Dilliwala Butter Chicken

Butter chicken needs no introduction, but the one that is available in Delhi is incomparable. Remember the popular adage that the proof of the pudding is in eating it. So make it, serve it and bask in the appreciation that will come your way.

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Dilliwala Butter Chicken

Dilliwala Butter Chicken

Main ingredients Chicken on the bone, Kashmiri red chilli powder, Yogurt, Ginger-garlic paste, Garam masala powder, Mustard oil, Tomatoes, Butter, Readymade tomato puree, Kasuri methi, Honey, Fresh cream
Cuisine Indian
Course Main course chicken
Prep time 4-4.5 hours
Cook time 40-45 minutes
Serve 4
Taste Savoury
Level of cooking Difficult
Others Non veg


  • 750 gms chicken, cut into 4 large pieces on the bone
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3½ teaspoons Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 400 gms yogurt
  • 2½ tablespoons freshly ground ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground garam masala powder + to sprinkle
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 8-10 bright red medium tomatoes
  • 2 one-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 8-10 green cardamoms
  • 1½ inch ginger
  • 10-12 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon oil + to grease
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups readymade tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves powder (kasoori methi)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • A few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cream 


  1. Make a few incisions on either side of the chicken pieces and put them into a large bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice, salt and 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder and mix well and keep the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. To make the 2nd marinade, take yogurt in another large bowl.  Add salt, 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, 2 tbsps freshly ground ginger-garlic paste and freshly ground garam masala powder and mix well.
  4. Add marinated chicken pieces to this bowl and mix well. Add mustard oil and mix well. Let it marinate in the refrigerator preferably for at least 4 hours.
  5. To make the gravy, roughly chop tomatoes, put them into a large mixer jar and grind to a puree.
  6. Pour the puree into a non-stick pan. Rinse the jar with a little water and add to the pan, mix and let it cook.
  7. Add cinnamon, cloves, green cardamoms, salt and 1½ tsps Kashmiri red chilli powder and mix well. Cover and cook till the mixture thickens slightly and all the flavours blend well.
  8. Put a little water in the lower container of the Gas Oven Tandoor and keep it on heat.
  9. Roughly chop ginger, garlic and 1 green chilli and add to the pan. Cover and cook.
  10. Strain the tomato mixture into a third large bowl.
  11. Lightly grease the upper container of the Gas Oven Tandoor with oil. Keep the marinated chicken pieces on it, cover and cook.
  12. Heat butter and 1 tbsp oil in another non-stick pan. Add ½ tbsp ginger-garlic paste and saute till fragrant. Add the strained tomato mixture, readymade tomato puree, dried fenugreek leaves powder and honey and mix well and cook.
  13. When the chicken is almost done, baste the pieces with a little oil, cover and cook till the chicken is completely done.
  14. Finely chop coriander leaves and 1 green chilli and add to the tomato gravy.
  15. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces and add to the gravy. Add cream and mix well. Sprinkle a little garam masala powder and mix well.
  16. Transfer into a serving bowl and serve hot with naan or tandoori roti.