Easy butter chicken

Easy butter chicken

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(104 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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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.
lxw.ldn's picture
3rd Nov, 2019
I tried this curry, I didn’t have any ginger unfortunately but it still tasted amazing! I tweeked the seasoning a little for my own preference and I absolutely loved it! I added coconut milk as well and it went really well too! Highly recommend this recipe and it’s super easy !
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!!!


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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