Smoky and Spicy Butter Chicken

Smoky and Spicy Butter Chicken plated

Recipe Information

Time 1 hour
Servings 4 People

This Smoky and Spicy Butter Chicken recipe has been passed down through generations in my family. It's a dish that brings warmth and comfort to any gathering, and it never fails to impress guests with its bold flavors.

The secret to this recipe lies in the smoky paprika and spicy cayenne pepper, which give the dish its unique character. The combination of spices, tomatoes, and cream creates a rich and velvety sauce that perfectly complements the tender chicken.

I remember my grandmother making this dish for special occasions, filling the house with the mouthwatering aroma of spices and butter. Now, I'm excited to share this cherished family recipe with you, so you can create your own memories around the dinner table.


  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add the chicken to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight for best results.
  3. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garlic and ginger, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  5. Add the marinated chicken to the skillet, along with any remaining marinade. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is mostly cooked through.
  6. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is fully cooked.
  8. Serve the Smoky and Spicy Butter Chicken over steamed basmati rice or with naan bread, garnishing with fresh cilantro if desired.


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