The perfect midweek curry, ready to enjoy in under 40 mins

When you need a quick curry, reach for this easy butter chicken recipe.

PREP TIME: 15 mins
IDEAL FOR: curry night, family, easy meal, midweek meal

Easy butter chicken

Ok, so it’s very much in the title. Easy.

This recipe is all about simplicity and speed.

Which is what you want for a midweek meal.

I like this one when I’m sick of having the usual midweek meals like pasta, chicken bakes, etc.

A cheeky little curry is just what I fancy.

The recipe from The Modern Proper caught my eye because it’s quick.

Because of that, you won’t achieve the richness and depth of flavour of a butter chicken that needs a little more time.

If you have a bit more time and you are after a delicious butter chicken recipe, visit here.

But stick around for this version if you’re looking for a midweek meal.

Easy butter chicken

What’s in butter chicken

Unlike (in my opinion) a lot of other curries, the full version of this is still a simple dish.

Its succulent chicken pieces, sit in a velvety sauce of tangy tomatoes, aromatic spices, cream and butter.

It’s not too sweet and not too spicy.

And now a firm favourite in our household.

Unlike this quick version, the list of ingredients is long – it’s really very straightforward.

But in a nutshell, you marinade the boneless chicken for 4 hours in yoghurt blended with spices.

Then you make the makhani sauce with fresh tomatoes and spices etc.

Grill the chicken or cook in the oven.

Lastly, on a hob on low heat, add the sauce in with the cooked chicken (or vice versus).

With the final flourish of stirring in the cream, butter and some cashews.


Easy butter chicken version

So, for this version, you won’t be marinading chicken for 4 hrs.

You also don’t use fresh tomatoes, instead tomato paste.

And we don’t add any butter, just double cream.

Hey, I never said this was the healthy version of butter chicken.

Where does it originate from

Butter chicken aka Murgh Makhani originates from a legendary restaurant in Dehli, called Moti Mahal.

The owner and chef Kundan Lal Gujral created it in 1948.

Kundan Lal Gujral worked as a chef in a Peshawar (now Pakistan) where he created tandoori chicken.

Gujral then had to flee Pakistan during the partition.

He ended up in Delhi and started his own restaurant, Moti Mahal.

During that time, he wanted a way to ensure his popular tandoori chicken dish didn’t dry out once cooked.

Enter, butter chicken.

Gujral decided to slowly stew the tandoori chicken in a tangy sauce of tomatoes and spices… and butter.

His restaurant and dish was a great success!

And thankfully it spread around the world for us to all enjoy.

Butter chicken vs. chicken korma

Butter chicken

Is known for its creamy, tomato-based sauce with spices, butter, and cream.

You marinate the chicken in yoghurt and spices before being cooked in a tandoor or grilled.

This makes the chicken tender and smoky, with a velvety tomato sauce that gives a subtle hint of sweetness. 

Chicken Korma

Korma refers to a slow-cooked dish.

It has a rich, creamy gravy made with a base of yoghurt or cream and aromatic spices.

The chicken is slowly cooked in this sauce.

Chicken Korma tends to have a slightly nutty, aromatic flavour because of ingredients like almonds, cashews, or coconut.

Easy butter chicken

Course Main Course
Keyword butter chicken curry, curry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Cost £


  • 1 kg high welfare skinless chicken breasts, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small grated onions
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 225 g tomato paste
  • 1 1/2` tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup double cream
  • fresh coriander for serving


  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
    Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened and the garlic and ginger are fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the butter, chicken stock, tomato paste, cinnamon, salt, cumin, garam masala and turmeric until combined. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then stir in the chicken until coated. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and cream. Return to a simmer and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.
    Serve the butter chicken over the rice and coriander.


Recipe from The Modern Proper