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  • Writer's pictureKimberley Kells

Easy Butter Chicken

Who doesn't love a Butter Chicken Curry?! It's a universal crowd pleaser but I've found that at-home recipes don't quite live up to the flavour you get from a restaurant. After many attempts and tweaks, I am finally happy to share my recipe that I think delivers on flavour but with every shortcut in the book.



For me, the key to a really tasty Butter Chicken is the pre-cooking of the chicken, getting all those black, charred edges. They give the curry so much flavour and a beautiful smokiness that you would get from a tandoor. My method of cooking on a BBQ mimics this flavour and gets it really close to restaurant quality. Of course to make up for this extra step, I've pulled back on the tomatoes, opting for a jar of passata instead of using fresh diced tomatoes and blending them. It's up to you but I will take a shortcut wherever I can get it. Also if you make your own tandoori paste and garam masala mix, please use it, but I just use bought and don't regret it! #noregrets

“This recipe makes a huge batch for a family (3 x family serves) and it freezes fantastically so I will often freeze the remaining 2 portions and save them for lazy nights when I just want to microwave something. I figure, if you're making a curry, it may as well be a big one!”

Easy Butter Chicken an original recipe by Kimberley Kells

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children x 3 night's serves


4 Tablespoons of Tandoori Paste (I just buy it to save on time)

200g Greek Yoghurt

2kg Chicken Thigh

1 Large Onion, chopped

6 Cloves of Garlic, chopped

2 Thumb sized pieces of Ginger, grated

700g Tomato Passata

2 Teaspoons of Paprika

2 Tablespoons of Garam Masala

2 Teaspoons of Cumin

2 Teaspoons of Ground Coriander

2 Teaspoons of Fenugreek (available from Indian Grocers or the 'Herbies' wall of the deli/fresh food grocer)

10 Cardamom Pods, cracked

300ml Thickened Cream

Drizzle of Honey


Step 1- Combine the tandoori paste and Greek yoghurt in a large bowl with the chicken thigh and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2- On a screaming hot BBQ, grill the marinated chicken thighs until cooked through and blackened on the edges. These black bits are full of flavour and will give the end curry a lovely smokey flavour. Chop into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Step 3- In a large pot or wok, saute the onion, garlic and ginger in oil with a generous spoonful of butter until soft.

Step 4- Add in all the spices and stir through the oil so they toast.

Step 5- Pour in the tomato passata, cream, and chopped chicken (including the resting juices) and stir to combine.

Step 6- Season to taste with a generous amount of salt and a drizzle of honey. This curry is better the longer it sits, so it will taste even better the next day! Serve with rice, naan and pickles.


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