Lunch and Dinner, Main Dishes

Restaurant Style Butter Chicken (cheat version)

Boneless tender chicken simmered in a spiced coconut sauce.

Treasure the moment, strengthen the bridge, spread your unconditional love, and take the chance to please your family with this easy, creamy homemade Restaurant Style Butter Chicken.

Delightful golden and tender chicken pieces dive into a smooth, creamy sauce with an array of Indian spices and other incredible flavors that will recreate the feeling of restaurant-style butter chicken!


Heavenly Flavored Butter Chicken

Boneless tender chicken simmered in a spiced coconut sauce.
Give your home a taste and serve this creamy dish!


Don’t Knock it Before You Try it!

We all know that cheating is bad lol.

But cheat mode in my recipe is way different. It’s simply doing away hard with the hard work and and making an easy recipe!

I called it Cheat Version Restaurant Style Butter Chicken because I omitted the cashews.

Despite the importance of cashews for extra creaminess and rich taste, an easier and quicker version would be to skip adding cashews.

Moreover, the original recipe calls for fresh onions, tomatoes, and cilantro in the sauce, while in my cheat version, no fresh vegetables other than onions are needed.

Now tell me if you are going to make your choice and cheat!


Restaurant Style Butter Chicken, a Festival of Flavors!

Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani or chicken makhani, originated from Northern India.

Nowadays, it is one of the most popular Indian curry dishes recreated around the world to suit different palates!

The experience of skewering yogurt-marinated chicken pieces and immersing them in a flow of butter, cream, and a blend of spices creates a balance of tanginess and a velvety texture that you should never miss!


Stay at Home Tonight for this Butter Chicken!

Aromatic chicken pieces swimming in a creamy and smooth butter sauce.
It is all a matter of taste.

What Goes Well with Butter Chicken?

If you’re looking for the best sides to serve with butter chicken, then fluffy, garlicky naan bread would be a great choice. It is the most traditional side to serve with any curry dish.

I usually pair it with plain white rice or basmati rice. I think it is the perfect accompaniment to this butter chicken dish.

Also you can serve it with couscous, the staple food throughout North Africa made out of semolina or granules of durum wheat.

Besides couscous, any type of grain, like bulgur or quinoa, works well with this incredible dish.

Once you give this Restaurant style butter chicken recipe a try, you’ll never get your dinner outside!


Fluffy Jasmine Rice to Serve with This Amazing Butter Chicken

After washing the rice with cold water to release the starches, cover with cold water and let it soak for 20-30 minutes.

Once soaked, strain and discard the water. Heat up some oil then add the strained rice and salt and mix well with the oil to make sure each grain is coated.

Finally, add the hot water. Make sure the rice is even all around the pot. Let it boil on high until the water level decreases and touches the surface of the rice, which takes about 3–5 minutes.

Once boiled, cover tightly, reduce the heat to low, and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes. Once done, let it sit and steam for another 5 minutes off the heat before fluffing with a fork.


Frequently Asked Questions

What can we use instead of butter?

Feel free to use oil or ghee and the flavor will remain incredible.

What is the substitute of coconut cream?

You can use heavy cream and enjoy the taste!

How to store leftovers?

Just put the butter chicken leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3–4 days.
Don’t worry, you can reheat it easily in the microwave or in a frying pan.


Creamy butter chicken recipe served with chopped parsley.
Yummy!

Here Are Some Tips for the Best Homemade Restaurant Style Butter Chicken

If you’re looking for full-flavored butter chicken, use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato paste.

The longer it is marinated, the more tender your chicken will be.

Make sure there is no excess water in your chicken before marinating.

Don’t marinate the chicken for more than 24 hours; otherwise, it could turn mushy!

For lighter version, decrease the amount of cream and use less butter or replace it with ghee.

Adding the cream at the end of cooking retains the wonderful richness you’re looking for!

Pay attention not to cook longer after adding cream.

If you’re going to make the authentic recipe with cashews, make sure to prepare the cashew paste in a separate pot.

Keep in mind that you can adjust the amount of spice as needed to get the ideal recipe for the whole family.

If your curry isn’t the traditional orange color, you can add red food coloring or tomato puree.

You can reserve any leftover marinade to add to the butter chicken sauce later.


An Easy Dinner for the Whole Family

An easy butter chicken recipe made out of creamy sauce on the top of tender chicken.
Enjoy the creamy taste.

Ingredients for Restaurant Style Butter Chicken

For the Marinade

Chicken breasts or thighs: You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs taken from the chest.

Yogurt: It is the king of marinade sauce aside with the spices used. Yogurt contains calcium and lactic acid which break the protein in the chicken and gently tenderize it.

Ginger paste or fresh ginger: Use ginger to bring a nice peppery, warm flavor to your chicken.

Garlic paste or fresh garlic: It adds a lot of flavor to the marinade.

Coriander powder: This is an essential ingredient of many curries and gravies as it has a mild aroma that instigates the appetite.

Spices: Adding garam masala, curry powder, red chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, turmeric and salt will surely enhance the flavor.

Oil: Use olive oil to add richness and slight acidity to your marinade.

Always remember these 5 key elements for a good marinade: acid, fat, salt, flavors, and time.


For the Creamy Sauce

Don’t be surprised, you’ll need onion, garlic paste or fresh garlic, ginger paste or fresh ginger and tomato paste for the slightly sweet sauce taste.

Butter: Butter adds richness and balances the flavors.

coconut cream (or thick coconut milk) and heavy cream: It’s the thickener secret you’re looking for.

Spices: Use Chicken bullion, fenugreek powder, garam masala, red chili powder, coriander powder and curry powder and get the perfectly spiced dish.


Here’s How You’ll Make the Best Homemade Restaurant Style Butter Chicken

First of all, cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Then put the chicken pieces in a big bowl, add the marinade ingredients, and mix well. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Now, heat butter in a pot and add finely diced onions. Let it cook and caramelize on medium heat. This should take about 5–10 minutes or so.

After that, add the garlic and ginger paste and sauté for 2 minutes. Once caramelized, transfer to a food processor and process until fine, or use an immersion blender.

Next, add the spices, coconut cream, heavy cream and the tomato paste and mix.

In a separate pot, cook the chicken until all the moisture evaporates, for about 15 minutes.

Finally, add to the sauce and let it boil. Then cover and let it cook for another 10 minutes.


Must-Try Recipes:

Juicy Middle Eastern Kebabs

Traditional Palestinian Musakhan Recipe

Lebanese Fried Kibbeh Recipe

Hummus Bil Lahme

Lentil Soup (Shorbet Adas)

Meat Stuffed Pitas (Palestinian Arayes)

Middle Eastern Spiced Baked Chicken

Honey Garlic Sriracha Wings

Easy Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.


Boneless tender chicken simmered in a spiced coconut sauce.

Restaurant Style Butter Chicken

Fatimah
Nothing is better than gathering the family at home and sharing lovely memories while eating this incredible dish made out of boneless marinated chicken cubes swimming in a creamy spicy red sauce.
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients
  

For The Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken breast or thighs

For The Chicken Marinade

  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • tablespoons ginger paste or fresh ginger
  • tablespoons garlic paste or fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (or more can be spicy)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

For The Creamy Sauce

  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste or fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste or fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can coconut cream (or thick coconut milk)
  • cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon (or to taste)
  • teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. Then put it in a big bowl and add the marinade ingredients and mix well. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  • Heat the butter in a pot and add finely diced onions. Let it cook and caramelize on medium heat. This should take about 5-10 minutes or so.
  • Add the garlic and ginger paste and sauté for 2 minutes. Once caramelized, transfer to a food processor and process until fine (or use an immersion blender).
  • Add the spices, coconut cream, heavy cream, and tomato paste, and mix.
  • In a separate pot, cook the chicken until all the moisture evaporates, for about 15 minutes.
  • Add to the sauce and let it boil. Then cover and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

Notes

  • If you’re looking for full-flavored butter chicken, use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato paste.
  • For a lighter version, decrease the amount of cream and use less butter or replace it with ghee.
  • Adding the cream at the end of cooking retains the enormous wonderful richness you’re looking for!
  • If your curry isn’t that traditional orange color, you can add red food coloring or tomato puree.
Keyword butter chicken, orange butter sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

20 thoughts on “Restaurant Style Butter Chicken (cheat version)

  1. Asma says:

    5 stars
    This butter chicken is so flavorful and so creamy, & i love that this is the “cheat version” where i dont have to pull out a blender

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe a couple times, following the ingredients/directions exactly and it is amazing! Wouldn’t change a thing. I am a private chef and the family I work for are obsessed with this meal 🥰🤩

  3. Anam Sultan says:

    5 stars
    It’s heavenly amazing! Best recipe ever

  4. Manal Ramadan says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipe!

  5. yola shiheiber says:

    5 stars
    Super easy step by step recipe and delicious! My family loves when I make it. Even my picky eaters!

  6. Fadilla says:

    5 stars
    This recipe has been added to our weekly family dinner rotation! I use chicken breast and it is sooo tender and delicious. Such a gamechanger “cheating” and the whole family enjoys it! Thanks for another great recipe, Fatimah! Lots of love from brisbane 💐

  7. Dania says:

    5 stars
    I have tried this dish just yesterday and it turned out so delicious. My husband loved it! Will definitely do it again. Thank you for this delicious recipe! 🙂

  8. James says:

    5 stars
    Awesome recipe with the coconut cream! easy and quick to make!

  9. Lena Azzam says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe, I looked at a few and this was definitely my favorite! Amazing recipes every time I try one

  10. Lena Azzam says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe, I looked at a few and this was definitely my favorite! Amazing recipes every time I try one, highly recommend!

  11. Sumiah says:

    5 stars
    Great dish. Everyone loved it.

  12. Privan says:

    5 stars
    My kids said this was better than any other butter chicken they have tried. and we tried ALOT.

  13. Ehab says:

    5 stars
    It was sooooo good. Definitely worth it. Cheat or not. Very delicious. Very flavorful

  14. Iman says:

    5 stars
    Asalamalaikum
    I made your butter chicken for my family last week and Masha Allah it was brilliant. All four sons absolutely loved it they said it’s better than any take out and one asked for it again two days later 😂.
    It will for sure be on repeat in our house on a regular basis a definite keeper.
    Well done to you 😀

  15. Maha Yasin says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been following this recipe for few years now. My family loves it every and each time I make it. In love with this recipe.

  16. Batoul says:

    5 stars
    I tried this a few weeks ago! Everyone loved it and asked me to make it again, will do next week!

  17. Candice says:

    5 stars
    Better than most restaurants that I’ve actually eaten at…. Amazing recipe!! If you been looking for the best butter chicken recipe this is surely it.. I’ve tried many & this kills every single one !

  18. Lynne Uridge says:

    How many people will this serve please

    1. Fatimah says:

      Hi, about 2 adults and 2 kids 🙂

  19. Anonymous says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious

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