• Nige's butter chicken (Monica Ramirez)Source: Monica Ramirez

Weeknights get an incredible dose of flavour butter chicken thanks to Nige Sithirasegaram.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (23 votes)


  • 800 g chicken thigh fillet (diced into 2.5cm pieces) 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt (coconut yoghurt for dairy-free alternative) 
  • 1 tbsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil 
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed
  • 1 tsp fennel seed 
  • 1 tsp cumin seed 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods 
  • 5 cloves 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 5 dried red chilli or 1 teaspoon chilli powder 
  • 50 g unsalted butter (coconut oil for dairy-free alternative) 
  • 1 tomato diced into 2.5cm pieces 
  • 50 ml coconut milk 
  • 1 tbsp curry powder 
  • ½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped 
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

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.


1. Place the diced chicken into a bowl and add the turmeric powder, yoghurt and salt. Mix to combine well and let marinate for 10 minutes.

2. Place a large frypan over medium heat, add the coconut oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds then fennel seeds, cumin seeds, constantly stirring until the mustard seeds start to pop.

3. Add garlic and onion, cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods, bay leaf, cloves and cook for a few minutes. Add tomato paste, chillis and butter continuing to cook for several minutes or until the onion is golden brown. Add diced chicken pieces and cook until the chicken has browned (about 5 minutes).

4. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then add diced tomato and cook for a few minutes. Stir through the coconut milk, curry powder, lemon juice, soy and coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice.