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Time to cook: 50 minutes

MAIN: Kiran Gera’s Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is among the best known Indian foods all over the world. Its gravy can be made as hot or mild as you like so it suits most palates. Also commonly known as Murg Makhani, Butter Chicken tastes great with Daal, Naan and a green salad.  Kiran Gera, Programme Manager

The ‘other’ Kiran at Asha. In the little time that she gets after the exhausting task of managing the Asha Promotions Team, Kiran G makes some of the most delicious food. Her gajar halwa (Carrot Halwa) & kheer (Rice Pudding), mutton curry & chicken gravy, and rajma (Kidney Beans) & lobhia (Black-eyed Pea) are simply to die for. Here is her delicious Butter Chicken recipe.

Serves 4 - 6


  • 1 kg boneless chicken skin removed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to suit your taste) 6 cloves
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 1" stick of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 almonds
  • Seeds from 3-4 cardamom pods 1 cup yoghurt
  • 3 tbsps vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 tsps garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsps coriander powder 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 400g/ 14 oz of chopped tomatoes,
  • ground into a smooth paste in a food processor
  • 1/2 litre chicken stock
  • 2 tbsps kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 3 tbsps unmelted, soft butter


  • Mix the chicken, lime juice, salt and red chilli powder in a large, non-metallic bowl. Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
  • Heat a flat pan or griddle on medium heat and gently roast (stirring frequently) the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves and almonds till they darken slightly. Cool and add the cardamom seeds. Now grind into a coarse powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
  • Mix the yoghurt, above spice powder (from previous step), coriander, cumin and turmeric powders together and add them to the chicken. Allow to marinate for another hour.
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan on medium heat. When hot, add the onions. Fry till a pale golden brown in colour and then add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry for a minute.
  • Add the chicken from the chicken-spice mix (leaving the marinade) and fry till sealed (chicken will turn opaque and the flesh will go from pink to whitish in colour).
  • Now add the tomato paste, chicken stock, kasuri methi and remaining part of the yogurt-spice marinade to the chicken.
  • Cook till the chicken is tender and the gravy is reduced to half its original volume.
  • Melt the butter in another small pan and then pour it over the chicken. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately.

Recipe kindly donated by: Friends of Asha

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