Cardamom butter chicken

Cardamom butter chicken

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(36 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 (39)

genputtay's picture

Quite often, I can be quite lazy when cooking curries, steadfastly ignoring instructions like: 'toasting the spices'; 'browning the meat'; 'muddling ingredients in a pestle and mortar to form a paste', and if I'm honest I'll probably continue to ignore them if I'm whipping up a midweek curry. However, with this recipe I decided to follow the instructions to the letter (mainly because I had bought myself a bottle of wine and was binge-watching Friends on Netflix, and found spending time in the kitchen more preferable than watching my boyfriend complete the next level on his computer game). I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was utterly surprised. It turns out that it is completely worth doing all those little steps that I had relegated under the heading 'Trivial'. This curry is a winner. It's aromatic, decadent, indulgent... Don't you dare start switching out ingredients for their half-fat or fat-free counterparts! This curry deserves better than that! If you like a rich, velvety curry, and your go-to takeaway option is Butter Chicken or Passanda, then this curry is for you my friends. If you're like me and still want a bit of heat in your life, serve it with a cheekily-spiced vegetable Jalfrezi and Chilli and Coriander Naan. If you want to keep with the mild theme, then I'd recommend Sag Paneer and Peshwari Naan. Either way, make this curry. Get yourself a bottle of wine; queue up your favourite Netflix series and make it. Seriously. Make it!

flyingmum's picture

I absolutely love this curry. It's a go-to for a night in on the sofa or a night in with friends.

reichem's picture

Excellent recipe. Very easy to make and really delicious

irenemorrill's picture

This is sooo tasty and not difficult, a definate family favourite. For some reason my computer would not allow me to rate the recipe but I say 5 star!!

cbadarello's picture

This is just yum and fairly easy to make - will make again!

nbrandt's picture

Delicious and easy to cook.

Gingercat2's picture

Really lovely recipe. Tastes fab and even better when heated up the next day.

qudek's picture

Delicious! Even my 6 year old son cleared his plate. Will cook it again.

pekica's picture

Tastes really great! I used olive oil (as that's what I had) and omitted the cream, but it turned out really well. My flatmate ate a second helping:)

firegirl's picture

Delicious curry! I added some chilli sauce and a black cardamon pod to spice up the dish. The smoky flavour of the black cardamon worked really well!

Tartangirl44's picture

Delicious recipe, really rich and creamy. We used vegetable oil instead of Ghee and it turned out great. Also froze really well.

Miss D's picture

Was wondering if I could freeze this so thank you.

danielasjorge's picture

I added 400mg of chicken stock instead of just water with the tomatoes. Also, I let it cook for a full hour.

suebellass's picture

My son Ben (aged 10 yrs) and I made this - everyone loved it! Flavours apparently very authentic!

wfraser's picture

Dead easy, dead tasty, a big hit with my family.

suzymmorton's picture

Excellent recipe -like proper curry! It takes a bit of time but is actually very simple. I halved the recipe for 2 people which worked fine. We used passata instead of tinned tomatoes (had to add a bit of extra water to stop it drying out) and stirred in some peas at the end. We omitted the cream and it still tasted AMAZING.

It was useful to read the bit on the website about ghee as its not something we usually use, so I was pleased to see it lasts for a good few months in the fridge.

punkyscot's picture

Really tasty and worth the effort. Not at all difficult! I slightly crushed the cardomom seeds. I used chopped tomatoes and only half a tin of water and found that to be plenty.

wfraser's picture

Three words from my six year old son, yum, yum and yum! We all loved this one.

gwynsmate's picture

I made this exactly as recipe, a bit fiddly but certainly worth the effort.


Questions (1)

cocoonbarbie's picture

When it says in step 4 'whole' spices, does it mean the cardamom seeds? I've never used cardamom before and it's not clear in the recipe. Thanks for any suggestions as I really want to try this out.

Tips (2)

jamiethemac's picture

Made this several times and it's a real winner. I substitute the double cream for creme fraiche to keep the calorie count down and it still tastes the same, and one question - why is it called butter chicken when there's no butter in it?

nbrandt's picture

Cook in a pan first until golden brown, then finish the cooking (step 4) in the oven in a clay pot with a lid (or silmilar) at a relatively low oven temperature, 160c. You probably need to add another 10 minutes, making it 50 minutes.

I also replaced the cream with more yoghurt, still tastes great!