Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Authentic butter chicken recipe slow cooker

Fake Friday night is one thing in our house. Why pay an absolute fortune for a curry chicken to go when you can make a better tasting one yourself? This recipe for slow-cooker butter chicken (or Murgh Makhani in Hindi) regularly appears on our list of fake recipes. Read on to learn how to make the perfect crockpot curry!

Chicken with slow cook butter, samosas, naan and coriander

History of chicken


butter Butter

Butter chicken originates from a restaurant in the Punjab region of northern Pakistan, called Moti Mahal.

When owner Kundan Lal Gujral realized that dried pieces of Tandoori chicken would quickly go to waste without refrigeration, he added them to a fragrant sauce consisting of spices, butter, yogurt, and tomatoes, slowly simmering them.

Butter Chicken was born! It later became popular in Indian restaurants around the world.

Chicken Tikka Masala is a very similar dish, but it was invented in the UK for British tastes. The spice blend used in Chicken Tikka Masala and chicken cooked in a tandoor are what distinguish the two dishes.

OVerhead of Crockpot Butter Chicken, Naan and Coriander

What ingredients do I need?

This clay pot butter chicken recipe is made from ingredients you probably have in the cupboard, which means there’s no special shopping trip. The sauce in our version consists of tomato, yogurt and coconut milk.

The spices

traditionally used in a buttered chicken curry are the following mixtures: Curry


  • : It is a mixture of spices, including cumin, turmeric, coriander, mustard powder, cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne pepper.
  • Chili powder: is another spice blend,

  • consisting of paprika, oregano
  • , cumin, garlic powder and onion powder.

  • Garam Masala: another spice blend, made with black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, coriander seeds, cloves and bay leaves.
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… and then the addition of these individual spices


  • Turmeric, a bright yellow spicy spice, also used as a dye and in medicine!
  • Ginger: A sweet but warm spice, too much and will catch you with its distinctive bite on the back of your throat.
Close-up of slow-cooked butter chicken with cilantro and fresh red chili

Perfect butter chicken curry

If you’re looking for a super tasty but easy to make curry, this is the one you should choose!

Start by sealing the chicken in a pan and transfer it to the slow cooker. Using the same pan, gently fry the onions and garlic. This process will increase the sweetness of onions and your curry!

Process to make Butter Chicken Curry; seal the chicken, fry the onions and put them in a slow cooker

Keep combining the spices, yogurt and coconut milk in a bowl, and mixing it well. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and stir well.

Process to make Butter Chicken Curry; mix the spices, add the yogurt and cream, mix in a slow cooker.

Then all you need to do… is to wait. It will be worth it!

Can I use chicken breasts for chicken with slow cook butter?

People say you should only use chicken thighs as they are tastier and less likely to dry out in the cooking pot due to their higher fat content. Our preference is to use chicken thighs on breast.

However; chicken breast will work great, just be sure to reduce the cooking time accordingly (details on the recipe card below).

Aerial shot of chicken curry with crockpot butter with Naan, samosas and cilantro

Do I need a slow cooker

to make buttered chicken?

The flavor will be better by slowly cooking the recipe (and it’s the traditional way to make buttered chicken), but if you push for time, it will still taste great if you replace slow cooking with 30 minutes of simmering on a countertop.

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If you are using chicken breast, set the chicken aside after burning it and add it again 10 minutes before the end, this will ensure that the chicken stays succulent and does not dry out


Can I freeze leftovers?

It will keep in the freezer for up to three months. You can also store it in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.

Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight and make sure it is very hot to the end before serving. As always with thawed meals, Indian Butter Chicken tastes even better the second time around, as the flavors have had even more time to merge!

This post was originally published in 2014, we updated it in August 2019 with new photos, then even more new photos and a video in February 2020. The recipe is still exactly the same, we wouldn’t dare to change it!

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