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butter chicken with chickpea masala on white plate
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5 from 13 votes

Butter Chicken (Punjabi-Style)

This butter chicken recipe makes a flavorful Punjabi-style chicken curry. Make this easy dish for a homemade meal just as good as takeout! Adapted from RecipeTin Eats.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Marinate 1 hour (8 hours best)1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 319kcal
Author: Kevin


  • 1 ½ lbs chicken breast meat (See Note 1)


  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala seasoning (See Note 2)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 oz tomato sauce (See Note 3)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • Cilantro for garnish


  • Combine Marinade ingredients with the chicken in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, overnight, or up to 24 hours.
  • Heat the oil over high heat in a large fry pan or wok. Add the marinated chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken is white all over - it doesn't really brown due to the marinade.
  • Add the tomato sauce, sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Turn heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Sauce will thicken and reduce.
  • Season with salt if needed. Stir through the cream and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to melt into the sauce.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and a pinch of some more Garam Masala. Serve over rice and with garlic naan bread. (See Note 4)



  1. I like to use chicken breast meat, the chicken tender strips or thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces.
  2. Use more or less Garam Masala depending on your taste for heat. This is not a very hot dish, the spice blend is more flavor than heat. I think sometimes people confuse spicy with heat and there is a difference! 🙂
  3. I use Tomato Sauce in this recipe and have also used Tomato Passata, both work well in this. Tomato Passata is uncooked tomato puree that has been strained of seeds and skins. It is not cooked, where Tomato Sauce is cooked and often has other ingredients such as carrots, onions, sugar and garlic. If you want little bits of tomato in the sauce passata works well. Smoother go tomato sauce.Passata is readily available in most supermarkets, usually alongside pasta sauces. It costs just a little more, sometimes the same, as canned tomatoes. If you can't find it, puree canned tomatoes. (Australia, from what I understand don't use what you call Tomato Sauce!).
  4. You can pick up frozen baked naan at most supermarkets or Trader Joe's if available near you.


Sodium: 740mg | Calcium: 59mg | Vitamin C: 6mg | Vitamin A: 919IU | Sugar: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 626mg | Cholesterol: 128mg | Calories: 319kcal | Saturated Fat: 12g | Fat: 20g | Protein: 27g | Carbohydrates: 7g | Iron: 1mg