Spiced Butter Chicken with Garlic, Chilli & Chaat Masala - Aslam Butter Chicken

"I have cooked butter chicken for years and there are over 4 million of you who love my recipe after watching it online. Even though that recipe is an absolute hit, I want to share this alternative butter chicken as it’s a true gem. Amidst the busy narrow streets of Old Delhi is a little shop in the heart of Jama Masjid called Aslam Chicken. The low-key restaurant gives no clues to the robust taste that you are about to delve into. It’s only fitting to celebrate this iconic space with a recipe that I know you will love. This isn’t like a regular butter chicken, although the dish is smothered in an obscene amount of butter!"

Tandoori Home Cooking by Maunika Gowardhan (Hardie Grant, £25) Photography by Issy Croker.
Maunika Gowardhan's butter Chicken recipe step by step 1
Maunika Gowardhan's butter Chicken recipe step by step 2


  • 700 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces melted butter, for basting

For the marinade

For the garam masala

For smoking the chicken (optional)

To assemble


  1. To make the garam masala, heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Add all the spices and dried chillies to the hot pan and toast for 3–4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Once cool, grind the toasted spices in a blender to a fine powder. To make the marinade, add 1 tablespoon of the yoghurt, the garlic, ginger and dried fenugreek leaves to the blender with the garam masala. Blitz to a fine paste.
  3. Put the chicken in a large mixing bowl and add the marinade along with the remaining yoghurt and the vinegar. Season to taste. Mix well to make sure each piece of chicken is coated in the marinade.
  4. Next, smoke the chicken. Create a small well in the middle of the chicken large enough to place a small bowl. Using tongs, heat the coal over a very hot flame. Once hot, carefully put the coal in a small heatproof, non-reactive bowl. While hot, add the cloves and ghee to the bowl. The coal will begin to smoke as you add the ghee. Nestle the small bowl in the well made inside the bowl of chicken. Cover the large bowl and leave for 1 hour to let the smoke infuse the chicken. Remove the small bowl of coal, re-cover the large bowl and leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge overnight.
  5. Put the chaat masala, black salt and chilli powder in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together the soured cream and single (light) cream and set aside.
  6. Preheat the grill (broiler) to a medium heat. Line a baking tray with foil and place a wire rack over the tray.
  7. Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked wooden skewers and place them on the wire rack. Place the tray under the grill and cook for 8 minutes. Baste with butter, turn the skewers and grill for a further 8–9 minutes until the chicken is lightly charred around the edges and cooked through.
  8. Take the chicken off the skewers and serve in a large bowl, topped with chaat masala blend and a splash of cream. Pour over as much or as little melted butter as you like, then stir well. Serve with roti.
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1 comment

  • I would love to make this but the smoking process is scary. Also, we burn smokeless eco fuel. Silly question: would a piece of that work? OK everyone, you can stop sniggering now.

    Pauline LIU-DEVEREUX on

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