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Butter Chicken by Chef Dev

by Sarah Fahad

This satiny well- seasoned delicacy can inarguably be classified as the LeBron James of the curry world. Basketball analogies aside, let’s dig into conversation about this soft and buttery sub-continental delight. Celebrated for its exquisite creamy texture and silken gravy sauce, this curry adds an invigorating touch to any spread. Here, Chef Dev unlocks the secret to his irresistibly delicious Butter Chicken recipe. Delicately perfumed with the sweet and woodsy aroma of dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi), this dish strikes a chord with every desi food lover.

“Butter Chicken has long been one of my guilty pleasures…mine and the rest of the world it seems! Having travelled across Asia and the UK I have been introduced to so many styles and interpretations of it. This recipe I present is the most efficient way, in my opinion, to achieve that restaurant quality taste” – Chef Devan Rajkumar.

For the uninitiated, international Chef Devan Rajkumar is a culinary expert based in Toronto. He has shaken up the global culinary landscape with specialities that range from the traditional to the inventive- vegan coconut cauliflower curry anyone? Do give a shout out to Chef Dev on his Instagram page. Team up Dev’s delectable main course with piping hot naan bread or whole wheat pitta.

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Cooking Time 1 hour

Yield 4-6 people



  •  2 lb chicken
  •  1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi)
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  •  ¾ tsp deggi mirch (optional)
  • 1 tsp coriander
  •  3 green cardamom pods
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1 small piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Optional Garnishes:
Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi)
Heavy cream


  1.  Put the chicken in a mixing bowl along with all the above mentioned ingredients. Set it aside to
    marinate for about an hour. The chicken can be kept in the fridge overnight as well.
  2.  Pour vegetable oil in a large cast iron or sauté pan and sear the chicken on medium high heat.
    The objective here is to impart colour, and not to cook the chicken through.
  3. After the chicken acquires a tinge of colour, transfer it to a resting tray. Do not clean or replace the pan.
  4.  Carefully spoon butter and ghee (clarified butter) into the same pan and reduce the heat to medium. Season with cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and cashews. Cook for 3-4 minutes and do not let the butter burn.
  5. Sprinkle all ground spices and cook. Let 3-4 minutes elapse.
  6. Pour tomato puree and water. Bring this mixture to a boil. Transfer the mixture to a blender jug and blend.
  7. Return the blended sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the chicken and sugar.
    Adjust seasoning according to taste and serve!

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1 comment

Naila Shahid April 13, 2020 - 4:29 pm

The classic butter chicken …an all time favourite 🌟
In mostly every country where Asian cuisine is a staple
From swank to dhaba style eateries…all have their versions…simple and awesome👌
Well discovered Sarah Fahad/ Foodistan to bring it back to my memory to make again🙏


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