Easy butter chicken

Easy butter chicken

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(127 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…

  • 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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Rhiannon Stevenson's picture
Rhiannon Stevenson
4th Jun, 2020
I saw that this recipe said easy and the steps seemed easy enough to make it for a quick weeknight tea. I don't eat a lot of spicy food so I halved pretty much all the spices except the garam masala and took out the chilli powder and chillis. I made up the stock and pour in half as this seemed way too much! Had to half it in the end as it ended up like a watery soup and then spend ages reducing it, ended up having to add cream and tomato puree just to thicken it but the extra tomato puree just made it was too salty! Please please please revise this recipe!!!
Kimberley Gama
2nd Jun, 2020
this recipe really needs to be adjusted... I should have read the comments below before marinating the chicken. Honestly do not use this recipe unless you really like tangy curries! I added sugar and cream to try rectify and still had no luck. Disappointed and threw out half the dish which I planned having as leftovers
NGK Firm's picture
NGK Firm
28th May, 2020
Always Loved it! WIL TRY Butter Chicken
8th May, 2020
I’m sorry but this is NOT butter chicken. Fortunately, I haven’t tried this version - just looked at the ingredients. This is a recipe that does vary but for a start, NO-ONE uses ground fenugreek for this. Plus she uses 2 tsp of it - way too much and she has stated the incorrect ingredient. This is why it’s bitter for those of you who have used this recipe. You need to be using dried fenugreek leaves (methi). More importantly, it’s called BUTTER chicken so it’s not butter chicken if it contains no butter!! If one wishes to be healthy don’t make this, you can’t skip the butter. Jennifer Joyce also has omitted ingredients that should be included. There is a recipe online by Perna Singh called something like Indian butter chicken which is authentic or go to Youtube and see Chetna Makan’s version. I make Chetna’s each time and it’s delicious. Sadly, this one by Jennifer Joyce is a fail in every way.
Marie Riley's picture
Marie Riley
25th Apr, 2020
this was really bitter and far from my favourite curry recipe I note someone added sugar and double cream that might have been better than the stock but i wont be making it again
Neil Pearce's picture
Neil Pearce
6th Mar, 2020
What a awful recipe.... Looks like butter chicken then you say to add 300ml of chicken stock. Thats when it turns into a soup. What a appalling waste of my time. I was so looking forward to present my wife with this for tea. This recipe should be taken down. Call yourself a chef,your not even a cook....
dave simpson's picture
dave simpson
16th Feb, 2020
Made this last night it was little too hot for my wife I actually added some sugar and 100 mg of double cream it was delicious ,the cream cooled it a little the sugar just took the edge of the heat ,will make again
Beth Abigail's picture
Beth Abigail
17th Dec, 2019
I made this curry the first time i cooked for the inlaws... They didn't notice that it was a healthy version and we're very impressed. Have since cooked it for friends and their children... Empty plates all round!
Carole Carter's picture
Carole Carter
26th Nov, 2019
I was excited to cook a curry for my family and good food has been very reliable. However, this recipe is the most disappointing one I've ever come across. Bitter, grainy, not buttery/creamy. Also spicier than I need it to be. Luckily, I have had the time to add a few ingredients to it (sugar, butter, water, coconut milk) to try to save it from just going straight into the bin. I will be lining up a back up, just in case I haven't done enough to salvage it. So disappointed.
Bev Draper's picture
Bev Draper
9th Nov, 2019
Easy to make and tasty. I will use less stock if I make it again. Other than that a great tasting easy meal.


Kashish Food's picture
Kashish Food
5th Jun, 2020
Where Is the butter?
lulu_grimes's picture
7th Jun, 2020
Hi, Good point. I will check the original recipe, it looks like it is supposed to be a healthy version. Lulu
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.
6th Jan, 2020
brilliant meal, delicious and easy to make, tip add saffron, parsley and coriander
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