Chef Shloke shares the recipe for the famous Doolally Butter Chicken.

Butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian dishes, and it’s no wonder why! There’s something about the creamy tomato sauce, balanced with the fragrant mix of spices, that makes it so irresistible. Plus, it’s an incredibly easy dish to make at home. The ingredients for butter chicken are pretty standard and can be found in any grocery store or supermarket.

The aromatic and delicious butter chicken curry recipe combines golden chunks of chicken in a creamy curry sauce making it a truly unique dish. The meat can be marinated the day before so you can get ahead on your prep.

Serves 4


For the Chicken Tikka:
500g of boneless chicken thighs, cut into small chunks
20g ginger-garlic paste
Half a fresh lemon
100g yoghurt (hang in a muslin cloth for 20 minutes)
½ tsp deggi mirch chilli powder (we recommend MDH)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala powder (we recommend MDH)
10 ml mustard oil

For the makhni sauce:
20 ml mustard oil
1 chilli
20 ml sesame oil
¼ tsp cardamom powder or cardamom pods
¼ tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 clove
20g ginger-garlic paste
400g chopped plum tomato (fresh or tin puréed)
1 Red onion
½ tsp degi mirch chilli powder
Handful of cashew nuts

To finish:
50 g butter
½ tsp degi mirch chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp dried kasoori methi, ground
¼ tsp cardamom powder
40 ml single cream
2 tsp honey


For the chicken tikka:

In a large bowl, combine the chicken thighs, salt, ½ tsp of Deggi Mirch Chilli powder, ½ tsp of ginger & garlic paste and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Leave this to marinate in the bowl for 3 hours.

For the second marinade, add to the chicken the yoghurt, ¼ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp Deggi Mirch Chilli powder, ¼ tsp fenugreek leaves and ¼ tsp garam masala powder. Before mixing the contents of the bowl, add the mustard oil.

Transfer the bowl mix to a container and leave to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours (or overnight if time allows). Once you are ready to proceed with the recipe, skewer the chicken thighs and grill them in a tandoor or oven at 200C for 20mins, until done. Once removed from the oven, set them aside to cool.

For the makhni sauce:

Heat the mustard and sesame oil in a large saucepan before adding ginger & garlic paste and one green chilli. Sauté the mix for a couple of minutes with cardamom, coriander, a bay leaf and a clove. Add the tomatoes and red onion to the mixture and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Whilst it simmers, add the degi mirch chilli powder, ginger & garlic paste and cashew nuts. Followed by enough water to cover the tomatoes in the pan and leave to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Once cooked, blend the mixture until smooth, before adding a little salt and the butter. Mix well and set aside.

To finish:

Heat a large saucepan and add the butter. Once melted, add the degi mirch chilli powder and turmeric and let cook for a few minutes, followed by adding the makhni sauce from the previous stage. Let the sauce simmer in the pan for a little while, this will help it get a little thicker. Whilst It’s cooking, add the kasoori methi and cardamon.

When the sauce is ready, add the cream and chicken tikka you precooked and leave to simmer for a couple of minutes, this will allow the chicken to absorb the rich flavours from the sauce. Finish the dish with two tables spoons of honey. Garnish with fenugreek leaves and cardamom

Serve up the curry with warm naan or basmati rice, and enjoy!