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Butter chicken with rice on a blue and white plate.

Butter Chicken

Creamy and flavor packed Butter Chicken made from scratch in no time. Don't forget to check out our step by step photos and tips above!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 640kcal


  • 3/4 cup butter or ghee
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Rice chopped roasted cashews, coconut flakes, and lime wedges, to serve


  • Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Stir in curry and garam masala; stir and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken; stir to coat in spices and butter.
  • Add onion, garlic, and ginger to skillet.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in tomato paste until combined.
  • Stir in tomatoes and cream until combined.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; stir in lime juice.
  • To serve, spoon chicken mixture over rice; top with cashews and coconut flakes, if desired.
  • Serve with lime wedges.



  • Blooming spices in butter or oil helps release their flavorful oils, resulting in a richer-tasting curry dish.
  • Garam masala is a blend of spices that usually includes coriander, pepper, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon. Whereas curry powder can be spicy (hot), garam masala is typically not.
  • You’re not trying to cook the chicken all the way through at first; just cook until it takes on a little color. It will finish cooking when it simmers.
  • Be sure to shake the can of coconut milk before using to allow the coconut milk solids to recombine.


Calories: 640kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 246mg | Sodium: 522mg | Potassium: 1226mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 674IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 7mg