Maneesh Goyal's India House Butter Chicken Recipe - Exclusive

If you're searching a Diwali showstopper, this famed India House butter chicken will not disappoint. Maneesh Goyal, owner of the Desi hotspot Sona in Manhattan, shares the recipe as an homage to his father, who opened India House in the '70s shortly after immigrating to Dallas, Texas. The restaurant was the first introduction to Indian food for many Texans, and the butter chicken was a best seller — so much so that it's also a fixture at Sona. 

Goyal explains that this meal is a fan favorite because of its "gorgeous color," "tender perfectly cooked chicken," and a sauce that's "perfectly savory with just a little bit of sweetness." That balanced flavor is thanks to plenty of aromatic ingredients like ginger, garlic, cardamom, garam masala, and fenugreek. 

While sharing the dish with Tasting Table, Goyal looked back on some of his memories of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that typically falls sometime in late fall. "My parents would decorate our house ... with what you could consider to be Christmas lights," he said. "All the neighborhood families would just think that we were starting to celebrate Christmas a little too early. My parents felt such pride and joy explaining the meaning behind the lights and Diwali." That celebration of their culture was also reflected in their food, as butter chicken became a beloved dish at India House. Now, you can bring that history and depth of flavor to your own dinner table.

Maneesh Goyal's India House Butter Chicken Recipe - Exclusive
5 from 37 ratings
This irresistible butter chicken recipe, adapted from Sona owner Maneesh Goyal and inspired by a fan favorite at his dad's India House, is perfect for Diwali.
Prep Time
Cook Time
India House Butter Chicken in bowl
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • 1 pound boneless chicken (white or dark meat, dark meat preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon mace powder
  • 3 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (such as olive, canola, or vegetable)
  • 1 cup cashew paste
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
  1. Cut up chicken into 1-inch cubes. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
  2. Add tomato paste, ginger garlic paste, ground cardamom, mace powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and turmeric powder to the chicken cubes. Mix it all and keep it for 30 minutes.
  3. Grill the marinated chicken, until it's almost fully cooked (about 8 minutes, turning halfway).
  4. Heat cooking oil in a large skillet on low heat.
  5. Add cashew paste, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, honey, and heavy cream. Cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally.
  6. Add the grilled chicken to the sauce and cook it for another 15 minutes.
  7. Season with dried fenugreek leaves. Serve over basmati rice.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Calories per Serving 1,421
Total Fat 130.6 g
Saturated Fat 64.6 g
Trans Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 341.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.5 g
Dietary Fiber 8.0 g
Total Sugars 15.7 g
Sodium 930.6 mg
Protein 35.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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