Chef Heidi Fink’s Butter Chicken
Recipe by Chef Heidi Fink
Heidi Fink

Chef Heidi Fink’s Butter Chicken

  • Prep time 30 mins
  • Cook time 30 mins
  • Ready in 1 hour
  • Yield Serves 6

This is one of my most famous recipes! Making your own spice mixes and “cooking out” the spices & aromatics properly makes all the difference. A super delicious, family-friendly chicken curry!


  • Dry Spice Mix
  • Wet Spice Mix
  • Butter Chicken Sauce


NOTE: Try serving this recipe with homemade naan.

  1. Make the dry spice mix: mix together the cumin, turmeric, paprika, garam masala and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Make the wet spice mix: combine the jalapenos, garlic, and ginger in a food processor, mini chopper or blender and process until very finely chopped. If using a blender, you will need to add a bit of water and that is fine. Alternatively, fnely mice everythng by hand. Scrape the wet spice mix into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. To make the sauce: Have everything chopped and ready before you start cooking. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds. When they start to smell fragrant, about 10 seconds, add the diced onion and the butter. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are cooked through and starting to brown, about 7 minutes.
  4. Now add the wet spice mix. Sauté, stirring frequently, for about 1  to 2 minutes, until fragrant but not burnt. (If you needed to add water your wet spice mix, you will ned to cook this longer, until the water evaporates and the wet spice mix sautes)
  5. Add the dry spice mix and stir mix thoroughly, about 15 seconds. Immediately add the canned tomatoes and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil separates and pools on the surface, at least 5 minutes. Add a bit of water, as necessary, to help this process. Once the oil has separated, simmer and stir about 2 minutes more to “cook out” the curry spices properly.
  6. Now add the yogurt and the prepared chicken and stir well. You may need to add ½ cup of water or chicken stock if the sauce is too dry, but be careful not too add too much – the chicken will give off some juice as they cook. Turn the heat to medium-low or low and gently cook the chicken for about 5 to 6 minutes, until chicken is cooked through (break open a piece to make sure it’s cooked through).
  7. Add the whipping cream; stir to combine. Let simmer, very gently for 1 to 2 minutes more. Taste to adjust seasoning. Fold in garam masala and chopped cilantro and serve immediately, with rice.




  1. Make the recipe as above, substituting boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut bite-sized, for the boneless skinless breasts. Increase the cooking time of the chicken from 6 minutes to about 12 to 15 minutes.

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