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Indian Butter Chicken
with cauliflower & green peas and basmati rice

Active: 20 min Total: 30 min
Butter chicken is also known as chicken makhani and if you don't eat a lot of Indian food, this is a great 'entry-level' dish. Very people can resist tomatoes and cream, and the Indian part comes from our choice of spices, which you're welcome to experiment with as much as your adventurous self desires!


Indian Butter Chicken:
  • Garlic - 3 cloves , minced
  • Onion - 1 , chopped
  • Cauliflower - 1 head , chopped
  • Cilantro - 1/4 bunch , chopped
  • Chicken thighs - 1 1/2 lbs , chopped
  • Coriander - 4 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1 Tbsp
  • Ginger - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Ghee / butter - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
  • Half and half - 1/2 cup
  • Green peas - 2 cups
Basmati Rice:
  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Ghee / butter - 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin seeds (optional) - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 Tbsp


  1. Rice - Rinse until clear. Heat a saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ghee / butter and then cumin seeds to melted fat (if not using cumin seeds, just add rice). Toast for about 1 minute and then add rice. Toast rice in the fat and then add in turmeric, some salt, and 1 1/2 cups (353 ml) of water for every cup of rice. Stir and then cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water, ~15 to 20 minutes. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Garlic / Onions / Cauliflower / Cilantro - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Chicken - Chop and then season and tenderize with a fork.
  4. Spices for chicken - Combine coriander, garam masala, ginger, and turmeric in a small bowl.

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  1. Heat a >5 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs. (15 ml) ghee / butter and then chicken to melted fat. Saute until golden, ~3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside (chicken doesn't need to be done cooking at this point).
  2. Return pan back to heat and add in remaining tablespoon of ghee / butter. Add garlic to melted fat. Once you can smell the garlic, add in onions with a dash of salt. Saute until softened and translucent, ~3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add in cauliflower and then spices. Saute for another minute or two before pouring in tomatoes and half and half. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in chicken and then cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until everything is cooked through. Toss in green peas and cook until warmed, ~1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and more spices. Reheat rice if needed and enjoy chicken with rice and chopped cilantro.



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