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Anisa Karolia’s butter chicken recipe

Creamy and delicious, this is a crowd-pleasing curry.

“A royal dish if ever there was one, butter chicken is known for its luxuriously rich texture and, for me, the thicker and creamier the better,” says food blogger Anisa Karolia.

“It’s a flavourful, aromatic curry with a butter and tomato base – wonderfully creamy and tastes out of this world.”

Butter chicken


(Serves 2-3)

  • 4-5tbsp oil

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 500g chicken breast, cut into chunks

  • 1tsp ginger paste

  • 1tsp garlic paste

  • 1tsp chilli powder

  • 1tsp chilli flakes

  • 1tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder

  • 1tsp ground coriander

  • 1tsp ground cumin

  • ½tsp ground turmeric

  • 1tbsp butter chicken masala or tandoori masala

  • ½tsp salt

  • ½tsp ground black pepper

  • 1tbsp dried fenugreek leaves

  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped

  • 250g tomato passata

  • 100-150ml water

  • 125ml milk

  • 150ml single or double cream

  • 30g butter

  • 2tbsp lemon juice

  • Fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish

Butter chicken from The Ramadan Cookbook (Ellis Parrinder/PA)


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a low heat, add the bay leaves and onion, and cook for five minutes until golden brown. Add the chicken, ginger paste and garlic paste, and cook for 25 minutes, until only a little moisture is left from the chicken.

2. Add the chilli powder, chilli flakes, Kashmiri chilli powder, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, butter chicken masala or tandoori masala, salt, pepper and dried fenugreek, and stir well. Add the fresh tomato and passata, cook for one minute, then pour in the water, milk and cream, and stir well. Simmer for eight to 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

3. Add the butter, letting it melt through the sauce, then add the lemon juice, and serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.

The Ramadan Cookbook by Anisa Karolia is published by Ebury Press on March 9, priced £22. Photography by Ellis Parrinder.


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