Bayleaf Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken, Bayleaf Restaurant

Serves 4-6

This is Bayleaf Chef Gaurav’s special recipe! It requires some extra effort but this delicious dish is definitely worth it!



1kg chicken thigh fillets

1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste

1 teaspoon fresh garlic paste

1 tablespoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Salt, to taste

3 tablespoons natural yoghurt


4 green cardoman pods

3 cloves

3 bay leaves

1kg fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger paste (or 2cm cube fresh ginger, grated)

1 tablespoon fresh garlic paste (or 1 clove of fresh garlic, crushed)

1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon fresh chilli paste (or 1-2 fresh chillies, chopped finely)

1/2 cup fresh cream

50g unsalted butter

salt, to taste

1 1/2 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped

How to

FOR THE MARINADE  Clean the thigh fillets and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
Whisk the yoghurt (otherwise the spices will form lumps,) add all the other ingredients and then put on the chicken and marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Whisk it! Bayleaf Restaurant

Preheat oven to about 180C, grease a baking tray and arrange the marinated chicken. Partially cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes. The chicken should not be pink but not cooked through.
Remove from the oven and set aside.


Heat half the butter, add whole spices, one at a time. When spices crackle, add garlic, ginger and chilli pastes, also one at a time, stirring well after addition of each paste.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook for about 5-10 minutes until tomato softens.
Turn the heat off, let tomatoes cool down and the transfer cooked tomatoes to a blender. Grind to a fine paste and strain using a sieve.

Straining Tomatoes, Bayleaf Restaurant
Transfer the sauce back in a pot and put it on a medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes or until oil appears on the side of the pan which shows that all the spices have been absorbed.
Add turmeric, salt, ground cumin and ground coriander, one at a time. Mix well and cook until oil appears on the top and on the sides.

Add honey, stir well and then add partially cooked chicken. Add the other half of the butter. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

Adding the chicken, Bayleaf Restaurant

Dry roast fenugreek leaves in a pan. Gently rub the leaves between your palms to grind them and add to the sauce.

Dry roasting, fenugreek leaves, Bayleaf Restaurant
Finally add the cream and the other half of the butter, chopped. Mix well.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with paratha and/or steamed rice.

Other info

Prep and cooking time: 1 hour (+ marinating time)