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Indian Butter Chicken

There are many recipes for Indian butter chicken.  Along with Tikka Masala, these two are the most popular Indian dishes in the US.  I have made several recipes and this one is a combination of several found on NYT Cooking and Allrecipes.  I used a mish mash of spices and cooking techniques that I think work the best.  This version has a kick; add less cayenne pepper of you prefer a milder sauce.  Serve with naan and basmati rice.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken  (Serves 6)


3 lb boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
4 t garam masala
4 t curry powder
2 t cumin
1 t cardamom
1 t cayenne pepper
2 t ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
5 T butter
1 yellow onion, minced
2 T lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
2 C water
1 can (14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
1 C heavy whipping cream
Fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the garam masala, curry powder, cumin, cardomom, cayenne pepper, ginger, salt and pepper.
  2. Place prepared chicken in a large bowl and add 1/2 of the spice mixture.  Stir to coat evenly.
  3. Melt 3 T butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Place chicken into slow cooker.
  4. Clean out same skillet.  Melt remaining 2T of butter in the pan and add the onion.  Cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  5. Add remainder of spice mixture to onion.  Add the lemon juice and garlic.  Sir to combine and cook about 1 minute.
  6. Add tomato paste and water to onion mixture.  Cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut milk and cream.  Stir, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Pour sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker.
  9. Cook on High for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.  Serve with rice and naan.