Butter Chicken

This is essentially a posh version of Chicken Tikka Masala, done Chef Brian style.  This recipe is adapted from the amazing Michelin starred Benares restaurant in Mayfair, London.  It might appear a bit of a faff, but I trust you that the effort is worth the results.


600g      Chicken Thighs or Chicken breasts


300g      Greek style yogurt

2 tbs      Lemon juice

1 tbs       Ground coriander

1 tbs       Garlic-ginger paste (see note)

1 tsp       Garam Masala

1 tsp       Chili powder

1 tsp       Smoked sweet paprika

1 tsp       Fenugreek leaves, dried and crumbled

2 tbs      Light cooking oil, sunflower, groundnut or vegetable

Sea salt


1 tbs      Light cooking oil, sunflower, groundnut or vegetable

1            Green chili, finely chopped

2 tbs     Fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

800g     Tomatoes, roughly chopped

400 ml  Water

Handful of Coriander stalks

2 tbs     Honey

1 tsp      Chili power

1 tsp      Fenugreek leaves, dried and crumbled

1 tsp      Garam Masala

50g       Butter, diced

80 ml    Single cream

Sea salt


Preparation and Cooking

Start by making the marinade.  Whisk all the ingredients together in a non-metallic bowl.  If you do not have ginger-garlic paste, simply replace by smashing up 1 tbs of fresh ginger and 3-4 garlic cloves instead.  Please also note that the Smoked sweet paprika is an essential ingredient, not to be replaced with any old paprika.

Now, skin and de-bone your chicken pieces, and cut into 4-5cm chucks.  Place in the marinade and leave for atleast 1-2 hours, but ideally over night.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan, and saute the ginger and green chili for 1-2 minutes until lightly coloured.  Add the roughly chopped tomatoes, water and coriander stalks.  Simmer over a low heat for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp.  Now the hard but essential part.  Press the mixture through a sieve ensuring all of the tomatoes have been pulped, and then discard the seeds and skins.

Return the sauce to the pan and bring to the simmer.  Add the honey, chili powder, fenugreek and garam masala and bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for a further 8-10 minutes until it thickens. Add the butter and cream, and then season to taste with the salt.  Simmer for a further 5 minutes, or keep the sauce warm whilst you are cooking the chicken.

Now remove the marinated chicken from the marinade and thread on to long metal skewers.  Grill the meat on a BBQ for 10-15 minutes until cooked, or under a hot grill indoors until cooked.

You can choose to serve the skewers on a plate and pour the warmed sauce over them, or even better is to remove the chicken pieces from the skewers, and place into the sauce.  Continue to simmer the chicken in the sauce for a further 5 minutes, during which the chicken will impart even more flavour into the sauce.   Enjoy hot served with plenty of rice and naans.