Butter Chicken - West Side Beef

Butter Chicken

One of the most widely interpreted, and misinterpreted, dishes to ever leave the indian subcontinent has to be Butter Chicken. To many, this is the perfect point of entry to Punjabi food and the wonderful universe of South Asian cuisine.

How lucky are we that we can easily enjoy this satisfying mildly to medium spiced curry (i.e. sauce) here in Toronto. How lucky are we, that we get the opportunity to borrow from the many cultures present in Canada to make our dining room an exciting place of continuous wonder and flavour. Take the time to buy the extra ingredients. It certainly isn’t as complicated as it may appear. Make sure you don’t rush the simmering of this stew, and if possible, like so many other braises, stews, and soups, make it ahead if you can for maximum enjoyment.


Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 WSB chicken legs, bone in
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1Tbsp Garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cumin, ground
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice


  • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 250g onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, whole
  • 1 tsp  cinnamon, ground or half of one stick
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds, whole
  • 100g tomato, diced
  • 1 Tbsp, long red chili, minced
  • ½ cup, WSB chicken stock, warm
  • ¾ cup 35% cream, warm
  • 1 tsp, tomato paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Mix spices, lemon juice and yogurt together and cover chicken. Marinate up to 24 hrs in advance.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt butter in oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin and mustard seeds and cook until the onions just start to caramelize and the spices become fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chilies and a good pinch of salt. Cook until the tomato starts to soften, about 7 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken as well as the marinade and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cream and tomato paste and cook until the chicken is tender enough to cut with a fork, about 20 more minutes.  Adjust seasoning.
  7. Serve over steamed basmati rice and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Keep in touch!

Get monthly news direct to your inbox by signing up to the West Side Beef newsletter.