Easy butter chicken

Easy butter chicken

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(70 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins plus at least 1 hr marinating


Serves 4

Fancy a healthy version of your favourite Friday night chicken curry? The chicken can be marinated the day before so you can get ahead on your prep

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal367
  • fat18g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre3g
  • protein37g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 500g skinless boneless chicken thighs

For the marinade

  • 1 lemon, juiced



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 1-2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 200g natural yogurt

For the curry

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped



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

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, grated



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

  • 1 tsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • 2 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 50g flaked almonds, toasted

To serve (optional)

  • cooked basmati rice
  • naan bread
  • mango chutney or lime pickle
  • fresh coriander
  • lime wedges



    The same shape, but smaller than…


  1. In a medium bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients with some seasoning. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with the marinade. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hr or overnight.

  2. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, green chilli, ginger and some seasoning. Fry on a medium heat for 10 mins or until soft.

  3. Add the spices with the tomato purée, cook for a further 2 mins until fragrant, then add the stock and marinated chicken. Cook for 15 mins, then add any remaining marinade left in the bowl. Simmer for 5 mins, then sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve with rice, naan bread, chutney, coriander and lime wedges, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Phoebe Ellis's picture
Phoebe Ellis
16th Oct, 2019
Such a good tasting curry, don't quite understand the other negative reviews, clearly they didn't make it properly. And it's healthy!! Thanks for the recipe!
7th Oct, 2019
Don't understand the negative ratings, yes there's no butter in it so it's not an authentic butter chicken curry but its described as a healthy version so what were you expecting?! My family, including 2 fussy kids (now 4 and 2), love this meal, really easy and really tasty.
Jenny Harding's picture
Jenny Harding
28th Sep, 2019
Not made it yet. Butter Chicken without the butter? Not butter chicken then.
Melisa Jeffery's picture
Melisa Jeffery
15th Sep, 2019
It was disgusting. Save yourselves and DO NOT MAKE THIS!!!
11th Sep, 2019
Made this for supper last night and we all thought it was very tasty. I do not understand some of the previous comments about it being sour but I used greek yoghurt which is creamier and slightly sweeter than natural yoghurt. In my opinion the lemon gave it a fresh taste. Served with wilted spinach, rice and an onion bhaji. Our new family favourite.
ChescaSimmons's picture
3rd May, 2019
Really tasty recipe - more like a masala than butter chicken but delicious flavour. Only edit I’d make (apart from adding more chilli) is to use less stock as it was too watery for me so I ended up taking 5 ladlefuls out. Will definitely make again though!
26th Feb, 2019
Too much lemon. Very bitter.
caz125's picture
31st Jan, 2019
Way too sour. No way is this a butter chicken it doesn't have the key ingredient BUTTER!!. Avoid is my advice
Haze Marsh
28th Jan, 2019
I just don't understand the comments about this recipe being sour, it tasted delicious, I will make this again. Can anyone tell me if it freezes OK?
Mags Bowie's picture
Mags Bowie
27th Dec, 2018
It’s disgusting, sour and bitter cross between Mexican and Indian curry. Added honey which at least then made it edible. My husband glanced at the recipe saw the high stars and assumed it would be good. reviewing this to try and bring this recipes high star rating down, and stop others making the same mistake.


21st Mar, 2017
Where is the butter for this butter chicken?
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Mar, 2017
Thanks for your question. This version of traditional butter chicken doesn't actually include butter. We've recreated the dish to make it healthier and in this instance only used a small amount of vegetable oil for frying. We have a version here using ghee (clarified butter) if you'd like to try that instead: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2220652/cardamom-butter-chicken
10th Feb, 2017
I am in the middle of making this dish and as someone already commented there is no mention of butter. Please can you update the recipe and let us know the amount of butter and when to add it? Thanyou. Or is this just the healthy version?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Feb, 2017
Thanks for your question. This version of traditional butter chicken doesn't actually include butter. We've recreated the dish to make it healthier and in this instance only used a small amount of vegetable oil for frying.
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