Butter chicken is often considered to be one of those dishes that takes ages to prepare and to cook! This version will give you flavourful results in almost half the time with half the effort. Just be sure to allow your chicken to marinate overnight so that the meat is more succulent and the flavours can develop. 

Serves 4 


500g (1lb 2oz) boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks 

2 Tbsp vegetable, sunflower or rapeseed oil

2 Tbsp ghee 

1/2 Tbsp mustard seeds 

1/2 Tbsp cumin seeds 

1 onion, sliced 

2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste 

1 Tbsp Garam Masala blend 

400g (14oz) can plum tomatoes 

½ tsp Harissa 

1 tsp salt 

50ml (3½ Tbsp) double (heavy) cream 

1 tsp sugar 


100g (scant ½ cup) Greek-style yoghurt 

2 Tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste 

1 Tbsp Garam Masala blend 

½ tsp Harissa 

1 tsp salt 

To serve 

Your favourite shop-bought Naan

1 Tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped 


First make the marinade by combining all the ingredients in a large, non-metallic bowl. Add the chicken and give everything a good stir to combine. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight if you can, or for at least 2 hours to let the flavours combine and permeate the meat. 

When you are ready to cook, heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat. When hot, add the chicken pieces together with the marinade, and fry until browned, turning just once and resisting the urge to move them around the pan. They will need about 3 minutes on each side (you will finish cooking the chicken later in the sauce). Set aside. 

Give the pan a quick wipe and put it back over the heat. Add the ghee and when hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds and allow to sizzle and pop for around 30 seconds, being careful not to burn. 

Next, add in your onion slices and stir to coat them in the spice-infused ghee. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. 

Once the onions have started to sweat and become translucent, add in the ginger-garlic paste and continue to cook for about a minute. When the raw smell has disappeared, add in the garam masala. Cook for a further 10 seconds, stirring to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and burns. 

Next, add the tomatoes, harissa and salt. Cook over a low-medium heat for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to combine and develop. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool a little then, using a stick blender directly into the pan, carefully blend your sauce until it is completely smooth. If you’re finding the sauce is splattering around too much you can transfer it into a deeper pan for this step. You can also stir in a little water if the mixture is too thick. 


Add the cream, sugar and chicken to the pan and give everything a good stir. Simmer for a further 10 minutes to ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked. 


Serve with fresh naan bread, rice and chopped coriander (cilantro) scattered over the top. 

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