Books by Richard Sayce

Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1
Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 2 Front Cover
Curry Compendium Cookbook
Butter Chicken

BIR Butter Chicken Recipe: 

Butter chicken, as the name suggests, is an indulgent and very delicious curry. It is mildly spiced and lavished with butter and cream. The inclusion of cleverly selected aromatic spices and the addition of tomato paste propel this decadent yet delightful curry into the realm of the finest Moghul emperor. On request, Misty Ricardo can provide a menu consultation and design service for Indian restaurants and takeaways.

Serves 1-2 people.

This recipe is from my cookbook CURRY COMPENDIUM, and is also in my second book, INDIAN RESTAURANT CURRY AT HOME VOLUME 1. All my books are available in both physical and kindle formats.


  • 3 TBSP (45ml) Oil, Butter Ghee or Vegetable Ghee, or a combination
  • 10cm Cassia Bark
  • 3 Green Cardamom Pods split open, the seeds from within, or ¼-½ tsp Elachi Powder
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds (optional)
  • 75g Onion, very finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
  • 1¼ tsp Mix Powder
  • ¾ tsp Tandoori Masala
  • ¼ tsp Garam Masala


  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • ¼-½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Kasuri Methi
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder (optional)
  • 3 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 150-200g Pre-Cooked Chicken
  • ¾ tsp Lemon Juice
  • 300ml+ Base Gravy
  • 2 tsp Jaggery or Brown Sugar
  • 40ml Single Cream
  • 60g Unsalted Butter or Butter Ghee
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped for garnishing


  1. Heat a frying pan to medium high and pour in the oil or ghee.
  2. When hot, add the cassia bark, green cardamom/elachi, cloves, and the optional fennel seeds. Fry for 30-40 seconds to infuse flavour into the oil, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes until the onions turn translucent and show signs of starting to brown. Stir occasionally.
  4. Then add the ginger/garlic paste, continuing to cook for 15-30 seconds until the sizzling subsides, stirring frequently.
  5. Next, add the mix powder, tandoori masala, garam masala, paprika, salt, kasuri methi, and the optional Kashmiri chilli powder. Fry for 20-30 seconds, stirring very frequently. Add a little base gravy (e.g. 30ml) if the mixture dries out to avoid burning the spices and to give them enough time to cook properly. Use the flat of the spoon to ensure flat and even distribution.
  6. Add the tomato paste. Turn the heat to high while stirring constantly until the oil separates and tiny craters appear.
  7. In with the pre-cooked chicken. Coat the meat well with the sauce.


  1. Add the lemon juice/dressing.
  2. Add 75ml of base gravy, stir into the sauce, and leave on high heat with no further stirring until the sauce is reduced a little, the oil has separated, and small craters form again around the edges.
  3. Next, add a second 75ml of base gravy, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan once when first added, allowing the sauce to reduce again.
  4. Then add 100ml of base gravy, stir and scrape the pan, and leave to cook 4-5 minutes. Stir and scrape once or twice to mix the caramelised sauce back in, but do this only to prevent the sauce from sticking too much and burning. It’s important to let the sauce adhere to the bottom and sides of the pan, which produces that great flavour. Add a little extra base gravy if the sauce is becoming too thick.
  5. A minute before the end of cooking turn the heat to low temporarily and add the single cream, jaggery/brown sugar, and the unsalted butter or ghee. Stir in and allow to melt.
  6. Retrieve and discard the cassia bark, cloves and green cardamom pods.
  7. Serve, sprinkling fresh coriander on top to garnish.


  • All spoon measurements are level (1 tsp = 5ml, 1 TBSP = 15ml).
  • Health disclaimer: butter chicken should only be eaten once a year at most. It tastes so good, but it will kill you slowly. Consider it a ‘bucket list’ activity.
  • Please visit the Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen YouTube Channel for lots of Indian recipes.
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