The butter chicken challenge

There is a small restaurant in Amsterdam that servers the best butter chicken I ever had. I became obsessed with this dish from the first moment I tried it. I have ordered it from many restaurants in The Hague, where I live, but they were no match.

What I'm looking for is a velvety, creamy, smooth sauce; a proper combination of spices, and a slight smoky flavor on the chicken.

One day I challenged myself to cook this recipe from scratch. I checked online for recipes, blogs, videos, and several cooking books. I took my time to analyze all this information, chose a recipe as a starting point, applied a personal touch, and got fantastic results. My butter chicken a-la Yessica.


Serves 4

For the chicken

  • 500 g Chicken breast boneless and cut into chunks.
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste, or fresh ginger.
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Oil to pan fry.

For the gravy

  • 500 g organic canned or even better fresh tomatoes.
  • 100 g onions, cut in rough chunks.
  • 3 garlic cloves.
  • 100 g of cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 5 hours.
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala.
  • 3 tbsp sugar.
  • 1 tbsp chili powder.
  • 5 tbsp butter.
  • 3 tbsp fresh cream.
  • 1.5 tbsp White Vinegar.
  • Salt to taste.


  1. Marinate the chicken with ginger paste, garlic cloves, chili powder and salt and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. In a pan, heat oil, and fry the marinated chicken pieces. Once done, move into a bowl.
  3. In the same pan add onion, oil, and a spoonful of butter.
  4. Once the onions have cooked, add tomatoes and cashew nuts.
  5. Add water, garlic paste, salt, malt vinegar, sugar, garam masala powder and chili powder.
  6. Mix until homogeneous and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Churn the mixture into a fine puree.
  8. Strain into the same pan to minimize waste.
  9. Add butter, cream, chicken, and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Enjoy with white rice or nan bread while still hot!