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Butter chicken recipe | Indian butter chicken recipe | Murgh makhani recipe

Butter chicken recipe – Learn how to make butter chicken at home with the help of these step by step photos. Punjabi murgh makhani known as Indian butter chicken has gained much popularity across the globe. Paired with naan or kulcha is a delight which most Indians love during their restaurant visits. I have made this countless number of times since kids have a special liking towards it as it is not very hot and spicy like the typical South Indian chicken curry.

What is Butter chicken?
Chunks of grilled chicken (tandoori chicken) cooked in a smooth buttery & creamy tomato based gravy is known as Butter chicken or murgh makhani. It was invented by Kundan lal Gujral, who was the owner of a popular restaurant named Moti Mahal in Delhi. The restaurant which had large orders of tandoori chicken throughout the day would typically end up with lot of leftovers which were turned into this amazing rich gravy the next day.

To make an authentic butter chicken recipe, we need to grill the chicken either in a pan, tandoor or oven first and then cook it up in the rich gravy. The recipe shared in this post is an authentic one, except grilling in tandoor. Not every one of us would be able to grill chicken in a tandoor or in a oven, so for this post I have done it in a pan. If possible you can follow the dungar method to smoke the chicken once it is roasted on a pan.

Butter chicken recipe card

Butter chicken recipe | Indian butter chicken recipe | Murgh makhani recipe


Prep time -> 4 hours
Cook time -> 30 mins
Total time -> 4 hours 30 mins

India's most popular creamy and unique tasting punjabi murgh makhani recipe (butter chicken)

Ingredients (240 ml cup used)

First marination
  • 450 grams to ½ kg chicken (or 1 lb.) (bone-in or boneless)
  • ¾ tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Red chili powder/ paprika
Second marination
  • ¾ tsp. kasuri methi crushed or powdered dried fenugreek leaves
  • ⅛ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ to ¾ tsp. garam masala powder
  • ¾ tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • ½ cup thick curd/ hung yogurt (or greek yogurt, refer notes)
Makhani masala (gravy)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • One thin 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • Generous pinch of methi powder (fenugreek seeds powder)(optional)
  • 1 to 2 green chilies slit
  • 4 large tomatoes (pureed in the blender and filtered to remove skin and seeds) or tinned puree as needed
  • 1 tsp red chili powder / paprika (adjust to suit your taste and color)
  • 10 cashew nuts or blanched soaked almonds (refer notes)
  • ½ to ¾ tsp. garam masala powder
  • ½ tbsp. kasuri methi crushed or powdered dried fenugreek leaves
  • ¼ tbsp. sugar
  • salt as needed
  • 80 to 100 ml chilled cream (refer the notes)
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
How to make the recipe

  1. Please follow the preparation work mentioned below before the step by step instructions. Wash chicken under running water and pat dry. Marinate with lemon juice, chili powder and salt for 20 minutes.
  2. Marinate chicken from step 1 with yogurt, kasuri methi, oil, turmeric, ginger garlic paste, and garam masala powder. Refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours, overnight works best.
  3. Grill the chicken in an oven or stove top. For stove top method, Add one tsp. butter and add the marinade. Fry on high flame till all the moisture evaporates. Keep stirring constantly to prevent burning. Cook till it is cooked. Transfer this to a plate and set aside. To grill it in oven, preheat the oven to 240 C for atleast 20 mins. Grill it until the meat is cooked well. It may take about 20 to 30 mins depending on the size of your chicken chunks.
Making butter chicken
  1. Heat a pan with butter, add dry spices and fry for a min or two. Add ginger garlic paste, green chilies and fry till it turns fragrant.
  2. To the pan, add the tomato puree, red chili powder, sugar and salt. Mix and cook until the tomato puree becomes thick and begins to leave the sides of the pan
  3. Pour 1 cup water and add methi powder, cashew or almond paste or almond milk. Adjust the water to suit your desired consistency
  4. Bring the mix to a boil and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Add kasuri methi and garam masala now, or add at a later step for the best aroma
  5. Add chicken and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes till it becomes soft and tender.
  6. Add garam masala, kasuri methi. Stir and simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour chilled cream and switch off the stove.
  7. Garnish punjabi murgh makhani with coriander leaves and extra cream if desired.

Curd/yogurt: If you do not have hung curd or greek yogurt, you can use thick yogurt too, but the cooking time takes a little longer.

If you do not have almonds, you could use 10 cashew nuts or 1 ½ tbsp. magaz seeds

cream: If you don’t want to use heavy cream, you can go ahead using nestle thick cream that is used for deserts, but do not cook for long after you add to the gravy. Chill the cream and add it to the gravy and switch off the stove otherwise the gravy could look curdled.or Take a small amount of hot gravy and add it to the cream and stir well. Then add the cream to the pan. This also helps to prevent curdling the cream.

Nutrition Information

Calories:  409 Fat:  34g Saturated fat:  15g Carbohydrates:  7g Sugar:  4g Sodium:  358mg Fiber:  1g Protein:  16g Cholesterol:  116mg




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