Indian Restaurant-Style Butter Chicken


Saturday Kitchen. One of life’s great joys, one of existence’s simple pleasures, one of the reasons I don’t take my kids to the park on Saturday mornings, and thus one of the reasons why I feel like a terrible parent. Bad housedad, naughty housedad.

But in time, with some counselling, I’m sure my children will get over it – especially as they get to reap the rewards of my drooling obsession with James Martin and Co.

This recipe, for example, went down like the proverbial house on fire. The chicken is tender, the sauce spicy without being hot, the taste stupendous.

OK, there’s butter and cream in it (plus a bit of salt and sugar) but it isn’t processed rubbish.

This is made-from-scratch-handmade-with-the-love-of-chief-protector aka me. I don’t put rubbish into my children’s bodies. Fact!

Look at the ingredients in the Indian restaurant curry sauce, for example: onions, ginger, garlic, carrots, cabbage, peppers – talk about five-a-day!

All stuff that’s good for us. And my kids love it. It is incredibly gratifying to have children who appreciate my cooking. Plates are returned so clean I have to think twice about putting them in the dishwasher (I do, don’t worry: no need for the hygiene police to pay a visit).

Anyway, enough of the lecture, give this recipe a whirl.

It’s adapted from James Martin’s recipe on Saturday Kitchen combined with The Curry Guy’s authentic Indian restaurant curry sauce, it is THE business.

Serves 2-4

For the marinade

6 boned, skinless chicken thighs, cut into two
100g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
½ tsp garam masala

For the sauce

300g Indian Restaurant Curry Sauce Base (click here for my version of the indomitable Curry Guy’s recipe)
3 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp chilli powder
50g butter, diced
4 tbsp double cream
2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed between your fingertips
½ tsp garam masala
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp sugar



1. For the marinade, make small cuts all over the chicken with a sharp knife to help the marinade penetrate. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a deep bowl. Smear the cut chicken with the marinade, cover and set aside in the fridge for 10 mins.

2. Lift the chicken pieces out of the marinade and place on a baking tray. Preheat the grill to high and grill the chicken in the oven for approx. 10 mins, turning after 5 mins, to get a charred crust. Strain off any cooking juices through a fine sieve and set aside.


3. In a saucepan, heat a little oil and add the bay leaf, and cardomom and cook for a few seconds. Add restaurant curry base and chilli powder (to taste) then gradually whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time. Add the chicken and simmer for 6-8 mins, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is beginning to acquire a glaze. Add the cream and simmer for a minute or two longer, taking care the sauce does not split.





4. Stir in the salt, crushed fenugreek leaves and garam masala, then check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste then add the sugar.

5. Serve with pilau rice and mushroom and spinach bhaji. To make this, simply sauté the mushrooms in butter, add 1 tsp garam masala, then stir in the spinach until it wilts.




Filed under Poultry, Recipe Shed

2 Responses to Indian Restaurant-Style Butter Chicken

  1. Sarah

    At what point do you use the cardamon, bay and chilli in the second list? Thanks.

    • keithkendrick

      Hi Sarah, Apologies. I’ve only just seen this – and apologies for the omission: an oversight. Add at stage 3. I’ve amended the method now. Many thanks for pointing it out.