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How to Make Indian Butter Chicken

Indian butter chicken over white rice in a bowl
Screenshot from "Un-Wine'd" season three episode 13.

This flavorful butter chicken goes great with white rice and is similar to Tikki Masala. The Indian recipe pairs well with Bluestone Vineyards’ Petit Manseng, a 2021 Gold Winner, and appears in this full episode of “ Un-Wine’d,” which airs Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. on VPM PBS.

Watch past seasons and current episodes on the PBS app or PBS website. Check the broadcast schedule for local listings. To discover more recipes seen on “Un-Wine’d," please click here.

What You’ll Need:

Marinade for Chicken

  • ½ c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 t. finely minced garlic
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. finely minced ginger root
  • 1 ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 ¼ tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 - 2 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 2” pieces
  • Mixing bowl


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 t. finely minced garlic
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. finely minced ginger root
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. coriander
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. celery salt
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes with juice or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 c. heavy cream


Step 1: In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients. Stir in the chicken pieces and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Step 2: Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add the oil and butter. Strain out the chicken from the marinade and cook through browning on both sides.

Step 3: Add 2 Tbsp. water to the reserved marinade and set it aside to use if the chicken gets dry. Move the chicken to a plate.

Step 4: Add the onion to the pan and saute until the onion is nearly translucent. Add the garlic and ginger root.

Step 5: Add the garam masala, cumin, and coriander and stir through. Lightly toast the spices for about 1 minute then add the salt, celery salt, mustard and chili powder.

Step 6: Stir through then add the tomatoes then add the cream.

Step 7: Return the chicken and the reserved marinade with water to the pan and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked (165 F.).

Step 8: Serve over rice with naan.

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