Main Dish Recipes

Easy Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Skip the Indian takeout and make this butter chicken recipe at home! You won’t believe how easy this Indian butter chicken is to whip up and it’s as good as anything you’ll get from your local Indian restaurant! 
butter chicken recipe

The number one thing Bart and I miss about Texas is Tejis and their crazy good butter chicken.

Okay, okay, the number one thing we miss are our friends and family there, but the SECOND thing we miss most is Tejis.

We first went there for lunch when I turned 23, after my friend Julie recommended it strongly. At the time, it was about six folding tables set up inside an Indian grocery store and it wasn’t so much that the atmosphere was lacking as much as there was absolutely no atmosphere at all.

You ate your food off a styrofoam plate and looked around at bare walls and linoleum floor. It was fantastic.

By the time we moved away in 2013, it  had expanded to a much nicer sit-down restaurant, plus opened a location downtown, we’d met Teji herself, and we’d eaten approximately forty thousand cartons of the best butter chicken I’ve ever had.

Make your own butter chicken

If I lived in Austin, I’d never bother making this butter chicken recipe because I could just go pick it up from Tejis.

But since a fourteen hour drive for Indian butter chicken seems a bit much, this recipe is the closest substitute I’ve found and also, it has a tiny piece of Tejis in it because my garam masala was purchased at the Tejis grocery store many moons ago (and it’s still going strong).

Also, it’s super easy. The only remotely unusual ingredient is the garam masala and most grocery stores sell that these days. If not, you can order it from Amazon for a good price.

butter chicken

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5 from 1 vote

Easy Indian Butter Chicken

(slightly adapted from RecipeTin Eats)
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 3 to 4
Author Janssen Bradshaw



  • 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size piece


  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon water


  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients until smooth and then stir in the chicken until the chicken is thoroughly coated. Let sit for at least 15 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and all the marinade and cook for a few minutes, then turn the chicken pieces so they cook on the other side. Add the tomato sauce, sugar and salt and let simmer on low-heat for about 5-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked completely through. Stir in the whipping cream. Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl or cup with a fork then pour into the sauce, while stirring the sauce. Let the sauce come to a simmer again and cook for a minute or two to thicken, then salt to taste and serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
  3. Enjoy!


indian butter chicken

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  • Reply Heather @ Heathers Hurrah December 16, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    yum! We love butter chicken but we usually use a pre-made sauce. I'd rather try this one! looks SO delicious 🙂

  • Reply Grace Haynes December 16, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Looks delicious! Half Baked Harvest also has a good recipe for this – it's a crockpot recipe.

  • Reply Feisty Harriet December 16, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Yes, please!!


  • Reply Megan B December 16, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    We tried butter chicken after seeing it on your menu on IG (using the sauce from Target) and everyone loved it. My daughter is usually my toughest critic at dinner, and she really likes this one. We actually have a jar of the sauce in the pantry right now, but once it's gone I think I'll try this recipe.

  • Reply Mrs. December 16, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Have you ever considered adding chickpeas? I've been making it at least once a month for several years, and started adding chickpeas. It stretches the meat further and adds some good texture. (I use the Crockpot recipe linked above too.)

  • Reply Kristi December 16, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    What a shame that we haven't yet been there. I'll bump it up on the priority list, out of respect for you!

  • Reply Jennifer Noble December 16, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Our favorite Indian food here in the Valley is the Dhaba (on the border of Mesa and Tempe). Seriously amazing! (Can't wait to try this recipe too!)

  • Reply Paige Flamm December 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    This looks amazing! It's definitely going on next week's dinner menu.

  • Reply Rebecca Mabey December 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Mmmm Looks amazing! We will have to try it:)

  • Reply Karen December 16, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Okay. I'm excited to make this for dinner tomorrow—Andrew and his roommates are coming!

  • Reply Amy December 17, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    We just made it and ooohhhhh my gosh. It was so good! We do a bunch of different Indian recipes several times a month and my husband and I both agreed that this one just jumped to the top of our list. I added peas to make myself feel a little better and I think next time I'll add chickpeas too, as per an above comment.

  • Reply Karen December 18, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    We, too, had it for dinner last night and it was delicious (and much less work and better tasting than the other dish I made to go with it).

  • Reply Michelle (popculturecottage) December 20, 2015 at 3:25 am

    There's an indian market/restaurant near me that I have been interested in visiting for a while. I think you may have inspired me to finally go!

  • Reply Shadrach Anki December 21, 2015 at 5:21 am

    I am planning to make this very soon because it sounds amazing. I do have a question on the ginger, though; I have never personally used fresh ginger, so purchasing an entire root seems extra intimidating to me. Could I substitute powdered ginger (at a lower quantity, I would imagine)? Alternatively, what's the best way to grate fresh ginger?

    • Reply Janssen December 27, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      I don't usually like using ground/powdered ginger if I can help it when a recipe calls for fresh, but you could definitely try it (just use significantly less, as you said).

      I'd just buy a little piece of fresh ginger from the produce section (usually it's a few dollars a pound and you only need a very small piece, so it'll cost you probably 25 cents or less), peel it with a potato peeler and then grate it with a microplane or the tiny holes on a box grater. And then I freeze the leftover ginger for the next time!

  • Reply Rachel December 26, 2015 at 12:11 am

    You can buy small pieces of ginger root- I usually only buy a very small piece at a time (large bouncy ball size). You can grate on the small side of a cheese grater or even a zester may work. Or mince it! And if I don't have it, I just go for the ground ginger. A little less fresh tasting but it works!

  • Reply Rebecca Nels December 30, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Did you make your naan? It looks amazing, but I can't seem to find a good recipe!

    • Reply Janssen December 31, 2015 at 5:19 am

      It's just from the store (it's the Stonefire brand and it's EXCELLENT). I've made some before from Annie's Eats and it's quite delicious but I'm just too lazy to do it every time.

  • Reply Meghan January 8, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Made it tonight for dinner and it was delicious! I miss Teji's as well.

  • Reply DanielleB January 24, 2016 at 5:06 am

    I made this tonight during the snowstorm in DC and it was the perfect comfort food. I did up the cornstarch a little to thicken it up, but otherwise the recipe was great. Thanks!

  • Reply Demi Shannon April 15, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I made butter chicken recipe last year with my pressure cooker fagor duo and it was amazing…I was looking for a good butter chicken recipe, I'm make it again today for a few friends. Thanks for this

  • Reply Laurie May 27, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I homeschool my son & he's doing mini units on countries of his choice. This week it's India & we'll be making this at the end of his research!!

  • Reply Chicken Recipe for Dinner: Fast, tasy, healthy family meals. January 15, 2018 at 4:56 am

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  • Reply Donna B Oliphint February 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

    I found crushed fresh ginger in a purple square packet that had 24 individual cubes. I put it in the freezer and just pop out the number of cubes I need for a recipe. Can’t remember which store I found it in, but probably Publix or WalMart. It was in the fresh produce section. But I’ve also used fresh and frozen the left over section as you noted.

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  • Reply Tori Pruitt November 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    I used this recipe as a healthy leftover thanksgiving recipe and substituted the chicken for turkey and the whipping cream for half and half and it was delicious!!

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