Ultimate (and Speedy) Butter Chicken

Ultimate (and Speedy) Butter Chicken

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


500g boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks 

2 tbsp vegetable, sunflower or rapeseed oil 

2 tbsp ghee

1/2 tbsp black mustard seeds 

1/2 tbsp cumin seeds

1 onion, sliced

2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste

1 tbsp Spice Kitchen Garam Masala

400g can plum tomatoes

1⁄2 tsp Spice Kitchen Harissa

1 tsp salt

50ml double cream 

1 tsp sugar 


100g Greek-style yoghurt 

2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste

1 tbsp Spice Kitchen Garam Masala

1⁄2 tsp Spice Kitchen Harissa

1 tsp salt 

To serve 

Your favourite Naan bread or rice

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 



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 permeate the meat. 

When you are ready to cook, heat the oil in a large, heavy- bottomed frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces 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 them 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 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. 

Turn off the heat and let the mixture 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, 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 scattered over the top.

Did you love this recipe? If so, check out our cookery book – Spice Kitchen – which has over 80 recipes and inspiration for cooking with our spice blends. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.