Butter Chicken Recipe

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken was invented almost 70 years ago at an Old Delhi restaurant called Moti Mahal. The chef combined pieces of grilled Tandoori Chicken with a spiced tomato sauce to create this culinary marvel.
Here is the original Butter Chicken recipe using our finest quality authentic spice mixes. It takes about 45 mins to cook and makes 6 servings.
Serve with hot Naan bread or Basmati rice.
Cook Time 30 mins
Marinating time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6


  • 1 Spicecraft Butter Chicken Spice Kit
  • 1 kg chicken thigh filets
  • 300 ml Light thickened cream
  • 140 g tomato paste 1 tub
  • 1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 sprig fresh coriander for garnish
  • 1.5 cups water


What you need

  • Gather your ingredients

Marinate the chicken

  • Cut chicken thighs into 3-4 cm pieces into a bowl. Add contents of the Marinade Spice Pack and 1 tbsp yogurt. Mix well and set aside for at least 15 mins or, if possible, overnight.
    For a dairy free version, use a tbsp of olive oil instead of yogurt.


  • Grill the marinated chicken on a BBQ until lightly charred, or in the oven until cooked, reserving the juices. You can also do this later when the sauce is simmering away.
  • To make the Butter Chicken sauce combine the contents of Sauce Pack 1 with 140g tomato paste and 1.5 cups of water
  • Melt 1 tbsp butter in a hot saucepan.
  • Add the spiced tomato sauce. Bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the contents of Sauce Pack 2.
  • Add the contents of Fenugreek Leaves from the pack and almost all the light thickened cream. Save a couple of tablespoons of cream for garnish later.
  • Stir in 1 tbsp honey. Mix well until the sauce colour lightens. Simmer for 10 mins
  • Now add in the grilled chicken and its juices and cook until the sauce thickens to a creamy consistency.
    Tip: If the sauce looks runny, simmer uncovered for another 10 - 15 mins until it thickens.
  • Season with a generous pinch of salt to taste.


  • Garnish your mouth wateringly delicious Butter Chicken with almond flakes and a dollop of cream. Serve hot with Saffron rice or Naan bread.
Keyword butter chicken, Spicekit

From the shop

Curry Powder and Garam Masala

As you progress along your journey of discovery through the world of Indian cooking, you are bound to bump into this little conundrum at some point.

Is there a difference between Curry Powder and Garam Masala? They are both Indian spice blends, right?

Right. But that’s about where the similarity ends.


Freshly ground Curry Powder


Curry Powder is a gentle, versatile spice mix. You probably have some in your spice drawer right now – sprinkle on eggs or add to a creamy soup for a pop of flavour. You might’ve even used it to make a curry.  

This mix makes a great starting point for many curries. It is usually a combination of ground up coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chilli, turmeric and mustard seeds plus other spices depending on the brand. 

Interestingly, you will rarely find Curry Powder in a traditional Indian kitchen. Instead, you will find a spice box or a ‘masale-dani’. This spice box has many little jars containing small quantities of frequently used spices that get added into the dish individually.  

Freshly ground Garam Masala

Garam Masala on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. It is a potent combination of warming spices that add heat and depth to a dish. It is usually made with Cloves, Star anise, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Black pepper, nutmeg, bay leaves and other intensely flavoured spices. 

This masala packs a punch but must be handled with care. It is usually added towards the end of the recipe or for finishing the dish, though some recipes will add it earlier.

Most Indian kitchens will have some version of branded or home made ready-to-use Garam Masala. The trick is to lightly roast the spices to release their oils before grinding them. 

Too much Garam Masala can easily ruin a curry. Over cooking will make it bitter. But just the right amount will add magical layers of complexity and flavour to your dish.

Are Curry Powder and Garam Masala interchangeable? 

Short answer, no. In a pinch you could use Curry Powder if you don’t have Garam Masala on hand, but not the other way around.

If you have any other questions about this or other aspects of Indian cooking, please leave a comment below. Or ask on our Facebook page.

Happy cooking!

5 easy tips to fix a salty curry

In Indian cooking, like in most cuisines, salt is the most critical of all spices. Not only does it add that essential savoury element to a dish, but it enhances the intensity of all the other flavours as it goes. A tiny pinch of salt will make your brownies taste sweeter. And who can deny the magical effects of salted caramel!

But nothing will ruin a curry more thoroughly than too much salt. Happens to the best of us. Never fear, here are five easy tips to help save a salty curry.

  • Sliced raw potatoes. Peel and slice one large potato and add it to your curry. Leave it in for 20 mins. Discard potato before serving. The potatoes absorb salt and water from the sauce and you are good to go. You may need to top up the water lost in the potato.
  • Lemon or vinegar. A dash of acidity can help offset the saltiness. Tread lightly though, adding a little bit at a time and tasting as you go. Sour yogurt will also work in the same way. This will change the flavour profile of your curry though hopefully not in a bad way.
  • Double up. If you have the time, make another portion without salt and mix with the original so the excess salt is distributed through more sauce.
  • Dairy Cream or Plain Yogurt. Fat from the cream will smooth out the saltiness. It will also weaken other spices, so you may need to top them up. Taste, taste, taste.
  • Raw Onion. Slice an onion in half and leave it in for 15 minutes. Like a potato, onion will absorb the salt. Remove and discard onion before serving.

Give these tips a try next time there’s a salty accident is the kitchen.