Home Made Butter Chicken: big batch dinner recipe

This is just delectable : pure comfort, treat-y weekend fare and a dead-set hit with the children.  A big batch dinner recipe so you can stash some away for a weekend further down the track when you just want a break from cooking.

An excellent offering at any MamaBake session.


6 tbspns peanut oil
3kg chicken thigh fillets, quartered or halved
180g ghee
6 tspns garam masala
5 tspns sweet paprika
6 tspns ground coriander
3 tbspns fresh ginger, finely chopped
3/4 tspn tspn chilli powder
3 cinnamon sticks
18 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
1kg passata (pureed tomatoes)
3 tbspns sugar
3/4 cup plain yoghurt
1.5 cups cream
3 tbspns lemon juice.


1. Heat a wok ‘til hot, add half the oil and coat the pan.
2. Add the thighs in batches and stir fry until browned (add extra oil as required). Remove.
3. Reduce the heat and add the ghee/butter until melted.
4. Add the garam masala, sweet paprika, coriander, ginger, chilli powder, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods and stir fry until the fragrance fills the kitchen (about one minute).
5. Return the chicken to the wok and coat in the spices for about one minute.
6. Add the passata and sugar and simmer stirring for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.
7. Add the yoghurt, cream and juice and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve with rice or naan breads.

*Note: add a couple of handfuls of chopped vegetables at point 6 to make it go further and to add some extra goodness to the proceedings.

This dish can be frozen. Ensure that it is reheated slowly and thoroughly.



  1. Kirrily Druery says:

    what are the measurements for the chilli powder and yoghurt? I can only see a symbol. Sorry if I should know what that means!!

  2. We are going to try this with tofu… Hmmm… I will let you know how it goes!

  3. Kirrily Druery says:

    I made this and came away with 4 meals. One for dinner, two in the freezer and one for my Mama who just had her SECOND SET OF TWINS. I’m not an expert with spices and have fallen into a bad habit of relying too much on sauces from a jar. Frugal Frannie inspired me to be more adventurous and wow am I glad I did.

    My kids, 6, 4 and 18months woofed them down. YUM!

  4. Megan Quinn says:

    Delicious! Whipped this up for a dinner party along with Mamabake naan bread. What a hit! Only issue was trying to avoid dishing up cardamom pods. I really should investigate putting together a little bouquet garni style bag for this kind of thing.
    It kept really well in the fridge for a few days and there is still a serve in the freezer.

  5. Deborah Thompson says:

    This was delicious and pretty simple too! Different to what we are used to from a restaurant butter chicken, but delicious all the same! My 3 year old loved it and asked to have it again tomorrow! We have heaps left to freeze too!

  6. chrisgmk says:

    I would love to try this as vegetarian due to some restrictions in my house. Can you give me an idea how many cups of veggies this might need? Think I will add chickpeas too. Looks so yummy!

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