Indian Butter Chicken

Welcome to My Table is a new section on my website. The goal of this project is to promote tolerance and understanding by sharing food and family stories from all corners of the globe.

I’m sharing my Indian Butter chicken recipe with my readers as it’s a favourite with our family. It’s origin are from the Punjab region in India.  Although the list of spices is long, it’s actually easy to make and devour!

You can purchase the spices from Woolworths or Coles and there’s a few specialty Indian shops around like Raj’s Corner on Beaumont Street in Hamilton.

Hint, I’ve found that if you make it the day before and let it rest overnight, the flavours infuse to make it tastier.


4 tbsp oil & 2 tbsp butter
½  tsp brown or black mustard seeds
¼ tsp of cumin seeds
2 medium onions (finely chopped)
1-2 tsp of chopped ginger
½ tsp of chopped garlic
1 green or red chilli
Salt & black pepper to taste
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of curry powder
1 tbsp of Tandoori Paste (Patak’s Spice Paste is a favourite) *Not part of the original family recipe but it adds flavour
½ cup of crushed tomato
250ml of pouring cream or coconut cream
500 – 600 grams of chicken thighs or breast (cubed)
1 tsp of masala


In a saucepan, heat oil, butter, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
Add onions and cook until golden brown. Add ginger, garlic and chilli and rest of seasoning.
Add tomatoes and chicken.
Cook on low heat for a few minutes and then add 1/3 cup of warm water.
Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until chicken is cooked.
Add cream and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and add masala.
Serve with basmati rice, poppadums and natural yoghurt.