Cardamom butter chicken

Cardamom butter chicken

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(76 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 cloves, 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 chillies, 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 onions, 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 breasts, cut into 2½ cm cubes
  • 4 cloves



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • 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, questions and tips

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Mary Q
27th Aug, 2018
I followed this recipe to the T. A lot of faffing around which I wouldn’t have minded if the end result was outstanding. Unfortunately, It wasn’t. I found this curry lacked depth of flavor and was a bit bland. Can’t quite put my finger on it - it might be better tomorrow after a night in the fridge. I thought this would be my new go-to recipe judging by all the other reviews. I’m in the minority here but won’t make this again. Ps! Had to edit slightly! Reheated portion for dinner this evening . What a difference a night makes. Tasted so much better today- flavours obviously developed over night. I would make it again now the night before it’s required , and obviously just hold off on adding yogurt till second day.
9th Oct, 2017
Made this a few times. Definitely worth the prep and effort to get this table. Not been able to find ghee though, so I've only made it with vegetable oil. Would love to try it as intended one day :-)
20th Jun, 2017
Really tasty recipe, but make sure you use the freshest ingredients (particularly the spices) possible. I'd also encourage using ghee instead of vegetable oil for a richer flavour.
16th Feb, 2017
I'm currently exploring new recipes and techniques in the kitchen and this was the first curry I've ever made from scratch and it turned out wonderfully! A very nice simple recipe with lots of flavour (not too spicy either, for chili wimps like me). I would highly recommend this for any other newbie cooks looking to try out new recipes!
18th Nov, 2016
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!
18th May, 2016
I absolutely love this curry. It's a go-to for a night in on the sofa or a night in with friends.
4th Apr, 2016
Excellent recipe. Very easy to make and really delicious
15th Mar, 2016
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!!
1st Aug, 2015
This is just yum and fairly easy to make - will make again!
5th Apr, 2015
Delicious and easy to cook.


29th Sep, 2017
Can you please clarify when to add the cardamon? Also, it says seeds removed so is it the pods only that go in and at what point? I don't see it in the method?
29th Sep, 2016
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.
jamiethemac's picture
15th Jan, 2016
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?
5th Apr, 2015
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!
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