Speedy Butter Chicken!


Warming and delicious – this Butter Chicken is quick enough for a weekday dinner, if you get  just slightly ahead of yourself to get the chicken marinading while you’re at work. And even if you, like me, never think that far ahead – even 20 minutes will be enough. Nicely spicy, but not too hot for the kids, and of course, you can adapt the ingredients to suit your family.

Let’s go!


  • A medium bowl to hold the chicken
  • A jug to measure out the sauce ingredients
  • A large frying pan
  • A pot to cook the rice
  • Chopping board
  • Grater for the Ginger
  • Garlic crusher
  • Large metal spoon for mixing.
  • Waxed cover or clingfilm, to cover.

INGREDIENTS: to feed 3-4

For the marinade:                                                           Butter Chicken (9)

  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon of Grated fresh Ginger
  • 2-3 cloves of  crushed Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 150g Greek or Plain Yoghurt

For the Chicken:

  • About 500g fresh chicken breast (see NOTES for Chicken thighs) cut into large slices
  • 2 generous tablespoons of Butter or Ghee
  • Jar of Passata – about 250g
  • 250mls Cream
  • Salt
  • Garnish – Coriander leaves, and no, of course I didn’t have them..


  • Measure all the spices into the large bowl, then add the yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice and ginger, mix them all together.

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  • Pop in the chicken and using a metal spoon, stir it well until all the pieces are well covered.

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  • Cover, and refrigerate for as long as you can. NB: no more than a couple of hours for breast meat; all day for thighs.

When you’re ready to cook:

  • Mix the Passata and cream and a teaspoon of salt together in the jug. Add a teaspoon of sugar of you think the tomatoes are bitter. I almost never add sugar..

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  • Heat the butter in the frying pan on a medium-hot heat, then add the chicken straight from the marinade. Don’t bother wiping the marinade off.

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  • Add the rest of the marinade to the sauce ingredients.
  • Cook and turn until the chicken goes white – it won’t go brown, thanks to the marinade. About 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour over the sauce, stir to combine it all, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

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  • Cook at this gentle heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Serve with boiled basmati Rice, and Naan or Flatbread.


  • The marinade effectively ‘cooks’ the chicken. It’s best not to marinate Chicken breast meat for more than 2-3 hours – or 20 minutes, if you’re me – this makes it perfect for those ‘rush-in-from-work-and-need-a-dinner’ days. Chicken thighs however – cheaper and tastier as everyone knows –  can sit happily for a whole day. It all depends on how organised you are..
  • You can put the rice on to cook just after you put the Butter Chicken on a simmer.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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