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Butter Chicken Curry

The Best Butter Chicken Curry


If you love Butter Chicken Curry, this is the only recipe you will ever need. Promise.

  • Serves: 8 |
    8 servings
  • Rating:

  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 45 mins |
  • Cook Time : 4:10 hours
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5-cm piece fresh root ginger, crushed to a paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
3 Tbsp (45 ml) tandoori spice
2 C (500 ml) full-cream plain yoghurt
3 x 400 g cans chopped tomatoes
1.5 litres chicken stock
12 skinless chicken breasts fillets, each chopped into 3 pieces
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter
1 packet (30 g) coriander, chopped

Dry Spice Mix

4 tsp (20 ml) cumin seeds
4 tsp (20 ml) whole coriander
4 tsp (20 ml) fennel seeds
4 tsp (20 ml) fenugreek
5 star anise pods
10 cardamom pods
1 quill of cinnamon


4 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 punnet fresh coriander
10-cm piece ginger
6–8 medium chillies (with seeds for a hotter curry, without seeds for a milder one)

Mix together the ginger, garlic, olive oil, tandoori spice and ¾ C (200 ml) yoghurt to make a marinade. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.

Combine all the dry spices in a pan and toast until they start to brown. Use a pestle and mortar to grind into a powder. Sieve the husks out of the powder, and re-toast the remaining powder.

Combine all the ingredients for the paste and blend in a liquidiser or food processor.

Sweat the paste in a pot over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir for 10 minutes until cooked. Add the stock and allow to simmer for 3–4 hours. (This step can be done the day before and the sauce left to rest overnight.)

Braai or grill the chicken for 4–5 minutes per side – the chicken should char and crisp up on the grill.

Add the braaied or grilled chicken to the sauce and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the remaining yoghurt and coriander.

Serve with steamed basmati rice, buttered naan, tomato and onion sambal, and chopped cucumber in yoghurt (raita).