Butter chicken

Today’s guest blogger is Mohamed Muzain. A staff of UNDP, one of his hidden talents became known to colleagues after he cooked a delicious dish for a potluck. I requested Muzain to share one of his famous recipes and he shared his recipe for butter chicken.

Butter chicken

Time taken: 45 mins

Serves 8


  • Chicken – 1 Kg
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Onion – 4, medium-sized, for puree + ½ , for frying
  • Tomato – 4
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Yoghurt – 1 cup
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp, for marinating sauce + small tsp, at the end
  • Chillies – 5
  • Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs
  • Rampe leaf
  • Cumin seeds/ Nacheeraham – ½ tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 ½ “
  • Cardamom – 8 or 10
  • Butter – 125 g


  1. First, wash and clean the chicken and chop it up into smaller pieces. Rub some turmeric powder over the chicken pieces and keep aside.
  2. Next, prepare the marinating sauce.
  3. Peel the onions and tomatoes. Chop them up and blend them together. Transfer the puree to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the yoghurt, 1 tbsp of the ginger-garlic paste and 2 tsp chilli powder to the puree. Mix the marinating sauce well.
  5. Transfer the turmeric powder coated chicken pieces to the marinating sauce bowl.
  6. Ensure that the chicken pieces are well coated. Let the chicken pieces soak in the marinating sauce for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Chop up ½ the onion and slit the green chillies in the middle.
  8. Heat some butter in a pan and fry the chopped onion, curry leaves, rampe and the slit chillies.
  9. When the onions turn golden, add the remaining ginger-garlic paste.
  10. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon and cardamom to the pan. Mix the spices well.
  11. Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl, the chicken pieces together with the marinating sauce, to the pan and let the chicken cook on low to medium heat for about 30 mins.
  12. When the chicken is well cooked, add a small tsp of chilli powder and the remaining butter.
  13. Mix well before removing the pan from heat.
  14. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Recipe source: Mohamed Muzain.

2 thoughts on “Butter chicken

  1. This looks amazing, I can almost smell it cooking now. I love butter chicken and would love to make this but I live in Rural Ontario Canada and have no way of getting Rampe or Curry Leaves is there an alternative spice I can use or in an alternative format other than leaves, I may be able to get something bottled. I have access to curry spice but I think the leaves are different, am I right, my understanding that curry powder is a blend of spices and the curry leaves are leaves from a individual plant… Any advice is greatly appreciated I am looking forward to trying this recipe

    • Thank you for your comment. Yes, you are right. Curry leaves are leaves from a particular tree (Murraya Koenigii) and curry powder is a special blend of spices that varies from house to house or brand to brand. With regard to substitutes, please try fresh or dry basil leaves instead of curry leaves. I have used curry leaves here when I have not had dried basil handy for pasta dishes. Also, for this dish, do try a combination of basil and lemongrass or lime leaves to give the closest substitute of the curry leaves plus rampe/ pandan leaf combination. Hope you enjoy the dish of butter chicken that you make!

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