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Adil’s Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken recipe

A few years ago I spent a summer in Nairobi, Kenya. To this date I will tell anyone who’ll listen that there I had the best curries I have ever tried. I don’t know what it is, but they just taste so much better!

During those three months my aunt and I had a habit of visiting the local curry house on a weekly basis and all I would order was butter chicken; a refreshing dish that bears no resemblance to the sloppy stuff I have tasted in the UK so far!

After much complaining a good family friend and chef extraordinaire, Adil Karimbux, kindly shared his recipe for butter chicken with me and it definitely is what I remembered this dish by.

Adil is a great cook and not just of curries and I’m thrilled he has agreed to let me publish this recipe he has taken and adapted from long-running family traditions for everyone to enjoy. Thanks Adil!

Serves 4-6

Day 1 – Marinating

In a food processor combine:

  • 3cm long ginger, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 80g blanched almonds, skin removed
  • 170ml thick, Greek style yogurt
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 cardamom pods, seeds only, slightly crushed or powder
  • 400g canned tomatoes
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • a healthy pinch saffron

Whizz this together and place 1 kilo chicken breast or boneless thighs cut into big chunks into this mixture, cover and refrigerate till the next day. Bring out of fridge at least an hour before use.

Day 2 – Cooking

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp coriander leaves (fresh)
  • 8-10 curry leaves (optional)
  • 5 tbsp thick doubled cream

Preheat oven to 200°C

In a large saucepan over a medium flame place the butter and oil together with the onions stirring till golden brown – do not burn!

Add the chicken mixture and sautee for 4 minutes.

Add the fresh coriander, curry leaves and cream. Mix well and place in a baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake for about an hour.

Skim off the extra fat carefully (sometimes using kitchen rolls helps).

Serve with warmed buttered naan bread or cumin rice – If you are like me you’ll have both.

About Carla

Carla Spuri has written 34 posts on this blog.

I'm practical, I have a seriously mixed up cultural background and I love food.

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  1. This sounds wonderful. I’m a real sucker for curry recipes at the moment, I’ll give it a whirl!

    • Hey there. I tried this out – check the results here

  2. yep, I too love a good curry recipe and this sure looks like one. Butter Chicken is amazing! scrum!

  3. There are so many wonderful variations of this recipe out there. This one is next on my todo list. Do they have naan in Kenya, too?


  1. butter chicken « grubblog - [...] the luscious photography and easygoing style. Last week a tantalising curry passed my RSS: butter chicken. Going a little curry gung-ho ...

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