Chef's CornerDesiree Brassert

Indian Butter Chicken

Chef's corner headerIndian Butter Chicken – Desiree Brassert

Treat yourself to a quick and tasty journey to India with this simplified version of an all-time favorite. The bold flavors are optimized by marinating the chicken overnight and by making your own Garam Masala spice blend in these few easy steps.

Ingredients for 4 portions


  • 500 grams of boneless chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground paprika
  • Dash of cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt


  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons of finely grated ginger
  • 1 chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons of Garam Masala
  • 1/2 cup of tomato puree (passata)
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream (can substitute with chicken stock)
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

Garam Masala
Ideally made with whole spices but also good if using already ground.

  • 1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 1 whole nutmeg or a grateable chunk of whole nutmeg
  • 4 whole cloves


  1. Cut chicken in bite size pieces and marinate for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Make the Garam Masala. If using whole spices, dry-fry in a pan until fragrant. Place in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder except for nutmeg that you should grate a small amount by hand separately into the final mixture.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy pan and build the curry starting with onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, and Garam Masala.
  4. Stir often before adding the marinated chicken.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes before adding tomato puree.
  6. Cook for another 10 before adding cream or stock.
  7. Adjust seasonings and slowly simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
  8. Garnish with cilantro leaves and enjoy with basmati rice, naan or flatbread of your choice.