Recipe: Butter Chicken

Autumn is a season of cold nights and comfort food. In our opinion, nothing says ‘comfort food’ quite like a hot bowl of butter chicken. While we’re well aware of the stigma of butter chicken being a cop-out curry, you can’t deny that it is pretty damn tasty. So the Pear and Ivy team decided to let you all in on our favourite recipe for butter chicken. This recipe can be adjusted to suit dairy-free/vegetarian diets.


  • 2-3 diced chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Spices (Turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, curry powder, chilli powder)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced garlic clove/1 tsp. of garlic paste
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (you can also use 1 cup of Greek yoghurt)
  • OPTIONAL: tandoori paste
  • OPTIONAL: a dash of lime juice
  • OPTIONAL: Instead of using ground ginger powder, you may want to be fancy and use freshly grated ginger

Dice the chicken breasts and put them into a large bowl. Pour olive oil over the top of the chicken and scatter a generous layer of spice (turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, et cetera) over the top. Combine them all together until your kitchen is filled with a pleasant, exotic aroma. You’ll then need to cover the bowl with a large plate or a sheet of cling wrap, and then place the spicy raw chicken in the fridge to marinate for a few hours.


While the chicken is marinating, dice the onion and the garlic (or cheat by using garlic paste) and place them into a large pan with a generous splash of olive oil. Heat the onions and garlic on a medium temperature until the onions are golden brown. Then add the chicken. Cook the chicken and then add your tomato paste. Feel free to add more spices and tandoori paste according to taste (We’re a poet and we didn’t know it!).

Let everything simmer for a little while and then pour in the coconut milk. You can also add the dash of lime juice if you like. Heat the curry over a very low heat for about 10-20 minutes. While your curry is simmering away, you can prepare your rice. Health nuts may want to use diced cauliflower instead of eating rice, but the team at Pear and Ivy have been proudly pro-carbs since 1997. There are people who eat their curry with rice and there are people that are wrong.

Once the rice is ready, serve your dinner and post a photo of it onto Instagram. Use #pearandivy so we can see what you create. Scattering parsley over the top of your curry is perfect for that extra-photogenic touch, but you can also just devour it heartily and skip taking a photo. Whatever floats your boat. This is a recipe that could feed 3-5 people (depending on how much chicken you use) or it could feed 3-5,000 people if you’re Jesus.


If you would like us to post more of our favourite recipes or share the secret to the meaning of life, let us know with a cheeky comment on Facebook.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x


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