Harissa Butter Chicken Curry

Harissa Butter Chicken Curry

So my mum found the inspiration recipe for this dish in a trashy magazine whilst at the hairdresser… can’t credit which one as she only tore the corner our. 

Since the first try where I stayed true to the recipe I’ve made it about 10 times, tweaking it each time until I got it just right (cue Goldilocks references)!!

This is such a warming dish and has become a firm favourite in my house (regularly requested on a Sunday evening by the boyf!!) It’s also really simple and easy to make, it uses one pot for the curry (you need an extra one for the rice), so minimal washing up too! BONUS!!

This is by no means a traditional butter chicken (sorry to all traditional hardliners that might be offended it’s even in the name), but it has butter, and chicken, SO THE NAME STAYS!

Give it a whirl and let me know how you get on. The ultimate test will be when my cousin Xav manages to successfully make it and gives it the seal of approval (shakshuka and potato hash have all been certified). 

Harissa Butter Chicken Curry

A gorgeous, warming curry that's easy to make in one pot and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 4
Author: Millie Munch


  • Olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2.5 inches fresh ginger finely sliced
  • 1-2 red chillies depending on your spice tolerance
  • 50 g butter
  • 3 tbsp harissa I use shop bought paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 8 chicken thighs can do skin or no skin, I alternate
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 250 ml single cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • Fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Heat the oil in the pan over a low head and add the onion. Sweat down until soft (usually takes 3-5 minutes).
  • Add in the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook on a low heat for a further 3-5 minutes - until the garlic goes golden and before it turns brown.
  • Add in the butter, the harissa and the spices (garam masala and turmeric) and stir until it forms a thick paste. Add in the chicken and try and coat it in the sauce as much as possible (without flinging it all over the kitchen - which I do regularly).
  • Once the chicken is coated, add in the tomato puree, chicken stock and cream. Cover the pan with a lid and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Once out of the oven, return to the stove over a medium heat to evaporate off some of the water (usually for the time it takes for my rice to cook - about 10 mins).
  • Add in the sugar to taste and stir. It should taste sweet and creamy. I sometimes add in black pepper here if I think it's needed. Once cooked sprinkle some chopped fresh coriander on top.
  • Serve with rice, paratha/naan and a good dollop of natural yoghurt on the side.


If you want to make the yoghurt fancy, add the juice of one lime, a handful of chopped coriander and salt to 250g of natural yoghurt.

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