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butter me up!

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

Meaning prepared in butter (ghee)

Originating from Delhi but adopted and westernised by the British.

Mild and sweet with a moreish flavour, this curry will have you licking the bowl clean.

Butter Chicken is generally peoples first introduction to Indian cuisine due to its mildness, but don’t let that discount this as an authentic curry, this blend contains 17 therapeutic whole and ground spices and deserves its place as a family staple.

difficulty ⭐ | spice level mild | total time 30 mins |

this recipe needs butter me up


Serves 6 people

  • 1kg chicken thigh meat or veg option

  • 3 tbsp ghee or plant-based oil of choice

  • 1 large onion – diced

  • 2 cloves of garlic – diced

  • 2 cm of ginger – diced

  • 140 g tub of tomato paste

  • 400 ml tin of coconut cream

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat ghee or oil in a large frypan over high heat until very hot.

  2. Add onion, garlic and ginger, cook stirring until soft and aromatic.

  3. Add the whole spices and stir constantly for 3 minutes or until aromatic.

  4. Add the ground spices and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.

  5. Add tomato paste and lemon juice, cook while constantly stirring for a further 2 minutes.

  6. This completes the paste process. For deeper flavour, allow the paste to cool, add meat or veggie and marinate for at least 2 hours.

  7. Add coconut cream, mix well, cook for 3 minutes, add chicken or veggie of choice and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken or veggiesare cooked through.

  8. Perfect with basmati rice, chutney, a few rotti, and offtherayles ‘dahl, darl?’

to serve

  • Coriander, baby spinach or grated zucchini for garnishing

  • Plain basmati rice cooked with a kaffir lime leaf is amazing

  • Indian style pickles and chutneys go perfect with this

  • Perfect with a few pappadum, roti, or flatbread


  • Indian cooking is about cooking layers at high temperatures and constant stirring.

  • Veggie suggestion – 1 kg roast zucchini, sweet potato, cauliflower.

  • Have all ingredients ready so you do not have to leave the stove!

  • Ghee will add a more authentic Indian flavour, it is the ‘butter’ in butter chicken.

recipe video

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