Indian Butter Chicken

We get it, we get it, Indian food seems so daunting. The exotic flavours, the complicated cooking, the….but wait, it’s actually not complicated at all. We’re going to demystify the world’s most delicious cuisine in this simple recipe. Enjoy with some steamed basmati rice, a big tear of naan, and pat yourself on the back: you know how to cook Indian food!


1 c. Greek yogurt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp. ground turmeric

2 tsp. garam masala, divided in two equal portions

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided in two equal portions

1 large onion, sliced thin

2 jalapeños, finely minced

1 whole cinnamon stick

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger

1 tsp. paprika

1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes

1/2 c. heavy cream

Cilantro to garnish


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon, turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala, and cumin. Add chicken and toss until fully coated. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Working in batches, add chicken and cook until golden all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

  3. Reduce heat to medium and melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the onion, jalapeños, and cinnamon stick. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, remaining teaspoon garam masala, and paprika and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

  4. Add the tomatoes and bring mixture to a simmer. Return chicken to pot and toss to coat. Let simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

  5. Stir in heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with basmati rice and warm naan.