How to Make the Traditional Indian Butter Chicken with Garlic Basmati Rice

Butter Chicken
Credit: Unsplash

Butter Chicken with Garlic Rice

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Sana Qazi


For Butter Chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For Garlic Basmati Rice:

  • 1 cup 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 3/4 cups 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric, smoked paprika, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Stir to coat the chicken evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the marinated chicken in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  5. Add the cooked chicken to the skillet and stir to coat with the tomato sauce. Stir in the heavy cream and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  6. Stir in the chopped cilantro and remove the skillet from the heat.
  7. For the garlic basmati rice, rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water, butter, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
  8. Serve the butter chicken with the garlic basmati rice on the side. Garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.

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