Iron Chef Shellie

Jimmy’s Butter Chicken

“So I’ve dug out some pictures from months ago as I’ve been absolutely swamped at work this week. I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed out as I have been, but luckily the week is almost over (at about 2pm on Saturday I can enjoy a reduced weekend). But enough complaining and more food!...”

Recipes | January 20, 2011
Curry Rice and Naan
Jimmy’s Butter Chicken

Jimmy’s Butter Chicken

So I’ve dug out some pictures from months ago as I’ve been absolutely swamped at work this week. I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed out as I have been, but luckily the week is almost over (at about 2pm on Saturday I can enjoy a reduced weekend). But enough complaining and more food! … actually I won’t stop with the complaining as we didn’t really like this butter chicken recipe from Jimmy; Masterchef 2’s curry king.


I first saw the recipe on Ellie’s blog, and she seemed to like it. She did a good job of making it look really good (as usual!). I had told my friend Miss A I was going to make it and she said her mum had made it for family and it wasn’t all that fantastic. She said it had too much onion and didn’t seem as creamy as the butter chicken’s we are used to.

So with hearing that, I halved the quantity of onions, but even then it still seemed like too much. I added a bit too much mintm so it was a bit minty, which wasn’t overly a bad thing. But it was runny, and the flavours not exactly what we are used to.

Alas, I shall give plenty more attempts at finding the perfect butter chicken recipe; for now, the butter chicken in a bucket from Costco is our favourite.

Butter Chicken

Jimmy Seervai

140 g (1/2 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
3 cm piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp garam masala
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, to grease
1/4 cup roughly chopped coriander, plus extra leaves, to serve
800 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3 cm-wide strips
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 onions , thinly sliced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
2 long red chillies, seeded, finely chopped
260 g (1 cup) passata (sieved pureed tomatoes)
300 ml pouring cream
1 bunch mint, leaves picked, finely chopped
Basmati rice and pappadams, to serve

1. Combine yoghurt, ginger, garlic, 1 tbsp garam masala, lemon juice, oil and half the coriander in a large bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

2.Preheat a lightly greased barbecue or chargrill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and cook, in 2 batches, turning for 6 minutes or until almost cooked through.

3. Heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions, turmeric, tomato paste, chillies and remaining garam masala, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add passata and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly. Reduce heat to low, add cream, mint and remaining coriander, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Scatter with extra coriander and serve with rice and pappadams.

Serves 4.


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Jimmy’s Butter Chicken

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21 comments on “Jimmy’s Butter Chicken
  1. Bri - January 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    It’s always disappointing when a recipe doesn’t turn out as good as you hoped it would!
    Did you ever get around to trying my recipe that you commented on last year? If you did and didn’t like it I won’t be offended – but if you haven’t tried it yet, I still completely recommend it! :)

    • Iron Chef Shellie - January 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      No not yet! That will be my next one to try! I think I forgot about that one! Thanks for the reminder 😀 x

  2. msihua - January 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Oh that’s dissapointing! My favourite Butter Chicken recipe is from a packet.. and then we add on to it! I think it’s one of those ayam brand/home cuisine things.. really yum!

  3. Mez - January 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Such a shame it didn’t turn out the way you wanted, it still photographed well!! I want H to design a Butter Chicken, I’m going to ask him to!!!!!!!

  4. ProChef360 - January 21, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Butter chicken is my favorite dish of all time:)

    I will give this version a whirl and let you know how I got along.


  5. marcellina - January 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I was excited to open this posst when I saw it was butter chicken. I’m looking for a great butter chicken recipe. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out how you expected. I’m going to take your word for it and keep looking!

  6. penny aka jeroxie - January 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I am not really a fan of butter chicken. It is way too heavy for me. but what I do love are the photos 😀

  7. Hannah - January 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Growing up in a family with dairy allergies, butter chicken is never something we ordered at our local Indian place. I still think I can safely say this looks mighty tasty, though! :)

  8. Libby - January 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    That sucks that Jimmy’s butter chicken didn’t taste as good as it looks… :(

    Haha my friend also loves Costco’s butter chicken.

  9. Michelle - January 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I love butter chicken during winters. :) Comfort food. :)

  10. GourmetGetaways - January 23, 2011 at 7:08 am

    What a shame! I thought his curries would be the best!!

    You certainly made it look delicious though. Did you make the naan bread?? I would love your recipe it looks so fluffy!

    I made Jimmys White Chocolate Chai Creme Brulee but found that I had to make it a second time to adjust the spices. He really didn’t have alot of Chai flavour in his recipe. The recipe I posted was amazing.

    If you find a creamy, lemony Lamb Korma recipe I would love to see it. I can’t match the one at my local Indian Restaurant and I would love the recipe.

    • Iron Chef Shellie - January 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

      I didn’t make the naan, it’s garlic naan from Costco. It’s rather good, and better than the supermarket stuff :)

      mmm i like the sound of a creamy, lemony lamb korma, shall keep my eyes peeled for ya! x

  11. foodie and the chef - January 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I’m so surprised – obviously his recipes don’t translate well… The photos look delish though 😉

  12. angie - January 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Shame when recipes don’t quite work out as you hope! You go through all that hard work to cook a meal to be disappointed when eating in. Hope you find a better butter chicken recipe! =)

  13. Susan - January 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I made this recipe a while ago and actually thought it was really bland. I saw it on the same blog and thought I would try it cause she said it was really good, but I didn’t think it was very good at all. Glad to see someone else thought the same!

  14. photo-copy - February 2, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I made it, tweeked it a little and it was fab.

    The tweeks: I did use 2 onions! I’ve added 2 cups of greek yoghurt, and one small cup of almonds. I didn’t use the mint, but fenugreek seeds and I was lucky enough to find some ‘Butter Chicken Marsala’. And the ghee is absolutely necessary.

    And I made the naan myself. 😉

  15. lina - November 26, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Not sure where you got that recipe from, but its not the same one iv got from the masterchef website… jimmys butter chicken is awesome and different from the one you have…here is the link

    try this version out and i think you will love it!

    • Iron Chef Shellie - November 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      This recipe was from Masterchef Magazine when he was on the show. The one on the website is most likely the recipe he used when he was on a masterclass this year.

  16. Jodie - December 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    You’re right, the one on the website is from his masterclass and is very different from the one you have here. More involved, different ingredients, but well worth the effort. I’ve searched for a long time for what I consider the perfect butter chicken and believe I’ve found it with Jimmy’s second recipe. Well worth a try, I’d definitely give it a go if as you say, you are after the perfect butter chicken as well. The herbs and spices are available through Herbies if you can’t find them anywhere else.

Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site by Shellie Froidevaux, otherwise known as Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography across Australia, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients, recipe development with love and photography workshops for people with discerning tastes :)

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