Rating: 5.00
(58)

Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry

This dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry tastes exactly how it sounds... incredible! Cubes of chicken marinated in a yogurt and cream base, cooked to tender perfection and then tossed in a gorgeous silky rich butter and tomato sauce... It can't get any better than this curry that’s super famous in the whole world! Oh, and it’s cooked in one pot and ready in under an hour too!

I really hope you enjoy this Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry recipe. If you do, please let me know in the comments below. I LOVE reading your comments ❤

WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE

I’m in a buttery daze right now 🧈✨.

And it’s all thanks to this gorgeous butter chicken curry gently simmering on the stove in front of me right now… my muse for the day.

I guess this is the bajillionth time I’m making this dish? And it still catches me by surprise every single time. It’s… incredible.

Really though…

It’s insane how beautiful this dish is. Absolutely gorgeous! It looks delightful all silky shiny and deep orangish red and tastes amazing too… creamy, flavorful and so rich…

So YES, I NEED to introduce you to this dish. How can I not?

And here it is, guys! Go ahead and meet the stunning and absolutely incredible Butter Chicken Curry 💃🏻✨!

I think almost everyone out there has heard of butter chicken.

If you haven’t heard of it though… well… think tender, succulent cubes of chicken marinated in a scrumptious garlicky cream and yogurt tandoori chicken marinade… cooked in buttery goodness and then tossed in a delicious rich smooth creamy buttery tomato sauce…

Doesn’t that sound absolutely magnificent?

Butter chicken is literally one of the most popular curries (and dishes) in the whole world.

Yep, you read that right! I remember reading somewhere that this gorgeous main dish is one of the most searched Indian dishes out there… in the whole world… How huge is that?

And hey, when a dish is that popular? There’s probably something super special about it.

And this dish is special. It’s absolutely mesmerizing!.

Lemme tell you guys a few more things about this butter chicken recipe that’ll make you love it a little more…

  • This is a pretty quick curry… like literal quick and easy butter chicken! Now hey, I don’t mean quick like ready in less than 10 minutes quick BUT in curry standards for a curry that tastes this good (like actual restaurant-style Indian butter chicken curry!) and is cooked using most of the authentic processes involved in cooking it? This dish is ready and on your table in less than an hour, and maybe even quicker if you choose to cook the chicken and butter chicken sauce in different pans and not in one pot like I ask you guys to do here.
  • Which brings us to how amazing it is that this entire recipe is cooked in just ONE POT. That’s a big deal because cooking butter chicken usually involves quite a few processes and steps which can mean loads of dishes to wash but our butter chicken curry right here is cooked entirely in one pot. All those flavors meet together in every step to give you the most divine butter chicken curry in the whole world.
  • This dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry is incredible and buttery in just the right way. I’ve adjusted the butter here to make our curry gorgeously buttery but not reaaally buttery. But HEY, that’s something that can never happen because erm, there can never be “too much butter” when it comes to butter chicken, but you guys get what I mean!
  • The ingredients we’ve used here are incredibly easy to find too and I’m not just saying that! I’ve tried and simplified most of the complex-ish difficult to find ingredients for easy to find ones. There’s literally nothing on the ingredient list here that you won’t be able to find at your local Indian grocery store.
  • Are you new to eating Indian food? Man oh man, butter chicken is literally one of the best dishes to try if you are. It’ll help you warm up to all those gorgeous spices and deep flavors that so many Indian dishes have. That’s because butter chicken is a mild but incredibly rich and flavorful curry. You’ll get an amazing taste of all those spices without getting overwhelmed by it all.
  • And if you’re new to cooking Indian food, this recipe is incredibly easy to cook! It’s a curry that tastes like it took hours to make filled with all kinds of complex steps and processes but it actually isn’t. It’s a remarkably simple recipe with very few steps! I would always be terrified of cooking curries even though I grew up watching my mom cook them. Whenever I’d cook a curry, something always seemed to go wrong. My curries would either be too watery or too thick or super bland or overwhelmingly flavorful (not in a good way). It took me lots of time (and lessons with my mom) to understand there are small tips and tricks involved in getting the perfect curry and I’ll share them all with you here. I’m super descriptive in my instructions and that’s all for YOU guys.
  • And since this is such a simple dish to cook, it makes for the perfect simple weeknight curry meal along with some naan or steamed rice. It’s a super easy weeknight dinner. It also looks and tastes extravagant enough to serve at a party! Your guests will love this curry to bits and pieces and since it’s so simple to cook, it won’t take all your energy away just cooking it ❤.
  • This homemade butter chicken also makes for such an amazing wholesome meal. Just pair it with some rice or naan and take in all that deliciousness. It’ll leave you feeling full and incredibly happy for a really long time. You can also just spread some butter chicken over warm steamed rice while reading a book or watching a movie on a cold night, all cuddled in and toasty in your blanket… It’s such comfort food. Sigh ❤…
  • Is your diet preference vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free or vegan? You can still make this delicious butter chicken! Check out our Variations Section below to see how you can make this recipe according to your diet preference!
  • And um, HELLOOO? It’s called one of the most popular dishes in the world for a reason and you just need to make one of the most popular dishes in the world right now. It’ll be worth it, trust me.

Man, I love curry. If you do too or would like to see some other similar recipes, check out our collection of absolutely lip-smacking CurriesStovetop and Winter recipes.

Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry in a black bowl surrounded by a plate of steamed basmati rice, three butter garlic naans, butter and cream in two separate small bowls, a wooden ladle and some raw ingredients

WHAT EVEN IS DREAMY CREAMY ONE POT MOUTHWATERING BUTTER CHICKEN CURRY?

So if you guys don’t know what butter chicken is, you must be all hey what the heck is this dish you’re going on and on about!?

So lemme try explaining it to you guys but hey, tiny warning, words don’t do this dish any justice. At all.

Butter chicken is an Indian dish. It’s a curry and it’s made when flavorful succulent tender pieces of tandoori chicken are added to a lush silky smooth sauce made of butter, onions, tomatoes, cream and a few whole spices…

All those scrumptious flavors of the tandoori chicken mix in with the butter chicken sauce, and the chicken in turn absorbs all that rich buttery tomatoey goodness too…

It tastes… magical.

Now wait a minute, what exactly is tandoori chicken, you may ask?

Tandoori chicken is big juicy boned pieces of chicken marinated in a marinade of yogurt and quite a few spices for some time and then cooked in a tandoor (a cylindrical clay or metal oven). It has a characteristic deep red color.

It’s natural to think whoa tandoori chicken, do we need to buy some every time we make this recipe?

Nope 💃🏻!

In my recipe here, because I’m sure most of us don’t have a tandoor at home to cook tandoori chicken, I’ve made things easier for us.

We go ahead and marinate our gorgeous fat cubes of chicken in a delicious marinade of cream, yogurt and a few spices. We then pan fry those pieces of chicken before adding them to the butter chicken sauce.

No tandoor needed. And it tastes absolutely dreamy…

Butter chicken has so many flavors… and none of them are overwhelming. They all work really well in the background together.

When you try this dish for the first time ever, you notice how there’s an incredible balance between all the ingredients, and I guess that’s what makes this recipe such a winner (along with all that butteriness, of course) ⭐.

So now that you guys know what butter chicken is, let’s read a bit on how it came into existence(!). It’s a pretty interesting story.

There are various theories and stories surrounding the origin of butter chicken.

Let’s talk about the most popular one out there.

Quite a few years ago (I haven’t been able to find the exact year, there are different dates out there but the common time mentioned is around the late 1940s), in a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Delhi, India, the owner, Kundal Lal Gujral, noticed there was quite some tandoori chicken left unsold every day.

The owner of this restaurant didn’t know what to do with the leftover tandoori chicken.

To heat it again would mean it losing all of its moisture, leading to dry and tasteless tandoori chicken, so he couldn’t do that.

So, the chef went ahead and made a lush sumptuous sauce of tomatoes, cream, spices and loads of butter.

He then added the leftover tandoori chicken to this buttery sauce and got the most amazing curry in the whooole world! And that’s how butter chicken was born!

How incredible is that?

I absolutely love reading about how some recipes came to be and the history behind them.

That extra information makes you understand a recipe better and respect it so much more.

There are so many recipes out there with such interesting stories… It’s also amazing to see some recipes stand the test of time really… It’s like you’re cooking and eating a piece of history.

I also love talking about how I came across a recipe and my history with it. I love hearing your stories around recipes too. That’s what The Buttery Fairytale is all about… food and memories…

So lemme share how I came up with this butter chicken recipe with you guys.

And also let me know how YOU got to know about butter chicken and if you have any memories around it too in the comments below… whether this is the first time you’re trying this recipe or if you’ve already had it multiple times before, I would love to hear all about it ❤!

So yes, personal story time!

When I was in law school, I was interning for a law firm and there was this awesomesauce place nearby that would sell these incredibly delicious butter chicken rice bowls.

I would look forward to lunch every.single.day in that difficult (!) workplace just to get my hands on that butter chicken rice bowl!

Everything was worth it once I had that butter chicken rice bowl in my hands. Sigh…❤

I got done with that internship a few months later but oh, the memories of that delicious butter chicken rice bowl always stayed with me.

I went again some time later but I guess the chef changed (or maybe I caught them on a bad day?) because it just didn’t taste the same.

And that was incredibly disappointing. It turned me off the place and I never went back again :(.

Years passed but I never forgot about that butter chicken rice bowl.

I got married to Zee a few years later and kept going on and on about how amazing that butter chicken rice bowl was.

It was just that good, you guys! I would miss it all the time.

And then one day I thought… why not try and make that butter chicken rice bowl myself?!

And so it began… the long, treacherous but delicious journey of putting this recipe together.

It wasn’t easy finding the right butter chicken recipe. I had to come up with it myself.

Don’t get me wrong, my mom and grandmom have the most delicious butter chicken recipes in the whole world but they didn’t taste like the butter chicken I had with the rice during my internship.

I needed to get that taste (or at least something close to it)!

So I took both my mom’s and grandmom’s butter chicken recipes. I worked on them and added my own tiny processes, tweaked them a little, added an ingredient here, omitted an ingredient there and worked super hard until I just knew I had the ONE 🤩!

The one with that perfect balance of sweet, tangy and buttery flavors… just right to go along with the lightly spiced rice I had in mind.

It wasn’t easy.

It took loads of time, frustration… getting to the point of giving up… but I got there. Cause how can you give up on a dish that tasted that special? That had the capacity to make you smile with a single bite ❤?

And I’m glad I never gave up because then, I came up with THIS butter chicken recipe!

💃🏻

And then I thought of the rice in that rice bowl.

I remembered the rice being lightly spiced, a little like biryani rice really.

I used my mum’s biryani recipe to get the rice right and I’d finally done it! I recreated that butter chicken rice bowl I had during my internship all those years ago!

Oh and creating this recipe led me down a whole other path and I came up with the most delicious Butteriest Scrumptious Butter Chicken Biryani recipe in the process. Go check it out if you love butter chicken or biryani (or both!) or if you simply want to try something new!

Anyway…

I remember the first time I tried this butter chicken curry… I just knew it was even better… Better than the butter chicken rice bowl I used to have during those internship days.

And that’s a big deal because I worked really really hard on it.

I had to go through loads of failed recipes to get to this one. But we finally got here so there’s a happily ever after!

Zee and I adore this dish ❤.

It’s cooked almost every other day at home and we pair it with SO many different things out there. Check out our Serving Suggestions below for some pretty interesting ideas.

This butter chicken curry is… a gorgeous dish.

It’s simple enough (requires just a little prep) to cook up on a weekday when you’re craving some filling delicious food after a long day (this is a pretty easy dinner recipe).

It’s the ultimate comfort food. You can just snuggle into a blanket with a warm bowl of butter chicken spread over rice or naan… So comforting…

This butter chicken is also incredibly rich and delicious and is the perfect dish to serve at a party to impress all your guests too! Absolutely everyone will adore this indulgent, aromatic and incredibly flavorful dish 😍. It’s a gorgeous party dish.

There are loads of different types of butter chicken curries out there with completely different ingredients and cooking processes.

Some butter chicken curries are made without tomatoes and some are made by pouring hot melted butter over cooked chicken…

But in this recipe, we have gotten as close to cooking authentic butter chicken curry (without cooking our chicken in a tandoor) as we can get.

I can call the butter chicken curry here an authentic butter chicken recipe because it involves most of the traditional processes involved in making a butter chicken curry.

This butter chicken recipe was developed by me using my mom and grandmom’s butter chicken recipes.

My mom and grandmom have different recipes cause over the years, my mom changed the recipe in her own little ways.

And then I changed their butter chicken recipes in my own way too.

WOW, food and passing down recipes is absolutely beautiful. It’s amazing how recipes change as time passes.

Hey, if you’ve ever wondered how to make some amazing delicious restaurant-style butter chicken curry, look no further. This one is it!

Your favorite Indian takeout may just end up tasting bland in front of this beautiful butter chicken dish cause trust me, I can tell you incredibly proudly that this recipe right here is the best butter chicken recipe EVER ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!

Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken curry served on a white plate with steamed basmati rice, in the background same served with two garlic naan and also just the curry served in a black bowl

Butter Chicken vs Other Famous Indian Chicken Curries

Butter chicken vs Chicken tikka masala

Let’s talk about two pretty popular dishes- butter chicken and chicken tikka masala.

There’s lots of conflicting information about the difference between the two out there.

Everyone also has their own variations of both these recipes so the ingredients used may vary greatly.

A few common differences I’ve understood may exist though are:

  • BUTTER
    • Butter chicken uses loads of butter. Butter is basically the main character in a butter chicken curry.
    • Chicken tikka masala on the other hand doesn’t use as much butter. In some recipes, no butter is added at all. 
  • CHICKEN
    • Tandoori chicken is used in butter chicken. Tandoori chicken is shredded and added to the butter chicken sauce or sometimes, added whole too.
    • In chicken tikka masala, boneless and skinless pieces of chicken are used to make the chicken tikka and then added to the curry.
  • SPICY
    • Butter chicken is usually mild and very slightly sweet in taste.
    • Chicken tikka masala on the other hand doesn’t have sugar, honey or any sweetener added to it most of the time. It’s also mostly spicier than butter chicken, just a little bit.
  • TASTE
    • Butter chicken is a creamy, rich, buttery and very slightly sweet curry. The butter chicken sauce is buttery, silky soft, creamy and pretty mild.
    • Chicken tikka masala is usually a little more spice-forward with more of those delicious spices coming through. It may also be very slightly creamy. It’s also said that there are usually more tomatoes added to chicken tikka masala. Chicken tikka masala also sometimes has a step wherein onions and tomatoes are cooked separately together and are made into a masala. This step may vary from recipe to recipe though and adds to the masala-ness of the dish.
  • ORIGIN
    • It’s also said that while butter chicken originated in India, chicken tikka masala may have originated in Scotland but there’s so much conflicting information out there about its origins, it’s best to dive deep and do your own research.

Once again though, please keep in mind that different restaurants and people cook these two dishes differently and they may sometimes taste alike too.

Butter chicken vs Chicken korma

Ah, both these recipes are the absolute best. They’re special in their own way and there are some pretty major differences between them.

Please keep in mind that these two curries are completely different.

One of the main differences is that the base of butter chicken is tomatoes and the base of chicken korma is yogurt.

These are the factors that make a curry a butter chicken:

  • This is a delicious creamy tomato-based curry.
  • A few more spices are added when making butter chicken when compared to making a korma.
  • There’s lots of dairy involved in butter chicken. Butter and cream (sometimes even yogurt) are added in scrumptious abundance!
  • The chicken is usually cooked beforehand. Tandoori chicken is traditionally used but in modern kitchens today (because not all of us have tandoors at home), the chicken is baked, grilled or pan-fried before adding it to the buttery tomatoey gravy.

These are the factors that make a curry a korma:

  • The meat is cooked in yogurt until it’s tender, succulent and delicious. Yogurt is the main base to make a curry a korma.
  • Another main ingredient is browned onion paste.
  • And one more incredibly important ingredient is nut paste.
  • To make a chicken korma a shahi chicken korma, cream is added to it and some cottage cheese may also be added towards the end.
  • Tomatoes are NOT added when making korma. This is not a tomato-based curry and the slight tanginess in korma comes from yogurt and not tomatoes.

You can check our Rich and Aromatic Indian Chicken Korma Curry Cooked in Yogurt recipe for our own delicious version of chicken korma!

Butter chicken vs Murgh makhani. Is butter chicken the same as murgh makhani?

Yes, butter chicken and murgh makhani are the same things, it’s just another name for butter chicken.

Butter chicken is also called chicken makhani.

The word murgh means chicken.

The word makhan means butter and the word makhani means a dish that’s been cooked in a rich sauce made of butter, ghee and/or cream.

Makhani is also said to be a rich creamy sauce that includes onions and tomatoes.

So there you have it, murgh/chicken makhani is basically the same thing as butter chicken.

INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS FOR DREAMY CREAMY ONE POT MOUTHWATERING BUTTER CHICKEN CURRY

For exact ingredient measurements, please scroll down to the Recipe Card.

Kashmiri red chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper spread on a black plate along with Greek yogurt, light cream, garlic, lemon juice and raw chicken cubes in separate bowls

To marinate the chicken:

The chicken used to make butter chicken is traditionally supposed to be leftover tandoori chicken.

Nice juicy chunks of boneless chicken are taken off of leftover bone-in tandoori chicken and then added to the butter chicken sauce.

Butter chicken was literally created to prevent leftover tandoori chicken from going to waste, as I mentioned previously.

If you happen to have some tandoori chicken on hand from last night’s Indian takeout, you can use it here. Orrr…

You can go ahead and follow the recipe we’ve given for the chicken here. That’s because it’s really not practical to have tandoori chicken at home every single time you cook this dish!

So, to make things incredibly delish, I’ve given our chicken a marinade here that’s pretty close to the marinade used to make tandoori chicken.

And all I’ll say is, get ready to eat some absolutely delicious chicken cause this marinade is one of the best marinades I’ve ever tried 😍.

  • Chicken– Juicy lush cubes of chicken take in all that delish creamy marinade and then cooking them in butter leads to the most flavorful, succulent, scrumptious chicken in the whole world! I’ve used boneless chicken breasts cut into fat juicy medium-sized cubes here. I prefer boneless chicken breasts in my butter chicken curry because I’ve grown up eating butter chicken like that at home and in so many restaurants too (most of them)! But hey, you can also use boneless thighs or bone-in chicken here, if you prefer. I can just imagine the amazing flavor that extra fat in thighs will add to the chicken!
  • Garlic paste– The key here is to make a smoooth garlic paste. That delish garlic paste will hug our chicken cubes and not let go! It’ll also work incredibly well with the butter when cooking the chicken and give it some absolutely amazing buttery garlic goodness to cook in. You can use store-bought garlic paste here or just make your own (I prefer making my own garlic paste).
  • Greek yogurt– Greek yogurt is one of the main guys in this marinade. It makes our chicken absolutely incredible… juicy, succulent and oh-so flavorful! You can substitute with plain yogurt here BUT please make sure you strain it so it doesn’t make the marinade thin and runny.
  • Light cream or heavy cream– I don’t know if you guys have ever added cream to a marinade before. Maybe you’re like, cream? In a marinade? The heck? But oh my goodness, you… trust me, when a marinade has cream in it, you just know it’s gonna taste gorgeous! Cream is the other main guy in this marinade. It adds a whole other level of deliciousness here. It makes the chicken tender… soft and dare I say, just a little creamy in the most amazing way possible. I’ve used light cream (25% fat) here but as a substitute you can use heavy cream too, if you prefer!
  • Kashmiri red chili powder Ah, this gorgeous gorgeous spice. We want our chicken here to be an absolutely stunning deep reddish brown and Kashmiri red chili powder does the job well! This pretty spice works so hard here. It gives our chicken that stunning color, yes, but it also adds just the right flavor to it too! The best part? It’s not very spicy at all. I’ve used a brand called Everest here and the name of the product is Everest Kashmirilal. There may be other brands out there selling this particular spice too and you can use any of them. Please try and use this spice! But if you really can’t find it, a substitute may either be smoked or regular paprika. You can add in just a tiny bit of cayenne pepper to the paprika for a little spice. Please keep in mind though that you won’t get the same flavor or color you’ll get from Kashmiri red chili powder.
  • Ground coriander This incredible spice lends a fresh deep earthy taste to our chicken. It also works really well with all the other ingredients in this marinade to bring everything together and make our chicken taste amazing. Please be careful here when adding in ground coriander though. That’s because this is a pretty strong spice and if you add just a little more than necessary, its taste may overpower everything else in the marinade.
  • Ground cumin– This warm spice is one of the most used spices in Indian food. It really enhances the flavor of our chicken and all the other ingredients added to it and makes it hearty, rich and just a little smoky. Just like ground coriander, the right amount of ground cumin is important too. If you add a little more ground cumin than necessary, your chicken may be overpowered by this spice, so please be careful.
  • Lemon juice Oooh another wonderful ingredient here! Lemon juice makes our fat cubes of chicken even more tender, juicy and succulent. It also makes our chicken slightly tangy in the most delicious way possible! You can substitute with lime juice here.
  • Salt and black pepper– Good old essentials. You can adjust these two according to your taste and preference.
Oil, butter cubes and marinated chicken in separate bowls

To cook the chicken:

  • Butter– This curry is called butter chicken for a reason and the butteriness begins here. You can go ahead and add as much butter as you prefer! That creamy garlicky marinade mixes in so well with the warm butter… giving flavors that really can’t be expressed in words. You’re gonna want to eat all that chicken up in a second!
  • Neutral cooking oil– Just a little oil needs to be added in along with the butter here to make sure the butter doesn’t burn while cooking the chicken.
  • Marinated chicken– It’s time to cook our well-marinated chicken. It’s gonna get incredibly juicy, succulent and flavorful 😍.
Ingredients needed to make the Butteriest Scrumptious Butter Chicken curry base like Kashmiri red chili powder, salt, black pepper, tomato, bay leaves, cardamom, butter, cinnamon, cloves, cashew nuts, onion, ginger and garlic

To make the base of the butter chicken curry:

  • Onions– Butter chicken originated when tandoori chicken was added to a sauce made up of onions and tomatoes. Needless to say, onions are one of the main guys here. We’re gonna sauté our onions in the buttery chicken bits left in the cooking pot (left by the chicken we cooked earlier) and you can just imagine the flavor it’ll add to our butter chicken sauce ✨!
  • Cashew nuts Aha! You thought butter will add to the richness and that’s it, huh? NOPE. We are adding in cashew nuts here for some added richness and creaminess. Cashews will make our butter chicken curry thick, creamy and rich. They work really well with all the other ingredients in this curry to give us the best butter chicken curry with the smoothest silkiest sauce every single time.
  • Tomatoes Tomatoes are the heroes here, literally. This entire recipe is based around them! They give our curry that slightly tangy rich tomatoey flavor. They also give our curry that characteristic reddish-orange color (along with the Kashmiri red chili powder) that’s synonymous with butter chicken. We use fresh raw tomatoes in this recipe.
  • Ginger– Just a little raw ginger gives our butter chicken sauce that perfect fresh gingery touch. No need to mince or chop the ginger. Just peel it and add in the required amount as it is.
  • Garlic–Ah, what can be better than a creamy curry with some scrumptious subtle flavors of garlic? Gosh, I love garlic. We don’t add in too much of it here though because we don’t want it dominating over the curry and all the other flavors in it. We want our butter chicken curry to have just a little garlickiness in the background, just enough to make a lover of garlic smile (eheh 😉)…
  • Kashmiri red chili powder– Time for this amazing spice again! It’s incredibly important here when making the butter chicken curry base. That’s because it along with the tomatoes gives our butter chicken that beautiful reddish color. It also adds a gorgeous flavor to our butter chicken along with very little spice. I’ve used a brand called Everest here and the name of the product is Everest Kashmirilal. There may be other brands selling this spice too and you can use any of them as well. Please try and use THIS spice only. If you really can’t find it though, a substitute may be either smoked or regular paprika. If you prefer a little spice, you can add in a tiny bit of cayenne powder too. Please keep in mind that you may not get the same color and flavor you’ll get when using Kashmiri red chili powder though.
  • Whole cloves, whole cinnamon, whole green cardamoms and bay leaves– After loads of tries, I’ve found this to be the perfect blend of spices to make the best butter chicken curry ever. These spices work beautifully together. Strong cloves filled with warmth are balanced out by sweet aromatic cinnamon working alongside citrusy minty green cardamoms and the three of them are enhanced even further by delicate and mild bay leaves. You can substitute these spices with their ground versions too. I prefer using whole versions of these spices because I adore the thought of those whole spices cooking with the butter, onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger… gently and delicately letting all their flavors out…
  • Butter– And time for some more butter! Can you imagine just how interesting this cooking process is? We’re stewing all these ingredients along with some cooked chicken bits and fat buttery cubes of butter for some more butteriness, creaminess, richness and buttery buttery buttery rich indulgent absolutely gorgeous goodness and I just can’t. I can’t anymore!
  • Salt and black pepper Don’t miss out on these guys. They’re super important!
Ingredients needed to complete cooking the butter chicken curry like garlic, ground coriander, Kashmiri red chili powder, light cream, sugar, butter, dried fenugreek leaves and cooked chicken

To finish cooking the butter chicken curry:

  • Butter– We add in a gorgeous fat block of butter here to finish cooking our curry. I’m gonna keep quiet about us and our love for butter but I guess you get it by now 💖.
  • Garlic– We add in a few lightly smashed garlic cloves to our butter here. If you’ve seen the magic butter and garlic do together, you’ll understand why we’re doing this! Garlicky butter tastes magical and works amazingly well with the blended smooth butter chicken sauce to give us the most incredible-tasting butter chicken curry in the whole wide world!
  • Kashmiri red chili powder– Just a little more Kashmiri red chili powder here works really well to give our butter chicken curry a rich deeper reddish color. It’ll give our butter chicken curry a slightly smoky flavor too.
  • Ground coriander– A tiny bit of ground coriander is added to the garlic butter along with Kashmiri red chili powder and stirred a bit to get that warm rich earthy flavor and beautiful floral aroma out. These gorgeous spices added to the butter will work incredibly well to further enhance all the flavors of our butter chicken sauce.
  • Blended tomatoes and onions sauce (butter chicken sauce)– After blending and straining all our ingredients in Step 3, we get the prettiest silky smooth shiny butter chicken sauce. This sauce is now added to the garlic butter with all that Kashmiri red chili powder and ground coriander mixed in with it. Our butter chicken sauce will then take in all that butter, garlic and spices. It’ll further cook in that beautiful buttery mixture to give us an absolutely stunning butter chicken curry!
  • The cooked chicken– Remember those delicious cubes of chicken we cooked earlier? It’s time to add them to our butter chicken sauce! Our cooked chicken will absorb all that rich buttery tangy goodness from the butter chicken sauce. The chicken will lend all its beautiful flavors to the sauce too. The chicken and butter chicken sauce work beautifully together to make a delicious butter chicken curry.
  • Light cream or heavy cream– Some more richness! Our butter chicken curry will be incredibly smooth, shiny and practically silky like literal silk in the cooking pot by now. Adding a little cream to it at this point will just make it even better. Guess what we’ll get in return? A luscious, orangish-red, buttery, rich, silky butter chicken curry. That characteristic orangish-red color comes in once you add in the cream! I’ve used cream with a fat percentage of 25%. You can use heavy cream too, if you prefer.
  • Sugar– A tiny bit of sugar is the secret to an incredible-tasting butter chicken curry. Sugar balances things out in the curry. It majorly helps balance the acidity coming in from the tomatoes. It also gives our butter chicken the slightest sweet taste which makes our butter chicken taste… absolutely divine. Sugar takes our butter chicken curry from oh wow to OH MY GOODNESS give me that bowl here!!! You can substitute it with some honey if you prefer.
  • Dried fenugreek leaves (also called Kasuri methi)– Curries from a restaurant always taste a little different (in a good way). It took me adding some dried fenugreek leaves to a curry to understand that dried fenugreek leaves give our curry that “curry from a restaurant” taste! The flavor of dried fenugreek leaves can’t really be explained but the closest I can sort of get to explaining it is a strong earthy taste. Because of how strong these leaves taste, they need to be added in tiny amounts because they can get pretty dominating otherwise! I’ve made this an optional step in case you can’t find dried fenugreek leaves but please try finding this ingredient, it makes a huge difference.

Other ingredients:

  • Cream- I’m sure you’ve seen those butter chicken curries at restaurants or even in pictures with just a little cream drizzled on top over the curry. You can do the same thing! Beautify your butter chicken curry with a delicate drizzle of cream on top before serving it.
  • Cashew nuts- Go ahead and lightly sauté some cashew nuts in butter and gently scatter them on top of your butter chicken curry to give everyone eating it an idea of what’s to come- absolute richness and a stunning depth of flavor! You can skip out on this if you prefer.
  • Fresh cilantro- Ah, good old cilantro. Garnish your butter chicken with some fresh cilantro. The incredible freshness it gives a rich dish like this is… amazing.

Once again, for exact ingredient measurements, please scroll down to the Recipe Card.

Man, I love curry. If you do too or would like to see some other similar recipes, check out our collection of absolutely lip-smacking Chicken & MeatMain Dish and Party/ Special Day recipes.

Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry in a black bowl surrounded by butter and cream in two separate small bowls, a wooden ladle and some raw ingredients

RECIPE & DIET VARIATIONS YOU CAN TRY

Butter chicken is an amazing amazing dish.

And a dish as delish as this should be played around with even more to discover other flavors that can work along with it!

It’s also a pretty forgiving dish so working with it, adding a few extra ingredients here and there, may lead to an interesting and scrumptious discovery (most of the time!).

You may also have the age-old question, “Is butter even necessary in butter chicken?!”

This section aims at answering questions like those and giving tips to change this recipe up a bit too.

Here we go!

  • I’ve used boneless chicken breasts here but you can go ahead and use boneless chicken thighs or bone-in chicken too! I’m sure the extra fat in chicken thighs will taste absolutely sublime with the marinade here. The cooking time may vary though so please keep a close check on your chicken when it’s cooking.
  • Oooh, maybe you ordered in some tandoori chicken last night and now you’ve got some left and you don’t know what to do with it? Well, walk right into history and make this curry the way it was discovered all those years ago! Go ahead and make the butter chicken sauce as it is, then take the meat off the pieces of boned tandoori chicken and add it to that buttery sauce. You can also just order some tandoori chicken if you don’t have any to try this variation. It’ll be pretty interesting to try it this way BUT hey, please keep in mind that *our* chicken recipe here is still absolutely incredible and pretty unbeatable!
  • Go ahead and cook your marinated chicken in a different way! Traditionally, the chicken in butter chicken is supposed to be cooked in a tandoor (an oven made of clay) but we pan-fry it in this recipe to make things easier for all of us! YOU though can grill your chicken, bake it or maybe even barbecue it before adding it to the butter chicken sauce.
  • You can try and cook this dish using a different meat too! The dish is called butter chicken, yes yes, I know BUT heyyy, there are so many different meats out there that taste incredible with this buttery tomatoey sauce! I’ve tried this dish with shrimp and even fish and it tastes amazing! I can imagine lamb tasting good here too! Please make sure you use the same marinade here (the one we’ve given for the chicken in this recipe). Also, when you’re cooking a different meat, the cooking time may vary from the time given here so please keep a check and cook accordingly.
  • If you’re incredibly hungry and just can’t anymore, I completely understand. Just go ahead and have the cooked marinated chicken as it is. Those gorgeously marinated cooked cubes of chicken taste incredible and make such an amazing snack, appetizer or even main meal along with some biryani rice, plain steamed rice (with a little Indian garlic pickle on the side) or maybe even with some butter garlic naan.
  • Do you have a favorite veggie or maybe many favorite veggies? Like maybe potato? Or cauliflower? Or both? Or literally any vegetable in season! Go ahead and marinate those veggies in the same marinade we’re using for the chicken (use a separate bowl though). Then just go ahead and cook those marinated veggies in some butter before cooking the chicken and finally, add them to that buttery creamy scrumptious butter chicken sauce along with the cooked chicken cubes for an absolutely gorgeous butter chicken and vegetable curry! Go ahead and experiment until you find out which vegetable/s taste best!
  • Coming to a pretty popular question, is butter absolutely necessary in a butter chicken curry? Guys, I’ve tried this recipe without butter and while it tastes pretty good, butter just takes it to a whole new worlddd 💖! If you prefer though, you can cut down on the butter but try not to remove it completely. Just a little butter still makes a pretty big difference and tastes incredible here!
  • Hey, if you love butter incredibly very much and are looking forward to a buttery-indulgent meal, just add in even more butter! It’ll taste butterier, richer and absolutely stunning!
  • No cashew nuts at home? Don’t worry, you can skip out on them! I think of cashew nuts as these gorgeous solidified milk nuts, if that makes sense. They make our butter chicken curry thick and creamy. They add a deep rich taste to it too. But if you don’t have any at home, you can skip out on them because the butter and cream will work super hard to give you a rich creamy lush curry too. Cashew nuts just add to the richness here.
  • We add in some sugar to our butter chicken curry during the cooking process. If you don’t prefer using sugar, you can pour in just a little honey instead.
  • I’ve used light cream with a fat percentage of 25% here. You can use heavy cream if you prefer though for a lush-er, thicker, creamier butter chicken curry.
  • You can use cream with a lower fat percentage too! Just make sure it doesn’t thin the butter chicken out too much though (unless that’s something you prefer!).
  • There’s an interesting variation you can try here. Go ahead and use coconut milk or coconut cream instead of cream for a coconutty twist on this recipe. Coconut butter chicken curry tastes incredible (hey, for a dairy-free version of this butter chicken, read the Dairy-Free Adaptation section below these points!).
  • I’ve tried to make sure the consistency of our butter chicken here is just right, not too thick, nor too thin. But hey, maybe you prefer a different consistency! So, if you’d like a thinner butter chicken curry, just go ahead and add a little more water at the very beginning when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry (in Step 3).
  • Or maybe you prefer a thicker butter chicken curry? If you do, then just make sure you add in less water at the very beginning in Step 3 when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry. You can also let your butter chicken sauce cook a little more and evaporate until it reaches your desired consistency when you add it back to the Dutch oven in Step 4.
  • You can also go ahead and add some green chili peppers to your finished butter chicken curry towards the very end if you’re into spicy food. For a mild spice, slice the green chili peppers lengthwise in half, get rid of their seeds and then add them to your butter chicken. For a medium spice, keep those seeds in and add those sliced green chili peppers to your curry. For an even more intense spice, go ahead and mince those green chili peppers and then add them to your butter chicken curry. This will make the dish really spicy though so be careful!
  • For a cheesy and even richer taste to our already incredibly rich butter chicken curry, add in some cubes of cottage cheese to the butter chicken along with the sugar and cream. Make sure you let the cottage cheese cook for at least 12 to 15 minutes before serving the butter chicken though for a delicious, cheesy, creamy, rich butter chicken!

Continue reading if you would like to read about vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free or vegan adaptations of this recipe.

Note- If you think you have an ingredient that you feel is suitable as a substitute for a certain ingredient in this recipe, according to your dietary preference, you can use it and let us know how it works as a substitute in the comments below. I’ll then add it in as an adaptation suggestion here. This will help so many others with the same diet preference as yours.

Vegetarian Adaptation:

A vegetarian version of this dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry (vegetarian butter chicken curry) can be made in quite a few ways. Here we go!

  • You can use cottage cheese instead of chicken here. There’s an actual Indian dish out there called Paneer Butter Masala. It tastes incredibly similar to butter chicken but is made using cottage cheese instead of chicken. It tastes divine… absolute buttery, cheesy, creamy, dreamy goodness! So yes, go ahead and slice your cottage cheese into fat cubes. Marinate those cubes for at least an hour and then cook them accordingly. Please be careful when cooking your cottage cheese. We need those fat cubes to get just the right amount of browning on the outside while remaining soft, cheesy and flavorful on the inside.
  • You can also just go ahead and use a vegetable (or vegetables) you prefer instead! Like maybe potato for a buttery potato curry? Or cauliflower? Or cauliflower AND potato? Or maybe even a combination of multiple vegetables for a delicious buttery vegetable curry! You can also use a vegetable that’s in season right now that you feel may go well with this recipe. Just marinate your vegetables in that delicious marinade, cook them accordingly and follow the rest of the recipe as given!
  • You can also use cottage cheese AND your favorite vegetables together! Just go ahead and marinate them, cook them accordingly and follow the rest of the recipe as usual.
  • Also, make sure you don’t use dairy products that contain gelatin.

Please always read through the ingredient list of all the other ingredients in the recipe to make sure they are vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Adaptation:

I know it’s called butter chicken but trust me, this dish doesn’t need butter to be delicious.

Here are a few things you can do to make some absolutely delicious dairy-free butter chicken…

  • For the marinade: You can skip out on using Greek yogurt and light cream/heavy cream here and use the rest of the ingredients to marinate your chicken. You can also-
    • Go ahead and add coconut cream or coconut milk instead of Greek yogurt and light cream/heavy cream. Make sure the marinade doesn’t get too watery though . We need it to be thick-ish and sticking to the chicken. Use canned coconut cream or coconut milk. Full fat is best. Make sure you use the creamy thick layer on top for some creamy coconut-iness!. You can also…
    • Try using mayonnaise instead of Greek yogurt and light cream/heavy cream. That’s because mayonnaise helps all those spices stick better to our chicken. It also keeps the chicken juicy and succulent.
  • Coming to the butter, you can use vegan butter here. I personally haven’t tried it but I’ve heard it’s a good substitute. If you don’t prefer using vegan butter, just use a little extra oil instead. You can also try using some coconut oil or butter-flavored margarine.
  • We add in light cream/heavy cream to the butter chicken curry towards the end of the recipe. Instead of light cream/heavy cream, use canned coconut cream or coconut milk. Full fat is best. Make sure you use the creamy thick layer on top for some creamy coconut-iness!

Hey you, if you feel an ingredient/s can be substituted for any other ingredient/s here and you’ve tried it that way, let us know! We’ll add it in if it worked for you. It’ll help so many other people with the same diet preference as yours!

Please always read through the ingredient list of all the other ingredients in the recipe to make sure they are dairy-free. That’s because hidden dairy may be present in some ingredients.

Gluten-Free Adaptation:

This dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry is gluten-free (woohoo!) BUT there are a few things you should keep in mind…

  • In their natural form, many dairy products are gluten-free. Unfortunately, some additives may be added to them that contain gluten. In the same way, some Greek yogurt may have additives that contain gluten. Please make sure you read through the ingredient list on the food label of the Greek yogurt you get to make sure no extra gluten-containing ingredients are added to it.
  • The same thing may happen with cream too. Please read through the ingredient list on the food label of the cream you buy and make sure there are no extra ingredients added to it that may contain gluten.
  • Butter on its own is gluten-free but it may sometimes be seasoned and have extra ingredients added to it in the process. These extra ingredients may contain gluten. So please go ahead and buy butter that hasn’t been seasoned and doesn’t contain any extra ingredients that may potentially contain gluten. Always go through the ingredients list on the food label of the butter you buy.
  • Let’s talk about the ground butter chicken spices we use here. On their own, ground spices are gluten-free. Unfortunately though, the ground spices you buy may sometimes contain gluten. That’s because they may either have flour added to them or they may get contaminated in the factory during production. Always make sure the ground spices you use are gluten-free.
  • Also, always make sure you use cooking oil that does not contain additives that contain gluten.

Always read through the ingredient list of all the other given ingredients in the recipe to make sure they are gluten-free. This is because hidden gluten may be present in some ingredients.

Nut-Free Adaptation:

To make some absolutely incredible nut-free butter chicken…

  • Make sure the cooking oil you use doesn’t contain nuts or is not derived from any nuts.
  • Some spice powders use nuts as a filler. Please go through the ingredients of any spices you’re buying to make sure they don’t contain nuts.
  • Black pepper may cause issues for people who are allergic to tree nuts. You can skip out on black pepper here, if you prefer.
  • You can keep the cashew nuts out of your butter chicken sauce. Skip out on them. Trust me, your butter chicken curry will still be incredibly creamy, rich and lush thanks to the butter and cream!

As always, please make sure you completely read through the ingredient list of all the spice blends and other ingredients that have been mentioned in this recipe before cooking. Hidden nuts may be present in some ingredients and it’s always best to be on the safer side!

Vegan Adaptation:

To make some dreamy creamy vegan butter chicken curry…

  • You can use tofu instead of chicken here. Make sure it’s firm or extra firm tofu. Cut it into nice fat cubes, use the same marinade as the one given here (excluding the non-vegan ingredients) and then cook it in all that scrumptiousness!
  • You can use your favorite vegetable here too (as long as you feel it’ll go well with the curry here!). You can use maybe potatoes for a delicious vegan potato curry. Or maybe cauliflower? You can also use a combination of multiple vegetables for a gorgeous vegan vegetable curry. You can use a vegetable that’s in season too, that you feel may go well with this recipe. Just marinate your vegetables using the same marinade given here (excluding the non-vegan ingredients), cook them accordingly in a pan like we do with the chicken here and follow the rest of the recipe as given! Oh and hey, you can also use both tofu AND some vegetables here too.
  • Skip out on the light cream/heavy cream and Greek yogurt in the marinade and add in some coconut cream or coconut milk instead. But make sure the marinade doesn’t get too liquidy (by using the thick creamy layer on top in canned coconut milk/cream and by not using too much of it) and stays thick and creamy.
  • Please make sure the lemons you use haven’t been waxed. Waxed lemons are not vegan because the wax used contains shellac, which is derived from the female lac bug.
  • You can use some vegan butter instead of regular dairy butter here. I’ve not tried it but I’ve heard it’s a good substitute. You can use coconut oil, butter-flavored margarine or just some extra oil too.
  • Use the thick and creamy top layer of canned coconut cream or coconut milk here instead of light cream/heavy cream when making the curry. Make sure it’s full fat too so it’s absolutely rich, creamy and gorgeous!
  • Sugar is usually refined in a process that involves bone char. You can use a type of vegan sugar you prefer or even maple syrup to add that slight sweetness to your vegan butter “chicken” curry here.

Please always read through the ingredient list of all the given ingredients in the recipe to make sure everything is vegan.

Hey, if you feel some ingredients can be substituted for any other ingredients here and you’ve tried it that way, let us know! We’ll add it in if it worked for you. It’ll help so many other people with the same diet preference as yours!

Disclaimer– I’ve done research to make things easier for you guys, but please make sure you do your own research too if you are allergic to something or have a specific diet preference. The suggestions given above for dietary preferences are only suggestions and NOT medical advice. These are suggestions given just after a little research on the said dietary preferences. We are NOT trained medical professionals or nutritionists. You are responsible for yourself, so please ask your physician if you have any questions and make sure you always completely read through the ingredient list of any ingredients you use.

Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry with steamed basmati rice and a garlic naan on a white plate

HOW TO MAKE DREAMY CREAMY ONE POT MOUTHWATERING BUTTER CHICKEN CURRY [Step-by-Step Instructions With Photos]

For exact ingredient measurements and instructions without photos, please scroll down to the Recipe Card.

Please keep in mind that I go into lots of detail in all my recipes so you get to know all the super important tips and tricks when it comes to making a particular recipe. I always want you to make the BEST of whatever you’re cooking ❤.

STEP 1: MARINATE THE CHICKEN

Cut your chicken into fat medium-sized cubes and transfer them to a bowl.

Then, add in all the ingredients needed for marinating the chicken.

Go ahead and give your chicken cubes a nice massage with all those ingredients. Use your hands, if you can.

I always suggest you guys to use your hands here.

That’s because using a spoon to get that marinade in doesn’t even come close and you can get that scrumptious marinade into all those chicken bits incredibly easily this way.

Chicken marinating in a white bowl

If you really don’t want to use your bare hands though, you can use gloves too.

Once you’re done mixing your chicken really well with all that creamy marinade, go ahead and wrap the bowl with some cling wrap.

You can also use a zip-lock bag or airtight container instead.

Now, get that bowl of chicken into the fridge and leave it to marinate for at least an hour.

Keep in mind here though that the more you marinate your chicken, the better it’ll get.

The flavors in this particular marinade are absolutely incredible and leaving your chicken to marinate for a longer time will be pretty rewarding 💖.

Overnight is ideal.

So yes, to sum up, try and let your chicken marinate for more than an hour. But if you’re in a hurry, you can wait just an hour.

STEP 2: COOK THE CHICKEN

Oooh, one of my most favorite parts of this recipe… cooking the chicken!

The CHICKEN!

What the heck do I even say? It tastes yum yum.

And YOU’LL know what the hype is about once your chicken is all cooked and ready and you take that first bite into succulent, flavorful scrumptiousness.

Sooo…

Pour the oil into your Dutch oven.

I’ve used a Dutch oven here but you can use a Kadai (the Indian version of a wok) or a heavy-bottomed pan.

Make sure the cooking pan you’re using has a lid though!

Now raise the heat to medium-high.

Add in the butter.

Gently move that block of butter around until it melts and mixes with the oil.

Once the butter and oil are heated through, add in those gorgeous marinated cubes of chicken. DON’T add in the marinade with the chicken.

Be careful here cause the butter and oil are pretty hot.

Marinated cubes of chicken cooking in butter and oil in a Dutch oven

If your cubes of chicken don’t fit in all at once, it’s okay. Just fry them in batches.

Don’t overcrowd the pan!

This is because we want all our pieces of chicken to cook evenly and form that beautiful crust!

Adding in all the pieces of chicken at once won’t make that possible. Our pieces of chicken will steam instead and we don’t want that 😱!

Anyway, let your pieces of chicken cook in that buttery goodness on one side for about 5 to 6 minutes.

You can also reduce the heat to medium if you feel your chicken is browning too fast.

Please always remember that the cooking time may vary depending on how much chicken you have in your cooking pot, the size of your chicken cubes, how much marinade went in with the chicken, the cooking pot you’re using and your stove. There are lots of factors at play here so keep a good constant check on your chicken.

Now after waiting 5 to 6 minutes, using tongs if you can (they make things so much easier!), go ahead and gently turn and check one of the chicken cubes to see if it has browned on that side and formed a deep reddish-brown crust.

If not, cook just a little more until that side of your chicken cubes turns reddish brown and is cooked.

A piece of partially cooked chicken with a reddish brown crust held up by tongs

Once you see that piece of chicken’s all nice and brown, go ahead and turn all the other chicken cubes and cook them for another 3 to 4 minutes until their other side turns a gorgeous deep reddish-brown too.

Cooked chicken cubes in a Dutch oven

Once 3 to 4 minutes have passed, check on your chicken. Your chicken cubes should be well-browned and delicious by now.

A piece of cooked chicken with a reddish brown crust held up by tongs over a Dutch oven

Now, reduce the heat to low.

Check all your cubes of chicken. There may be some sides that aren’t brown enough. Turn your chicken cubes to the least browned side.

And then, cover the Dutch oven and let the chicken cubes cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Cooked chicken in a Dutch oven covered with a lid

This extra step of covering and cooking your chicken will make it even more succulent and juicy 🤩!

Once those 5 minutes are up, remove your chicken cubes, set them aside and cook the next batch of chicken.

If you want a little char (like tandoori chicken), you can always cook your chicken a little extra over high heat so it browns a little more.

Anyway…

Add a teaspoon of butter before starting to cook the next batch of chicken.

Keep a close check on your second batch of chicken because it may cook faster.

Once you’re done cooking your chicken, don’t get rid of anything in the Dutch oven.

There are some incredible flavors in that Dutch oven right there and since this is a one-pot meal, every single thing in that Dutch oven is important. It’ll add to the most incredible flavors ever!

And those scrumptious bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan? You’re gonna love how they mix in gorgeously with the butter chicken sauce in the next step!

Now wait a minute, have you tried the chicken you just cooked? Go ahead and take a bite…

… Doesn’t it taste absolutely incredible? HIDE those pieces of chicken so you don’t finish them all! I know I can’t control myself, I just can’t ❤.

STEP 3: MAKE THE BASE OF THE BUTTER CHICKEN

Over low to medium-low heat, using the same Dutch oven, add in the roughly chopped onions and cashew nuts.

Chopped onions and cashew nuts in a Dutch oven with a wooden ladle

Sauté the onions and cashew nuts for about 2 minutes until the onions are softened just a little bit.

Mix them in really well with all those gorgeous browned cooked chicken bits!

Guys, please be careful and don’t cook your onions for more than 2 minutes.

That’s because if the onions continue cooking, they will turn brown (on their own, not because of the chicken bits).

Once your onions turn brown, your butter chicken sauce may not get that beautiful characteristic deep orangish-reddish color.

So be careful with your onions. Once again, don’t cook them for more than a minute.

Now, add in 1+1/2 cups or 355 ml of water along with all the other ingredients given under this step– tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, Kashmiri red chili powder, bay leaves, cardamoms, butter, salt and pepper.

Raw ingredients like chopped onions, cashew nuts, chopped tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, Kashmiri red chili powder, bay leaves, cardamoms, butter, salt and pepper in a Dutch oven with a wooden ladle

Gently mix all those ingredients together really well.

And then, raise the heat to high and bring everything to a boil.

Once everything in the cooking pot comes to a boil, cover the Dutch oven, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for at least 12 to 15 minutes.

A covered Dutch oven

Let all those ingredients gently cook and absorb those magical buttery flavors ✨.

We need to cook this gorgeous mixture of ingredients until the tomatoes and onions are soft, mushy and cooked through.

Once 12 to 15 minutes are up, gently lift the lid and with your ladle, try and squish the tomatoes.

They’ll probably be mushy and easily smoosh down by now (if they don’t, cover and cook the mixture until the tomatoes mush easily).

And now, your butter chicken base is ready to be blended!

*Leave it be to cool down before blending it.*

Please remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamoms and cloves before you blend this mixture.

Throw these spices away (brutal!) and don’t add them back to the butter chicken sauce after blending.

Now, let’s talk about blending.

Once again, please let everything cool down before you blend it.

Blend only once the mixture is at room temperature or even cooler.

Don’t blend the hot mixture immediately. If you do that, your blender may explode because of all the heat and steam so *please be careful*!

Blend everything into a fine smooth sauce.

Now, strain it and keep it aside in a separate bowl.

Straining the blended mixture will give you that characteristic smooth, silky, shiny, soft butter chicken sauce.

And there you have it, beautiful and incredibly rich butter chicken sauce!

Keep the Dutch oven as it is and move to the next step. Rich, incredible, creamy butter chicken is just one more step away!

STEP 4: FINISH COOKING THE BUTTER CHICKEN CURRY

Add some butter and smashed garlic to the same Dutch oven.

Sauté for a minute on medium-low heat and breathe in all that deliciousness!

Smashed garlic and butter in a Dutch with a wooden ladle

And now, add Kashmiri red chili powder and ground coriander to that garlicky butter.

Garlic, butter, Kashmiri red chili powder and ground coriander in a Dutch oven with a wooden ladle

Stir everything together and let the Kashmiri red chili powder and ground coriander mix in well with the butter and garlic for a minute or two.

Now add in the blended and strained onion and tomato sauce we made in the earlier step.

Butter chicken sauce in a Dutch oven with a wooden ladle

Stirrrr and mix everything together really well for another minute or two.

Let all those incredible flavors work together.

And now, gently add those delicious cooked chicken cubes to the smooth lush butter chicken sauce.

Cooked chicken pieces mixed in with butter chicken sauce in a Dutch oven with a wooden ladle

Mix everything really well together.

Coat those chicken cubes with all that rich sauce.

Stir everything together for about 2 minutes.

The chicken will lend all its scrumptious flavors to the butter chicken sauce and absorb all that amazing buttery tomatoey-ness in the process too.

It’s the dreamiest intermingling of flavors.

Now add in the cream and sugar.

Cream and sugar added to butter chicken curry in a Dutch oven with a wooden ladle

Gently stir everything together.

Now give your butter chicken curry a taste, add in more sugar if you prefer.

Butter chicken curry in a Dutch oven with a wooden ladle

Reduce the heat to low.

Cover the Dutch oven and let your butter chicken curry cook for about 5 minutes over low heat.

Once 5 minutes are up, gently lift the lid and give your butter chicken curry a final taste.

If you feel there needs to be more sugar, salt or pepper, add it in.

Now, add in the crushed dried fenugreek leaves.

Dried fenugreek leaves added to butter chicken curry in a Dutch oven with a wooden ladle

Give your butter chicken one last gentle stir and switch off the heat.

Remove your butter chicken curry in a separate bowl and garnish it with some fresh cilantro, a small dollop of thick rich cream and maybe even some toasted cashew nuts (if you prefer!).

Now give it a taste. You’ve just tried one of the most delicious, indulgent, scrumptious dishes in the whole world.

And 👉🏼YOU made it! How amazing are you ❤?

Now go enjoy this gorgeous dish and check out our Serving Suggestions below to learn all the different ways you can serve this butter chicken curry!

Hey you, I really hope you love this dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry recipe as much as I do!

If you do, I would appreciate a star rating SO much (you can rate this recipe right below or from the Recipe Card 💖).

5 from 58 votes (Click on the stars to vote!)

Also, if you have any questions about this recipe, make sure to check out our FAQs section below to maybe find your answer there, or leave a comment and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible, I promise 😊.

Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry with steamed basmati rice and a garlic naan on a white plate and a green table cloth in the corner

TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST DREAMY CREAMY ONE POT MOUTHWATERING BUTTER CHICKEN CURRY

This is an incredibly easy butter chicken recipe to cook. I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible. I didn’t want you guys getting confused with unnecessary added steps and things because why even?

So yes…

This is the easiest and best Indian butter chicken recipe ever.

It’s creamy, saucy, silky soft and so rich BUT there are some tips you need to keep in mind to make this gorgeous dish taste even better.

So let’s go ahead and discuss some of those tips. A scrumptious dish like this one deserves some extra love and care ❤.

Here we go!

  • Please make sure the spice powders you use are fresh. Spice powders don’t go bad but lose their potency over time which may lead to a bland curry with spices that aren’t working to their full/maximum potential.
  • This isn’t a super long recipe but it does require a bit of patience. Those extra small things we do such as covering the chicken and cooking it a little more… sautéing the onions and cashews with the chicken bits… require some patience. So yes, if you’re just a little patient and follow the steps exactly as I’ve given here, this recipe will be incredibly rewarding in return ✨. By doing these tiny things, you’ll let the recipe cook to its maximum potential. These small extra steps are what make a curry delish!
  • I suggest you guys get all your ingredients ready before starting to cook so you don’t get flustered or super stressed out while cooking. Cooking is so much fun when all the ingredients are ready and right there! Also try and divide your ingredients according to each step to make things easier so you don’t get confused while cooking.
  • Use your hands to rub all that scrumptious rich creamy marinade over your chicken cubes. I know it’s a bit of work but your chicken will love it and taste so much more amazing. Using your hands here and massaging those chicken cubes will help that marinade absorb a little easier too! You can also wear disposable gloves to do this if you prefer.
  • One of my biggest suggestions here? Marinate your chicken overnight. It’ll taste… incredible. I’m not even kidding. But hey, if you’re really really short on time, marinate your chicken for at least an hour.
  • Remove your marinated chicken from the fridge and keep it outside for about 10 minutes or so before cooking it so it can come close to room temperature. This will help your chicken cubes cook more evenly.
  • If you don’t have any cashew nuts at home, skip out on them. Cashew nuts thicken our butter chicken curry and make it creamier and richer but if you don’t have any, don’t worry. Butter and cream will work wonders on their own and give you a creamy rich curry too. Cashew nuts just add to the richness.
  • Please make sure you remove the cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamoms before blending everything together in Step 3. Don’t add them back.
  • I’ve used light cream with a fat percentage of 25% here. You can use heavy cream for a creamier, richer, softer butter chicken curry.
  • You can use cream with a lower fat percentage too! Be careful though and make sure it doesn’t thin out your butter chicken too much (unless you prefer it that way!).
  • Kashmiri red chili powder gives our butter chicken curry that absolutely gorgeous red color and then, adding in cream gives it that characteristic deep orangish reddish color. If you prefer a butter chicken curry that’s a darker red color though, you can just add in a little more Kashmiri red chili powder or even red food color to your butter chicken curry. I don’t prefer adding in red food color and prefer getting that color from the Kashmiri red chili powder alone. Please be careful and don’t add in too much Kashmiri red chili powder though because it can make your butter chicken curry a little spicy and change its taste a bit too.
  • This is a pretty quick butter chicken recipe BUT if you’re in even more of a hurry, you can just go ahead and cook the chicken and butter chicken sauce in separate cooking pans.
  • I’ve tried to make the consistency of our butter chicken here just right- not too thick, not too thin. But hey, maybe you prefer a different consistency! So, if you’d like a thinner butter chicken curry, just add a little more water at the very beginning when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry (in Step 3).
  • Oh and maybe you prefer a thicker butter chicken curry? Then make sure you add in less water at the very beginning in Step 3 when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry. You can also let your butter chicken sauce cook just a little more and let it evaporate until it reaches your desired consistency when you add it back to the Dutch oven after blending and straining it in Step 4.
  • If you love spicy food and would like to make some spicy butter chicken curry, just go ahead and add some green chili peppers to your finished butter chicken curry at the very end and let it cook in the curry for about two minutes. For a milder spice, slice the green chili peppers lengthwise in half, remove their seeds and then add them to your butter chicken. For a medium spice, don’t get rid of those seeds and keep them in and then add in those sliced green chili peppers. For lots of spice, go ahead and mince those green chili peppers and then add them to your butter chicken curry. This will make the dish super spicy though so be careful!
Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken curry served in a black bowl and garnished with fresh cilantro, surrounded by naan, a wooden ladle, a white plate of cooked white basmati rice and some raw ingredients like a tomato, garlic, cinnamon stick, some cashew nuts, cardom pods and an onion

SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR DREAMY CREAMY ONE POT MOUTHWATERING BUTTER CHICKEN CURRY

Oh my goodness I LOVE this section because I absolutely can’t wait to share all the different ways you guys can have this dish.

Butter chicken is amazing. It has literally everything that makes a dish scrumptious- delicious juicy succulent flavorful meat… a rich buttery creamy sauce… what even can get better than this?

It tastes incredible in literally every single way. And that’s why there are so many different variations of it out there in the world.

You can get literally anything with butter chicken in it. And chances are, it’ll taste wonderful.

I’ve had butter chicken in so many different ways and forms and every single dish tasted INCREDIBLE.

If you’re in the mood for innovation, there are so many different things you can try and create with this recipe!

Before we begin, lemme tell you the best way to garnish your butter chicken… with some toasted cashew nuts, a thick dollop of cream and some fresh cilantro. You can serve it along with some sliced raw onions on the side too.

Now, let’s talk about a few different ways you can serve this dish.

You can try any of these if you have any leftover butter chicken curry too.

Let me know YOUR favorite way (or a way you’ve had it that hasn’t been mentioned here) in the comments below.

  • Go ahead and spread your butter chicken over some warm steamed Basmati rice and make a scrumptious butter chicken rice bowl. It’s the classic way to have this gorgeous curry and it goes sooo well with rice 😍. That creamy buttery smooth butter chicken tastes absolutely incredible mixed with some warm steamed rice. You can use any other type of rice you prefer here as well. You can serve it alongside another Indian vegetable dish (such as aloo gobi– potatoes and cauliflower). You can also serve your butter chicken rice bowl with some freshly chopped veggies on the side.
  • Try serving your butter chicken curry along with some biryani rice. That gently spiced aromatic rice goes really well with our scrumptious butter chicken here.
  • You can also go ahead and make an absolutely beautiful dish called Butter Chicken Biryani using the butter chicken curry you’ve made here. You can use leftover butter chicken curry to make it too. It’s an incredible dish and is completely different from regular biryani. So if you’re looking for something different but oh so rich and delicious (!) along with a completely new process of cooking, go cook that amazing recipe right away!
  • You can use another grain you prefer here as well! Go ahead and serve your buttery butter chicken curry with couscous, brown rice, quinoa or any other grain you feel will go best with it!
  • I’ve heard butter chicken goes along well with cauliflower rice too. You can try it this way as well.
  • Butter chicken tastes incredible (like incredibly incredible) with some naan (my absolute favorite is butter garlic naan!). Butter chicken and naan is pretty unbeatable. It also goes well with roti, chapati, rumali roti or any soft Indian flatbread.
  • Ooh, let’s talk about that delicious marinated chicken we cook at the very beginning of this recipe. You can have that gorgeous chicken on its own as a snack, or even serve it as an appetizer. You can also spread those scrumptious chunks of chicken over your favorite veggies for a salad with an exotic Indian touch. You can serve it with some flavorful biryani rice too. The possibilities are endless with this gorgeous chicken!
  • I once tried butter chicken loaded fries and I’ve been a huge fan ever since! Imagine creamy buttery butter chicken spread over lightly salted, crispy potatoey goodness. It tastes as amazing as it sounds. You can top it up with your favorite cheese too for a gorgeous dish filled with crispy fries, creamy butter chicken and cheesy goodness.
  • Butter chicken pasta is another really interesting dish you can make. Just cook the butter chicken as given here and then add in your favorite type of (cooked) pasta and toss everything really well together so that gorgeous buttery soft curry mixes in well and coats your pasta. You can grate some mozzarella cheese on top (or any other cheese you feel will go well here) to make this a cheesy butter chicken pasta. So delish!
  • Another incredibly interesting thing you can do here is to make a butter chicken pizza. You can use a pre-made pizza base or make your own pizza base at home. You can also use pre-cooked naans and use that as a base (fun fact: a naan and pizza hybrid is called naanza). Go ahead and slather that gorgeous butter chicken over the base you choose, spread some of your fav cheese over it (you can add some chopped onions too or maybe even capsicum if you prefer) and bake it until the cheese melts and everything is all delicious and oozing with goodness! I’ve heard of people adding sriracha sauce to their butter chicken curry before spreading it over their pizza base. I’ve not tried it this way but you can if you prefer.
  • You can also make a butter chicken salad! Spread some butter chicken curry over your favorite veggies (a simple onion, lettuce and tomato salad tastes wonderful here!). You can get some pre-cooked naan, cook it until it’s soft and warmed through and then shred some over your butter chicken salad. You can also bake the naan until it’s nice and crispy and sprinkle crispy naan bits over your butter chicken salad (like naan croutons!).
  • Have you ever tried a butter chicken sandwich? It’s such a good idea and it makes things so easy when you need to make a quick lunch too. Just take a slice of bread, spread some butter chicken curry nice and good over it, and then place another slice of bread over all of it to make it a sandwich. Extra scrumptious points on grilling the sandwich once it’s filled with butter chicken! You can add some veggies or cheese too if you prefer.
  • If you’re on the go and need a quick snack you can go ahead and make a butter chicken roll or wrap! Just spread some butter chicken over a roti or any other soft Indian flatbread (that can be made into a roll and won’t break in half while doing so) and there you have it! You can also add some raw onions or any other veggies you prefer too.
  • Get some burger buns and make some butter chicken burgers! They taste sooo good especially if you have more of that curry left cause that’ll make these burgers so saucy 😍. Just spread some butter chicken curry over a burger bun and add some veggies (if you prefer) and cheese (if you prefer) over it. Squish everything down with another burger bun on top and enjoy that buttery butter chicken burger! Also, try and toast those burger buns in some butter beforehand for extra buttery goodness!
  • There are so many other ideas out there. I’ve heard of butter chicken burritos, butter chicken puff pastries, butter chicken samosas, butter chicken lasagna, butter chicken mac and cheese, butter chicken noodles and even butter chicken quesadillas.

Once you make this recipe, the possibilities are endless and then you’ll know what will taste better with it. There are so many different things to try with it.

If you have a way you love eating butter chicken, lemme know in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it and maybe even try it 😊!

Close up of Creamy Butter Chicken curry over cooked white basmati rice garnished with fresh cilantro being served over a white plate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is Indian butter chicken called “butter chicken”?

This gorgeous dish… why is it called butter chicken?

That’s a pretty good question and it’s got one of the most satisfying answers ever- because it’s filled with so much butter!

One of the primary ingredients involved in making butter chicken is, you guessed it, butter! And that’s where this dish got its name from.

I know there are tomatoes involved and tandoori chicken too. But the main guy here is butter.

It’s added at almost every stage and is sometimes also placed on top of the finished dish towards the end as a buttery garnish!

There are blocks and blocks of butter involved when making butter chicken and that’s where the name came from.

Is butter chicken a curry?

Yes, butter chicken is a curry.

To know what makes butter chicken a curry, let’s try and understand what even makes something a curry in the first place.

It is said that a curry consists of a sauce cooked and seasoned with spices, usually containing meat or vegetables or both.

And well, going by that explanation, butter chicken IS a curry!

It’s got some incredibly delicious marinated chicken, a gorgeous creamy sauce and it’s cooked using some incredible Indian spices.

So there you have it, butter chicken IS a curry, and an incredibly delicious one at that.

How, when and where was butter chicken invented and originated?

There are various theories and stories surrounding the origin of butter chicken. Let’s talk about the most popular one out there.

Quite a few years ago (I haven’t been able to find the exact year, there are different dates out there but the common time I’ve seen while researching is around the late 1940s), in a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Delhi, India, the owner of the restaurant, Kundal Lal Gujral, noticed there was quite some tandoori chicken left unsold every day.

It’s said that the owner of this restaurant didn’t know what to do with the leftover tandoori chicken.

He didn’t want to just throw it away and to heat it again would mean it losing all of its moisture, leading to dry and tasteless tandoori chicken.

So the chef of this restaurant went ahead and made a lush sumptuous smooth sauce of tomatoes, cream, spices and loads of butter.

He then added the leftover tandoori chicken to this buttery sauce and got the most amazing curry in the whooole world!

And that’s how butter chicken was invented!

How incredible is that?

There are so many recipes out there with such interesting stories… It’s also amazing to see some recipes stand the test of time really… It’s like you’re cooking and eating a piece of history and this recipe is one of them ❤.

What is butter chicken sauce made of?

Butter chicken sauce is mainly made of butter, tomatoes and onions.

Cashew nuts, ginger, garlic and a few Indian spices are added to it too.

Some cream is poured in once the sauce is blended and strained for some added richness and creaminess.

A little sugar is also added for a very slight sweet touch to balance the curry out.

What does butter chicken taste like?

Butter chicken tastes… amazing. It’s a gorgeous creamy chicken curry.

The butter chicken sauce has a creamy, buttery taste to it with a very slight tang from the tomatoes, a hint of sweetness from the sugar and creaminess from the butter, cashew nuts and cream. The spices added to this sauce add a gorgeous exotic touch too.

You can’t really remove one particular dominant flavor from butter chicken and say oh, that’s how it tastes! That’s because every single ingredient in this sauce works really well together to bring a well-rounded dish with so many beautiful flavors.

Add to it that amazing AMAZING succulent flavorful chicken with all its scrumptiousness, also mixing into that dreamy buttery butter chicken sauce and you’re getting a dish that literally can’t be described in words ✨.

Does butter chicken have dairy or nuts?

Butter chicken is commonly made using dairy and nuts both.

The best part here though is that your butter chicken can be made nut-free or dairy-free (or both!) and it will still taste absolutely incredible.

To check our dairy-free butter chicken variation, go here.

And to check our nut-free butter chicken variation, go here.

Which cream can be used for butter chicken?

In this recipe, I use light cream (with a fat percentage of 25%).

You can use heavy cream too, if you prefer.

You can also use cream with a lower fat percentage than 25% but that may thin out your butter chicken curry a bit, so that’s something you need to keep in mind when cooking your butter chicken.

Can butter chicken be made without cream?

Yes, butter chicken can be made without cream.

The butter and cashew nuts add in quite a bit of richness by themselves so you are sure to get a creamy curry nonetheless.

But cream just does a little something in this recipe.

You can use coconut cream or coconut milk too if you don’t want to use dairy cream.

If you want to skip out on dairy completely though, check our dairy-free butter chicken variation out above!

Can butter chicken be made with coconut milk?

Yes, butter chicken can be made with coconut milk or coconut cream!

Go ahead and use coconut milk or coconut cream instead of cream for some incredibly delicious coconut butter chicken.

Make sure you use canned coconut milk or coconut cream and use that thick fat layer right on top for a super rich, creamy touch to your coconut butter chicken.

If you’re looking for a dairy-free version of butter chicken, check out the dairy-free butter chicken adaptation here.

Is butter chicken sweet or spicy?

Butter chicken is usually not a spicy dish and instead, is supposed to be buttery and slightly tangy with a touch of sweetness to it.

The butter chicken recipe we have here is not spicy at all and if you’re super sensitive to spicy food, it’s incredibly mildly spicy.

Different people and restaurants out there cook their butter chicken differently though so you may come across butter chicken that’s pretty spicy.

You may also come across butter chicken that has no sugar added to it at all.

It all boils down to preference though and you can cook your butter chicken however you prefer.

On the face of it though, this isn’t a spicy dish and instead, has a tiny bit of sweetness in it.

Can butter chicken be spicy? How to make butter chicken spicier?

Butter chicken is not usually spicy, but it can be made spicy if you prefer.

It all boils down to personal choice. Different people and restaurants out there cook their butter chicken differently and some may prefer cooking a spicier butter chicken curry.

If you prefer a spicy butter chicken curry, you can go ahead and add some green chili peppers to your finished butter chicken curry towards the end.

For a mild spice, slice the green chili peppers lengthwise in half, get rid of their seeds and then add them to your butter chicken towards the end. Stir them in for a minute or two and then serve.

If you prefer a spicier butter chicken, add those sliced green peppers with their seeds in towards the end. Stir them in for a minute or two and then serve.

For an even more intense spice, go ahead and mince those green chili peppers and then add them to your butter chicken curry towards the end. Stir them in for a minute or two and serve. This will make the dish super spicy so please be careful.

Should butter chicken be runny?

Different people out there have different preferences when it comes to the consistency of curry.

Generally though, butter chicken is not supposed to be runny.

It shouldn’t be really thick either.

Butter chicken should be creamy, buttery, silky and just right, not too thick (unless you prefer it that way) and not too thin (unless you prefer it that way).

How to thicken butter chicken curry?

If you follow my recipe perfectly here, you’ll get a butter chicken curry that’s not too thick nor too thin.

If you still want to thicken your butter chicken curry even further though, add in less water at the very beginning in Step 4 when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry.

You can also just cook your butter chicken curry a little more in Step 5 when you add it back to the Dutch oven to evaporate more of it (until it reaches your desired consistency) resulting in a thicker curry.

Some people prefer adding cornstarch here, but I don’t suggest doing that because it may result in a really strange consistency as the butter chicken curry cools down and also when you reheat it. There’s also really no need when you can thicken your butter chicken curry in the ways I’ve given above.

What rice goes well with butter chicken?

Good old basmati rice goes really well with butter chicken. You can’t go wrong with it.

Basmati rice has a mild flavor and soaks up all that buttery butter chicken sauce making everything taste absolutely incredible. It’s got the most beautiful aroma too ❤.

If you’re feeling adventurous though, you can try serving your butter chicken with some biryani rice. That delicious creamy buttery sauce goes sooo well with the rich aromatic flavors of biryani rice.

But hey, literally any type of rice (especially long-grain rice!) will go well with butter chicken so don’t worry if you don’t have any basmati rice on hand.

What tastes good and goes best with butter chicken? What to serve with butter chicken?

Basmati rice and butter garlic naan are the two most common dishes served alongside butter chicken.

And butter chicken tastes absolutely gorgeous when it’s served with either of these two!

But hey, literally everything goes well with butter chicken out there.

And maybe you want to try something new… like butter chicken served with quinoa?

For different serving suggestions AND other unique ways you can serve this butter chicken curry, check our Serving Suggestions out above!

Can this dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry be made ahead of time? How do I store this butter chicken curry and how long will it last in the fridge?

Yes, this delicious classic butter chicken curry can be made in advance, and that’s what makes it an incredible meal prep dish too.

There are a few ways you can cook your butter chicken curry ahead of time and I’ll let you know how you can store your butter chicken along with each method too:

  1. Just go ahead and finish cooking your butter chicken curry. Let it cool down completely and then store it in an air-tight container in your fridge. It will last in the fridge for 3 days.
  2. You can also follow a method of partial cooking here if you’re in a hurry and can’t finish cooking the whole recipe. Go ahead and cook the butter chicken sauce. Let it cool down, blend it and then store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It can last in the fridge for 3 days. Marinate your chicken alongside in a separate container and on the day you’re serving this recipe, cook the chicken and then follow the rest of the recipe as given. There are different ways of cooking this recipe partially such as cooking and storing the chicken beforehand and then cooking the butter chicken sauce later.  You can follow what’s easiest for you!

Can butter chicken be reheated? How to reheat butter chicken?

Yes, this gorgeous dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry can be reheated pretty easily!

The best part about curries also is that they taste so much better the next day because the flavors have more time to develop further. I LOVE that about curries.

Just take a cooking pan and pour that delicious creamy butter chicken into it.

Heat it over medium-low heat until it’s completely heated through or comes to a light boil.

And that’s all! Your butter chicken is ready to be enjoyed.

You can also heat your butter chicken in the microwave until it’s completely heated through.

Can I make this butter chicken curry according to my diet preference?

Yes, you can make this easy butter chicken curry recipe according to your diet preference!

Explore the Variations Section above to see our suggestions on how you can make the vegetarian version of butter chicken, dairy-free butter chicken, gluten-free butter chicken, nut-free butter chicken and the vegan version of butter chicken.

Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry one a white plate with a half eaten butter garlic naan

❤❤❤

Hey you, I really hope you love this dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry recipe as much as I do!

If you do, I would appreciate a star rating SO much (you can rate this recipe right below or from the Recipe Card 💖).

5 from 58 votes (Click on the stars to vote!)

You have no idea how happy it’ll make me and how much of a boost it gives us here. It’s the best feeling ever when you see someone appreciate something you’re passionate about ❤.

Please also let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried this recipe and loved it or have any suggestions regarding it. I would love to hear all about it!

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Would you like to explore more such recipes? Check out our collection of absolutely lip-smacking One-Pot RecipesStovetop Recipes and Spring recipes.

DREAMY Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry

5 from 58 votes (Click on the stars to vote!)
This dreamy creamy one pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry tastes exactly how it sounds… incredible! Cubes of chicken marinated in a yogurt and cream base, cooked to tender perfection and then tossed in a gorgeous silky rich butter and tomato sauce… It can't get any better than this curry that’s super famous in the whole world! Oh, and it’s cooked in one pot and ready in under an hour too!
Prep time for this recipe10 minutes
Cook time for this recipe40 minutes
 Print Recipe  Pin Recipe
Yield for this recipe4 people

Ingredients
  

To marinate the chicken:

  • 1 lb or 454 gms chicken breast skinless and boneless, cut into fat medium-sized cubes (can substitute with boneless chicken thigh as well)
  • ½ tbsp garlic paste or you can make your own paste out of 5-6 medium-sized peeled garlic cloves by grinding them with 1/2 tsp of water
  • ¼ cup or 70 gms Greek yogurt (can substitute with plain whisked yogurt)
  • ¼ cup or 60 ml heavy cream or light cream
  • ½ tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice (can substitute with lime juice)
  • ½ tsp salt or according to your preference
  • ¼ tsp black pepper or according to your preference

To cook the chicken:

  • the previously marinated chicken
  • tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp neutral cooking oil

To make the base of the butter chicken curry:

  • 1 medium-sized or 170 gms onion roughly chopped
  • 8 to 10 cashew nuts
  • 1½ cups or 355 ml water
  • 1 large or 200 gms tomato roughly chopped
  • 2 inch ginger peeled
  • 5 to 6 medium-sized cloves of garlic peeled and lightly smashed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder (you can use 3/4 or even 1/2 tablespoon of Kashmiri red chili powder if you find 1 tbsp too spicy for your taste, your butter chicken may be a lighter color though if you use less of this spice so keep this in mind)
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole green cardamoms
  • ½ tsp salt or according to your preference
  • ¼ tsp black pepper or according to your preference

To finish cooking the butter chicken curry:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 medium-sized cloves of garlic peeled and smashed, can also mince finely for a smoother sauce
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • the previously blended and strained butter chicken sauce
  • previously cooked chicken
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream or light cream
  • tsp sugar or according to taste (can substitute with honey)
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • fresh cilantro leaves plucked from 2 sprigs, for garnishing
Click here to scroll up and view instruction photos

( Note- Please keep in mind that I go into lots of detail in all my recipes so you get to know all the super important tips & tricks when it comes to making a particular recipe. I always want you to make the BEST of whatever you’re cooking ❤ )

Instructions

  • MARINATE THE CHICKEN
    Cut 1 lb or 454 gms chicken breast into fat medium-sized cubes.
    Transfer those cubes of chicken to a bowl.
    Now go ahead and add in all the ingredients needed to marinate the chicken like: ½ tbsp garlic paste, ¼ cup or 70 gms Greek yogurt, ¼ cup or 60 ml heavy cream or light cream, ½ tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder, ½ tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tbsp lemon juice, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.
    Then mix everything together.
    Give your chicken a nice massage and use your hands if you can!
    That’s because you can get that gorgeous marinade into all those chicken bits incredibly easily when you use your hands.
    You can use gloves too, if you prefer.
    Once you’re done mixing your chicken with all that lush creamy marinade, wrap the bowl and cover it well with some cling wrap.
    You can use a zip-lock bag or airtight container instead too.
    Leave that bowl of chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.
    Remember, the more you marinate your chicken, the better it’ll taste.
    The flavors in this particular marinade are… incredible… and leaving your chicken to marinate for a longer time will be so rewarding 💖.
    Overnight is ideal.
    So yes, once again, try and let your chicken marinate for more than an hour. But if you’re in a hurry, you can wait just an hour too.
  • COOK THE CHICKEN
    I’ve used a Dutch oven here but you can use a kadai (the Indian version of a wok) or a heavy-bottomed pan.
    Make sure the cooking pan you’re using has a lid though.
    Now, pour 1 tsp neutral cooking oil into your Dutch oven.
    Raise the heat to medium-high.
    Add in 1½ tbsp butter.
    Gently slide that block of butter around until it melts and mixes in with the oil.
    Once the butter and oil are heated through, add in the previously marinated chicken cubes of chicken and DON’T add the marinade with the chicken.
    If your cubes of chicken don’t fit in all at once, it’s okay. Go ahead and fry them in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan!
    This is because we want all our pieces of chicken to cook evenly and form a beautiful crust with that creamy marinade!
    That won’t be possible if you add in all those pieces of chicken all at once. Our pieces of chicken will steam instead and we don’t want that 😱.
    So yes, let your pieces of chicken cook in that buttery goodness on one side for about 5 to 6 minutes.
    You can also reduce the heat to medium if you feel your chicken is browning too fast.
    Please always remember that the cooking time may vary depending on how much chicken you have in your cooking pot, the size of your chicken cubes, how much marinade went in with the chicken, the cooking pot you’re using and your stove.
    There are lots of factors at play here so keep a good constant check on your chicken.
    Now, after 5 to 6 minutes, gently turn and check one of the chicken cubes to see if it has browned on that side and turned a deep reddish-brown, using tongs if you can (they make things so much easier!).
    If not, cook your chicken just a little more until that side of your chicken cubes turns reddish brown and cooked.
    Once you see that piece of chicken’s all nice and brown, go ahead and turn all the other chicken cubes.
    Cook them for another 3 to 4 minutes until the other side turns a gorgeous deep reddish-brown too.   
    Once 3 to 4 minutes have passed, check on your chicken. Those chicken cubes should be well-browned and delicious by now.
    Now, reduce the heat to low.
    Check all your cubes of chicken.
    There may be some sides that aren’t brown enough.
    Turn your chicken cubes to the least browned side.
    And then, cover the Dutch oven and let the chicken cubes cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.
    This extra step of covering and cooking your chicken will make it even more succulent and juicy 🤩!
    Once those 5 minutes are up, remove your chicken cubes and set them aside.
    If you want a little more char (like tandoori chicken), you can always cook your chicken a little extra over high heat so it browns some more.
    Now cook the next batch of chicken the same way.
    Add a teaspoon of butter before starting to cook the next batch of chicken.
    Keep a close check on your second batch of chicken because it may cook faster.
    Once you’re done cooking all your chicken, don’t get rid of anything in the Dutch oven.
    There are some incredible flavors in that Dutch oven right there and since this is a one-pot meal, every single thing in that Dutch oven is important. It’ll add to the most delicious flavors ever!
    And those gorgeous browned bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan? You’re gonna love how they mix in incredibly with the butter chicken sauce in the next step!
    Now wait a minute, have you tried the chicken you just cooked? Go ahead and take a bite…
    … Doesn’t it taste absolutely incredible? That’s some amazing chicken right there ✨.
  • MAKE THE BASE OF THE BUTTER CHICKEN
    Over low to medium-low heat, using the same Dutch oven, add in the roughly chopped 1 medium-sized or 170 gms onion and 8 to 10 cashew nuts.
    Sauté the onions and cashew nuts for about 2 minutes until the onions are softened just a little bit.
    Mix them in well with all those gorgeous browned cooked chicken bits!
    Be careful and don’t cook your onions for more than 2 minutes.
    That’s because if the onions continue cooking, they will turn brown (on their own, not because of the chicken bits) and once your onions turn brown, your butter chicken sauce may not get that beautiful characteristic deep orangish-reddish color.
    So be careful with your onions. Once again, don’t cook them for more than a minute or two.
    Now, add in 1½ cups or 355 ml water along with all the other ingredients given under this step1 large or 200 gms tomato, 3 cloves, 2 inch cinnamon stick, 5 to 6 medium-sized cloves of garlic, 2 inch ginger, 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder, 2 bay leaves, 2 whole green cardamoms, 3 tbsp butter, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper
    Gently mix all the ingredients really well together.
    And then, raise the heat to high and bring everything to a boil.
    Once everything in the cooking pot comes to a boil, cover the Dutch oven, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.
    Let those ingredients gently cook and absorb all those gorgeous buttery flavors ✨. 
    We need to cook this delicious mixture of ingredients until the tomatoes and onions are soft, mushy and cooked through.
    Once 12 to 15 minutes are up, gently lift the lid and with your ladle, try and squish the tomatoes.
    If they’re mushy and easily smoosh down (if they aren't, cover and cook the mixture until the tomatoes mush easily), your butter chicken base is ready to be blended!
    *Leave it to cool down before blending it.*
    Make sure you remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamoms and cloves before you blend this mixture.
    Throw these spices away (brutal!) and don’t add them back to the butter chicken sauce after blending.
    Now, let’s talk about blending.
    Please let everything cool down before you blend it.
    Blend only once the mixture is at room temperature or even cooler.
    If you blend the hot mixture immediately, your blender may explode because of all the heat and steam so *please be careful*!
    So yes…
    Blend everything to a fine smooth sauce.
    Now, strain the sauce and keep it aside in a separate bowl.
    Straining the blended mixture will give you that characteristic smooth, silky, shiny, soft butter chicken sauce.
    And there you have it, that's your beautiful, shiny, smooth and incredibly rich butter chicken sauce!
    Keep the Dutch oven as it is and move to the next step.
    Your dreamy creamy one-pot mouthwatering butter chicken curry is just one more step away!
  • FINISH COOKING THE BUTTER CHICKEN CURRY
    Add 2 tbsp butter and smashed 2 medium-sized cloves of garlic to the same Dutch oven.
    Sauté for a minute on medium-low heat and breathe in all that butter garlic deliciousness!
    Then, add ½ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder and 1 tsp ground coriander to that garlicky butter.
    Stir it all together for a minute or two and let the Kashmiri red chili powder and ground coriander mix in well with that butter and garlic.
    Now add in the previously blended and strained butter chicken sauce we made in the previous step.
    Stirrrr and mix everything together really well for another minute or two.
    Let those beautiful flavors mix together.
    And now, gently add those scrumptious previously cooked chicken cubes to the silky lush butter chicken sauce.
    Mix everything well together.
    Coat all those chicken cubes with that thick creamy buttery sauce.
    The chicken will lend all its scrumptious flavors to the butter chicken sauce and absorb all that amazing buttery tomatoey-ness in the process too.
    It’s the most magical intermingling of flavors.
    Stir everything together for about 2 minutes, and then add in 3 tbsp heavy cream or light cream and 1¾ tsp sugar.
    Mix everything together gently.
    Now, give your butter chicken curry a taste, add in more sugar if you prefer.
    Then reduce the heat to low.
    Cover the Dutch oven and let your butter chicken curry cook for about 5 minutes over low heat.
    Once 5 minutes are up, gently lift the lid and give your butter chicken curry another taste.
    If you feel there needs to be more sugar, salt or pepper, add it in.
    Now, add in the crushed 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves.
    Give your butter chicken one last gentle stir and switch off the heat.
    Remove your butter chicken curry in a separate bowl and garnish it with some fresh cilantro, a small dollop of thick rich cream and maybe even some toasted cashew nuts (if you prefer!).
    You can top it all off with some melted butter too (more butter cause why the heck not?! It's called butter chicken after all!)!
    Now give it a taste.
    Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?
    You’ve just made one of the most beautiful, delicious, indulgent, scrumptious dishes in the whole world.
    How amazing are you, huh ❤?
    Now go enjoy this gorgeous dish and check our Serving Suggestions out to learn all the different ways you can serve this delicious butter chicken curry!
5 from 58 votes (Click on the stars to vote!)

Notes ✍🏼

If you would like to know more about vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free or vegan diet preferences for this recipe, check the Variations Section above.
And…
If you want to know more ideas about how to serve or what to serve with this recipe, check the Serving Suggestions section above.
 
TIPS:
  • Make sure the spice powders you use are fresh. Spice powders don’t go bad but lose their potency over time. This may lead to a bland curry with spices that aren’t working to their maximum potential.
  • This is a pretty quick butter chicken recipe and isn’t super long but it does require a bit of patience. if you’re just a little patient and follow the steps exactly as I’ve given here, this recipe will be incredibly rewarding in return ✨. This way, you’ll let the recipe cook to its maximum potential.
  • Get all your ingredients ready before starting to cook. Cooking is so much fun when all the ingredients are ready to use and right there! Also, try and divide your ingredients according to each step to make things easier so you don’t get confused while cooking.
  • Use your hands to rub that delicious rich creamy marinade over your chicken cubes. I know it’s a bit of work but your chicken will thank you for it once it’s cooked. It’ll also taste so much more amazing. Using your hands here will help that marinade absorb a little more easily too and will help you reach those difficult to reach chicken bits! You can wear disposable gloves and do this too, if you prefer.
  • Marinate your chicken overnight. This is one of my biggest suggestions here. It’ll taste… amazing. It really is something else when you marinate your chicken for longer.
  • Remove your marinated chicken from the fridge and keep it outside for about 10 minutes or so before cooking it so it can come close to room temperature. This will help your chicken cubes cook more evenly.
  • Skip out on cashew nuts if you don’t have any at home. Cashew nuts make our butter chicken creamier and richer but if you don’t have any, don’t worry. Butter and cream will work wonders on their own and give you a thick creamy rich curry too. Cashew nuts just add to the richness.
  • Make sure you remove the cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamoms before blending everything together in Step 3.
  • I’ve used light cream with a fat percentage of 25% here but you can use heavy cream for a creamier, richer, softer butter chicken curry.
  • You can use cream with a lower fat percentage too, if you prefer. Make sure it doesn’t thin out your butter chicken curry too much though (unless you prefer it that way!).
  • Kashmiri red chili powder and cream give our butter chicken curry that characteristic deep orangish reddish color. If you prefer a darker red butter chicken curry though, go ahead and add in just a little more Kashmiri red chili powder or even red food color to your butter chicken curry. I don’t prefer adding in red food color and prefer getting that color from the Kashmiri red chili powder alone. Please be careful though and don’t add in too much Kashmiri red chili powder because it can make your butter chicken curry a little spicy and change its taste a bit too.
  • This is a pretty quick butter chicken recipe BUT if you’re in even more of a hurry, you can cook the chicken and butter chicken sauce in separate cooking pans.
  • I’ve tried to make the consistency of our butter chicken here just right- not too thick, not too thin. But you may prefer a different consistency! If you’d like a thinner butter chicken curry, just add a little more water at the very beginning when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry (in Step 3).
  • If you prefer a thicker butter chicken curry, add in less water at the very beginning in Step 3 when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry. You can also let your butter chicken sauce cook just a little more and let it evaporate until it reaches your desired consistency when you add it back to the Dutch oven in Step 4.
  • If you love spicy food and would like to have some spicy butter chicken curry, go ahead and add some green chili peppers to your finished butter chicken curry at the very end. For a milder spice, slice the green chili peppers lengthwise in half, remove their seeds and then add them to your butter chicken curry towards the end cook for another 2 minutes. If you prefer it to be spicier, don’t get rid of those seeds and keep them in. Add them to the butter chicken curry towards the end and cook for another 2 minutes. For lots of spice, go ahead and finely mince those green chili peppers and then add them to your butter chicken curry towards the end and cook for another 2 minutes. This will make the dish super spicy though so be careful!
 
VARIATIONS:
  • I’ve used boneless chicken breasts here but you can use boneless chicken thighs or bone-in chicken too! I can imagine the extra fat in chicken thighs tasting incredible with the creamy marinade here. The cooking time may vary when you’re using a different cut of chicken so please keep a close check on your chicken when it’s cooking.
  • If you’ve got some tandoori chicken leftover from last night’s Indian takeout, walk right into history and make this curry the way it was discovered all those years ago! Cook the butter chicken sauce as given here, then take the meat off the pieces of boned tandoori chicken and add them to that buttery sauce. You can also just order some tandoori chicken if you don’t have any to try this variation. It’s a pretty interesting variation to try but hey, *OUR* chicken recipe here is still absolutely incredible and pretty unbeatable!
  • You can also try cooking your marinated chicken in a different way! You can grill, bake or even barbecue your chicken before adding it to the butter chicken sauce.
  • You can cook this dish using a different meat too! The dish is called butter chicken BUT there are so many different meats out there that taste incredible with this buttery tomatoey sauce. I’ve tried this dish with shrimp and even fish and it tastes amazing! I can imagine lamb tasting good here too! Please use the same marinade we’ve given in this recipe. Also, the cooking time may vary when you’re cooking a different meat so please keep a check and cook the meat accordingly.
  • You can also just have the cooked marinated chicken as it is. Those incredibly delish cooked pieces of chicken taste absolutely mesmerizing and make such an amazing snack, appetizer or even main meal along with some biryani rice, plain steamed rice (with a little Indian garlic pickle on the side) or maybe even some butter garlic naan.
  • Do you have a favorite veggie or maybe many favorite veggies? Go ahead and marinate those veggies in the same marinade we’re using for the chicken (use a separate bowl though). Then cook those marinated veggies in some butter before cooking the chicken and finally, add them to that buttery creamy scrumptious butter chicken sauce along with the cooked chicken cubes for an absolutely gorgeous butter chicken and vegetable curry! Go ahead and experiment until you find out which vegetable/s taste best!
  • Is butter absolutely necessary in a butter chicken curry? I’ve tried this recipe without butter and it tastes pretty good but butter takes it to a whole other level! If you prefer though, you can cut down on the butter but try not to remove it completely. Just a little butter still makes a pretty big difference and tastes incredibly incredible here!
  • You can also add in even more butter if you love butter very much and are looking forward to a buttery indulgent meal. It’ll taste butterier, richer and absolutely gorgeous!
  • If you don’t prefer using sugar, you can pour in just a little honey into your butter chicken curry instead to make it a little sweet and cut down on the acidity from the tomatoes.
  • I’ve used light cream with a fat percentage of 25% here. You can use heavy cream, if you prefer, for a lush-er, thicker, creamier butter chicken curry.
  • You can also use cream with a lower fat percentage, if you prefer. Just make sure it doesn’t thin the butter chicken out too much though (unless that’s something you prefer!).
  • There’s an interesting variation you can try here. You can use coconut milk or coconut cream instead of regular dairy cream for some incredibly delicious coconut butter chicken curry (for a dairy-free version of this butter chicken, read the Dairy-Free Adaptation).
  • I’ve tried to make sure the consistency of our butter chicken here is not too thick, nor too thin. But maybe you prefer a different consistency! If you prefer a thinner butter chicken curry, go ahead and add a little more water at the very beginning when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry (in Step 3).
  • And if you prefer a thicker butter chicken curry, make sure you add in less water at the very beginning in Step 3 when you’re making the base of the butter chicken curry. You can also let your butter chicken sauce cook a little more after you add it back to the Dutch oven in Step 4 and evaporate until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • If you’re into spicy curry, you can go ahead and add some green chili peppers to your finished butter chicken curry towards the very end. For a mild spice, slice the green chili peppers lengthwise in half, get rid of their seeds and then add them to your butter chicken towards the end and cook for another 2 minutes. For a little more spice, keep those seeds in and add those green chili peppers to your butter chicken towards the end and cook for another 2 minutes. For an even intense spice, go ahead and mince those green chili peppers and then add them to your butter chicken curry towards the end and cook for another 2 minutes. This will make the dish incredibly spicy though so be careful!
  • For a cheesy and even richer taste to our already incredibly rich butter chicken curry, add in some cubes of cottage cheese to the butter chicken along with the cream and sugar. Make sure those cottage cheese cubes cook for at least 12 to 15 minutes in the butter chicken curry before serving it for a delicious, cheesy, creamy, rich butter chicken!

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 450kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 28gFat: 30gSodium: 269mgPotassium: 701mgFiber: 4.5gSugar: 5.5gVitamin A: 786IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 4.3mg

The nutritional information given here is only an estimate.

Please read our full Nutrition Information Disclaimer to learn more.
Author of this recipeMish- The Buttery Fairytale
Total time to make this recipe50 minutes
Course of this recipeMain Dish
Cuisine of this recipeIndian/ Indian-Inspired
Diet type of this recipeGluten-Free
Diet type of this recipeChicken and Meat, Gluten-Free
Keywords of this recipebest butter chicken, best butter chicken curry recipe, bone-in chicken, butter, butter chicken, butter chicken curry, butter chicken recipe, butter chicken sauce, cheesy garlic sauce, chicken breast, creamy butter chicken curry, creamy chicken curry, creamy Indian chicken curry, Dreamy Creamy One Pot Mouthwatering Butter Chicken Curry, Dutch oven, Fall, Indian butter chicken, Indian butter chicken curry, Indian butter chicken recipe, Indian chicken curry, one pot butter chicken recipe, party dish, the best butter chicken curry, the best butter chicken recipe, tomatoes, Winter
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