Easy Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Indian Butter Chicken

5 from 5 reviews

A no-fail Indian butter chicken recipe that is sure to please. The magical combo of butter, tomatoes, yoghurt, cream and spices will make you reach out for more!



For the marinade

For the sauce



  1. Puree the onion.
  2. Make ginger-garlic paste – throw equal quantities of peeled ginger and garlic in a blender along with a quarter cup water and whiz to get a smooth paste.
  3. Mince the jalapeño or Thai chillies if using.
  4. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a baking dish and mix the chicken pieces in it. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit, keep the baking dish in the middle rack and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Stovetop Instructions

  1. While the chicken is cooking in the oven, prepare the sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan and add whole spices.
  2. When the spices start to sizzle, stir in the onion puree and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato puree, Kashmiri chilli powder, salt and sugar. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Check once and add 1/2 to 1 cup water if the tomato gravy is too thick.
  4. When the gravy is done, add the chicken along with any scrapings and liquid from the baking dish. Cook for 15 minutes more.
  5. Stir in the cream and serve hot with naan or rice.

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Switch on your instant pot to sauté and wait for the display to show HOT. Add the butter and whole spices.
  2. When the spices sizzle, add the onion puree and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree, Kashmiri chilli powder, salt and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Keep adding splashes of water if the sauce becomes too thick or starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. After 15 minutes, add 1 cup water and cancel sauté.
  3. Add the baked chicken (liquid, scrapings and all), mix well and secure the lid. Make sure the steam release handle is on ‘sealing’ and press the pressure cooking button. Adjust to ‘high’ and set the timer to 5 minutes.
  4. When the timer beeps, let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then release pressure by turning the steam release handle to ‘venting’. Finally, open the pot, add the cream, stir and serve.


  1. I am a huge fan of homemade, wholewheat rotis, but butter chicken calls for heavier breads like naan and tandoori roti. The humble roti just won’t do in this case, so go for the naan!
  2. If you don’t have Kashmiri chilli, add any red chilli powder you do have like cayenne. Reduce the quantity though as the former is mild compared to other varieties.
  3. You can add pureed tomatoes instead of the store-bought tomato paste if you so wish. Choose the reddest tomatoes you can find for a pleasing rich-coloured gravy and whiz in a blender. Six medium sized ones will do.
  4. The total time taken to cook this dish is excluding the marination time in the refrigerator.


Keywords: butter chicken, indian butter chicken, instant pot butter chicken