32g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre2g
  • protein32g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 2 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 green chilli, chopped (leave seeds in if you like it hot)
  • small bunch coriander, leaves picked, stalks roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp ghee, or vegetable oil



    The Indian version of clarified butter (ie a butter that has had its milk solids removed, making…

  • 2 onion, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tsp each turmeric, garam masala and ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 4 chicken breast, cut into 2½ cm cubes
  • 4 clove



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 12 cardamom pods, seeds removed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 400g can tomato



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 150ml pot yogurt



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…

  • 50ml double cream
  • chapatis and rice, to serve



    Rice is a grain, the seed of a type of grass, which is the most widely grown and the most…


  1. Place the garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander stalks in the small bowl of a food processor with a good pinch of salt, and blend to a fine paste – or grind to a paste using a pestle and mortar.

  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the ghee or oil in a large pan, add the onions and cook slowly for 15-20 mins until golden and caramelised. Tip in the garlic-ginger paste, turn up the heat and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the ground spices and cook for 2 mins more until fragrant. Scoop the spicy onion mixture out of the pan into a bowl.

  3. Add the remaining ghee or oil to the pan and cook the chicken over a medium-high heat until browned all over. Tip into a bowl, cover and set aside.

  4. Return the onion mixture to the pan along with the whole spices, tomatoes and a can full of water (400ml). Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 40 mins.

  5. Return the chicken to the pan and cook, uncovered, for a further 10 mins until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the yogurt and cream, season well and scatter with coriander leaves. Serve with chapatis and rice.

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Comments (38)

gwynsmate's picture

Cooked by a friend for a large family meal, excellent, not too hot, just right, can't wait to cook it myself.

stonefruit's picture

Awww, that was divine.

suegriff26's picture

Absolutely delicious. Flavours were amazing even though I cooked and ate straight away. Have frozen half for next week

jduffy826's picture

Lovely flavours . Will definitely be making again . I added a birds eye chilli for extra heat and will halve the amount of yoghurt I think next time .

mrsmammy's picture

I don't know what happened here but I found it too watery. I will try it again adding less water and/or reducing it for longer.

laonie's picture

Great recipe. I made this two nights ago because my son was craving butter chicken. I couldn't buy ground fenugreek so I left it out entirely and I omitted the ghee/vegetable oil in favour of a light spray of grapeseed oil. I didn't have a lot of time so I softened & browned the onions rather than slowly caramelising them. The result was still absolutely delicious and very close to an authentic flavour. The whole cardamon seeds are a nice touch. Next time I'll make sure I have Fenugreek and ghee beforehand and I'll add an extra green chilli (with seeds) as several people have suggested.

karinabeecham's picture

Made this exactly as recipe for my husband and son in between Christmas and New Year. Wow, best chicken curry I have ever made. Hubby had 3 portions! Really tasty and creamy. Will definitely make again.

cowen84's picture

made this on several occasions and we absolutely love it. I must remember to get the onions on while im the making the paste as gives me something to do while the onions are cooking! I use chicken thighs, skinned and deboned, and cook everything together.
Re cardamon pods/seeds. Take the seeds out, despose of the pods, and put the seeds in at the same time as the whole spices, i have also crushed them on occasion too to even out the flavour of the cardamon...though little burst of it are lovely!
Check out my baking blog

garryjgarryj's picture

Enjoyed the recipe,but could someone please clarify the "cardomom seeds only",or whole pods?

janegatford's picture

Delicious......I also added an extra chilli as we like it hot, plus we grow our own chillies so had plenty. I must confess I added the sauce to some freshly roasted chicken we had tonight. We love indian food and will no doubt cook this recipe again. Thank you BBC good food

tracynewey's picture

Fantastic tasting curry. I put the cardamoms in at same time as the cinnamon stick and it turned out just fine. I will definitely make this on a regular basis.

elliesmith01's picture

Very tasty! Fenugreek gives it a very authentic flavour i think.

Recipe is confusing but i read it as put in the cardamom seeds, and i put them in where it says to add the 'whole spices' presuming the ingredients go in recipe order.

banana21's picture

I need clarification of what to do with the cardamom pods. Recipe says 12 pods,seeds removed. So what exactly IS to be used in the actual cooking ?

horrell's picture

I can't see how or when to use the cardamom pods?

jodieford's picture

Delicious! This tasted really authentic and wasn't too hard to do - one of the best curry recipes on here in my opinion.

petesfanny's picture

Delicious! Worth the effort. I added an extra chilli as we like it spicy. Will do again

basandy's picture

Excellent dish. Takes a little bit of time to complete but definately worth it in the end


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