Main Course

Authentic Indian Butter Chicken

Learn how to make 30 Minute Indian Butter Chicken. Butter chicken originated in Delhi, India in the 1950s, and quickly became one of the most popular Indian dishes in the world.

30-Minute Indian Butter Chicken
Image by Rachel via thestayathomechef

How To Make Indian Butter Chicken

To start, you’ll need 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of cubed chicken.

We’ll use boneless skinless chicken breasts because it cooks faster.

Add in 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, along with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, which is an Indian spice mix, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and we’ll stir all in so that all of the chicken is coated.

Then you’ll let it marinate in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes. Traditionally this chicken would be cooked in a tandoori oven, but I’m guessing you don’t have one at home, like me, so we’re gonna just use a skillet.

We’re gonna cook the chicken in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

It’ll take about 5 to 7 minutes to cook the chicken through, depending on how big or small you cut your pieces.

Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Wipe out the pan real quick.

Then we’ll start our butter sauce by melting 6 tablespoons of salted butter or ghee, add in one white diced onion, and we’re gonna saute this for about 5 minutes.


after about 5 minutes the onions will start to get soft, and then you’re going to add in 1 minced jalapeño, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 2 teaspoons of plain paprika, or you can use Indian chili powder if you can find it, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, and we’ll throw 1/2 teaspoon of salt in there as well.

We’re gonna toast this for about 60 to 90 seconds.

Last, pour in 1 cup of tomato sauce, which is just pureed tomato, and one cup of heavy cream.

Stir all together, and it comes to a simmer almost immediately.

Then we’ll put the chicken back into the skillet, give it a stir to combine, the chicken should warm back up pretty quickly, and then you are ready to eat.

Serve it up hot over cooked rice, maybe with a side of naan.

You can garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.

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30-Minute Indian Butter Chicken

30-Minute Indian Butter Chicken

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  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Chicken Makhani is one of my favorite Indian dishes made with tender chicken simmered in a rich, Indian spiced tomato cream and ready in under 30 minutes!



Chicken Marinade

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Butter Chicken Curry

  • 6 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1 medium white onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (diced)
  • 1 jalapeno (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro (for garnish)


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the greek yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, garam masala, salt, ginger, and cubed chicken. Stir until well combined and chicken is coated. Let marinate in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Wipe the pan out before making the sauce and return the skillet to medium-high heat.
  4. Melt the butter in the skillet. Add in onion and saute 5 minutes until onion starts to get tender.
  5. Add in garlic, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, and garam masala and toast for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add in the tomato sauce and heavy cream, season with salt, and bring to a simmer. Once it comes to a simmer, add chicken back into the skillet and stir to combine. Then remove from heat and serve hot over cooked rice. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main Course, Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Calories: 450

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