indian butter chicken

with winter making no moves to go away, it calls for warm, spicy meals. one of my favorite indian dishes is butter chicken, or murgh makhani. it is a tomato-based curry dish that uses, yes, a lot of butter!

it’s delicious and warm and goes perfectly with rice & naan. since i’m still cooking paleo, i opted for cauliflower ‘rice’ which is just as good!



indian butter chicken

serves 2 or 3


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 6 Tbsp. butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 c. strained tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 14oz. can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream or milk
  • salt & pepper
  • naan or rice
  • cilantro for garnish


melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium heat. add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on the outside. no need to be fully cooked because it will go back in to simmer later. once browned, remove from pot & set aside.

add in another 2 tablespoons of butter to melt. add in the onion and cook to soften, about 5 minutes.

then add the garlic, garam masala, ginger, chili powder, cumin and cayenne. stir well and cook for a minute before adding in the strained tomatoes.

bring the mixture to a simmer and then add the coconut milk and cream. when simmering again, add the chicken back into the pot and cook for 10 to 15 minutes on a low simmer.

stir in the final 2 tablespoons of butter. when melted, remove from heat and season with salt & pepper.

serve with naan and/or rice.

indian butter chicken

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