Gordon Ramsay's butter chicken recipe

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Gordon Ramsay's butter chicken takes under an hour to cook and makes the perfect family-friendly fakeaway for a Friday night.

Gordon Ramsay's butter chicken
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Preparation Time20 mins (plus 3½ hrs chilling time)
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories699 Kcal35%
Sugar11.9 g13%
Fat41.8 g60%
Saturated Fat19.6 g98%
Salt1.49 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein65.8 g132%
Carbohydrates14.3 g6%
Salt1.49 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Gordon Ramsay's butter chicken is easy to cook and can be made ahead and reheated in a matter of minutes. 

Cooking your own curry is a cheaper and healthier way to treat the whole family. Kids can help make the marinade for the chicken and it’s a great way to teach them about different spices. If you’d prefer though, make the curry in the morning or day before and reheat when everything is ready for dinner. We serve the curry with rice but naan or poppadoms are also delicious on the side. 


  • 800g chicken, boneless and skinless, cut into 3-4cm pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
  • 2cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 75ml natural yoghurt
  • ½ tsp garam masala (mixed Indian spices)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil, for brushing

For the sauce:

  • 1½ tbsp ghee or melted, unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2cm ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cardamom pod, seeds lightly crushed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp garam masala (mixed Indian spices)
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp hot chilli powder, or to taste
  • 275ml tomato pure
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 100ml double cream

To serve:

  • 1tbsp chopped coriander, to garnish (optional)




  1. Put the chicken in a bowl with the garlic, ginger, salt, chilli powder and lemon juice. Mix, cover with cling film and chill for 30 mins.
  2. Mix together the yogurt, garam masala, turmeric and cumin and add to the chicken, making sure that each piece is well coated with the mixture. Cover again and chill for 3-4 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Put the marinated chicken pieces on a grill rack set on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 mins. Brush the chicken pieces with a little oil and turn them over. Bake for another 10-12 mins until just cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the ghee or butter in a pan and add the garlic and ginger. Fry for a min or so then add the cardamom, cloves, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder.
  5. Stir well and fry for 1-2 mins until they give off a lovely aroma. Stir in the tomato pure and lemon juice and cook for another couple of mins. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and stir well to coat.
  6. Finally, add the butter and cream and stir continuously until the butter has melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference. Transfer to a warm bowl and serve hot, garnished with the chopped coriander if using.

Watch how to make Gordon Ramsay's butter chicken

Top tips for making Gordon Ramsay’s butter chicken

Natural yogurt and cream help to make this curry milder, but if you don’t like it too hot or you want to ensure it's family-friendly, just use ‘mild’ chilli powder instead of the ‘hot’. Serving the curry with an extra drizzle of cream on top makes a nice presentation and a little added indulgence. 

Is Makhani the same as butter chicken?

Butter chicken is traditionally know as Makhani, originating in Northern India is 1948. This delicious chicken dish was created by Kundan Lal Gujral. The chicken is cooked in a smooth, velvet 'butter gravy' which makes the cuts of chicken used, extra tender and moist. The addition of cream gives the sauce a silky finish. Butter chicken is similar to chicken tikka masala. It is a slightly sweet curry.

What can you serve with butter chicken?

How to store leftover butter chicken

For the best flavour, texture, and quality, butter chicken is best cooked and eaten on the same day. However, if you have leftovers or you want to bulk cook this meal, you can easily freeze leftovers by storing them in an airtight container (freezer safe) for up to three months. Make sure the chicken is completely cooled before putting it in the freezer.

Profile picture of Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

"Gordon doesn't specify breast or thighs in his recipe but thighs are much cheaper. It's very easy to de-bone and skin thighs yourself. You can use the bones for stock and cook the skin in a hot oven to make a delicious snack. Alternatively, use bone-in chicken pieces for the curry, just remember it will take a little longer to cook." 

Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape: 100 of My Favourite Indian Recipes View at Amazon

Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape: 100 of My Favourite Indian Recipes by Gordon Ramsay (Harper Collins, £3.39) - View at Amazon

All the recipes in this book are based on Gordon’s travels around India and were featured in a Channel 4 series. He explains how to correctly and authentically use different spices so you won’t be left with them lurking at the back of your cupboards. 

We have lots more Gordon Ramsay recipes you might like as well as some different chicken breast recipes if you don’t feel like making curry. For more celebrity dinner inspiration, try the Hairy Bikers chicken curry

Gordon Ramsay
Celebrity chef

Gordon Ramsay is a celebrity multi-Michelin starred chef. Born who in Scotland, he has restaurants all over the world including the UK, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States. He’s a proud father-of-five and many of his recipes are particularly suited to if you’re entertaining for your family or a group of friends. He trained with some of the world’s most renowned chefs including Albert Roux, Marco Pierre White and Guy Savoy and opened his first restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, in 1998.

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