• Four-step butter chicken (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

Give the chicken a night in the fridge with the homemade marinade for a full-flavoured bowl of creamy butter chicken.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (12 votes)


  • 125 g (4 ½ oz/½ cup) plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) chunks
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cm (1 ¼ inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 small dried chillies
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 190 ml (6½ fl oz/¾ cup) tomato passata
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp almond meal
  • 190 ml (6 ½ fl oz/¾ cup) pouring (single/light) cream
  • steamed basmati rice, to serve
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 6 hours - overnight

1. Combine the yoghurt, lemon juice and garam masala in a bowl. Add the chicken and mix until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies, cinnamon stick, salt, coriander, cumin and turmeric. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring well to coat it in the spices.

3. Stir in the passata, sugar and almond meal, then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

4. Stir in the cream, then remove from the heat.

5. Serve with basmati rice, garnished with coriander.


This recipe is from Low & Slow (Smith Street Books).