Butter chicken pot pies with naan lids

Turn the family's favourite curry into a pie.
Turn the family's favourite curry into a pie. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Butter chicken is often labour-intensive but this version couldn't be easier. Pick up some fresh naan bread from your local Indian takeaway on the way home from work and this is the ultimate midweek meal. Source fresh naan for the best result – crunchy on top, soft in the middle before giving way to a base dripping with sauce. This makes more sauce than you need but you can freeze half of it for another need-a-curry-in-a-hurry emergency, and throw in some chicken or paneer.


400g tin finely chopped tomatoes

3 tbsp tomato paste

6 garlic cloves, minced

1½ tbsp freshly grated ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

3 tsp garam masala

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp fenugreek leaves, finely chopped

500g chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces

120g butter

½ cup cashew nuts, finely ground using a food processor

½ cup cream

½ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

1-2 fresh naan breads


1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, ginger and all the spices to a casserole dish. Place the chicken pieces on top of the sauce. Cover tightly and place in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the chicken has just cooked.

3. Remove the dish from the oven, carefully remove the chicken pieces and set them aside. Using a stick blender, blend the cooking liquid to a smooth sauce. Let cool for several minutes before adding the butter, ground cashew nuts, cream and coriander. Blitz again briefly. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove half the sauce and freeze for another occasion.

4. Return the chicken pieces to the remaining sauce in the dish. Stir gently to combine and season generously with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among six one-cup capacity ramekins.

5. Cut the naan bread into circles to fit the top of the ramekins. Press down gently then place in the oven and for 15 minutes until the naan lids are crisp (watch them to ensure they don't burn) and the chicken mixture has thickened and reduced slightly. Serve piping hot.

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