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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Butter Chicken | Murg Makhani

Butter Chicken ~ Murg Makhani
Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken
Murg Makhani

Butter Chicken is a tomato based, mildly spiced gravy cooked with lots and lots of butter. You will find thousands of variations in the recipe, but the most common ingredients being tomatoes, butter, and cream.  It is equally popular in India as well as other countries which makes an international delicacy. 

Butter Chicken is similar to Chicken Tikka Masala, but the spices used in this is much less and without any onion. It goes well with naan, roti or bread rather than rice because of its thick consistency. 

Butter Chicken ~ Murg Makhani
Murg Makhani
 One thing I want to mention about Butter Chicken is that there is hardly any leftovers of this curry, even if it is made in more quantity.  And while you indulge in it, you get fully wrapped up in the creamy tomato sauce with aromatic whole spices and kasoori methi. Grilled chicken gives it a rustic barbeque flavor making it a classic 'Murg Makhani'.

Butter Chicken
Murg Makhani ~ Butter Chicken

You can watch a quick video here

Butter Chicken | Murg Makhani

Grilled chicken cooked in mildly spiced tomato and cream based sauce and butter. A very popular North Indian curry served with naan or rice which makes an ideal main course dish.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Marinating time: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes + 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes
1 cup = 250 ml capacity
Serves 5


For the grilled chicken: (Marinate chicken with these ingredients for 1 hour)
500 grams boneless chicken cut into small bite size pieces
2 tablespoon yogurt
1 teaspoon ginger & garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil/mustard oil

For gravy:
6 medium tomatoes
4 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 green chilies chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 tablespoon kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
10 cashew nuts
2 tablespoon yogurt
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

For Tadka:
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon kasoori methi

For garnish:
1 tablespoon cream
1 tablespoon butter
Chopped coriander leaves


Grilled Chicken - Cook the marinated chicken in a preheated oven (250 degrees C for 20 minutes) or simply cook the pieces in a pan till done. Reserve the juices released while cooking the chicken which will be added to the gravy.

Butter Chicken Gravy - Heat 4 tablespoon butter in a saucepan along with 2 tablespoons chopped garlic. When it slightly changes color add tomatoes, 2 green chilies, 1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, 2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 tablespoon kasoori methi, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder, 10 cashew nuts, 2 tablespoons thick yogurt whisked, 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves, and sugar. Place the lid and cook on low flame for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are fully dissolved and everything is well cooked. Cool the tomato mixture and grind to a smooth paste.

For Tadka -
 In the same saucepan add 2 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon kasoori methi. Fry for 1 minute and then add the tomato mixture paste from the grinder. Then add grilled chicken along with its juices/water and salt if needed. Stir well and let it cook for 2 minutes. Add cream, chopped coriander leaves, and more butter if needed. Serve hot by garnishing again with cream and chopped coriander leaves.

Butter Chicken (Old version)

Murg Makhani
Butter Chicken


For Chicken Preparation:

800 gms boneless chicken (or chicken with bone)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp ginger paste & 1 tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp red chili powder
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of red food color

For the gravy:

4 large tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped garlic (5 cloves if big size, 10 if small)
1 green chili
1 tbsp red chili powder ( or according to your taste)
2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp tikka masala powder (any brand)
1 tbsp tomato puree ( optional)
2 tbsp thick yogurt whisked 
5 mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/2 cup cream (or less)
1 tsp sugar
6 to 7 cashew nuts
4 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp cooking oil
Salt to taste
Pinch of orange-red food color


  1. Clean and cut chicken pieces into small pieces. In a bowl add chicken, 1/2 cup yogurt,1 tsp ginger paste & 1 tsp garlic paste,1 tbsp red chili powder,1 tsp roasted cumin powder,1/4 tsp garam masala powder,1 tbsp lemon juice, salt, and a pinch of red food color. Marinate for at least 1 hour. You can marinate overnight too.
  2. Chop tomatoes, garlic, mint leaves and coriander leaves.


  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees C. Bake the marinated chicken for 25 minutes or till done. Set aside along with any liquid it has. 
  • Heat 4 tbsp of butter in a saucepan along with 1 tbsp cooking oil. 
  • Add 2 tbsp chopped garlic, when it slightly turns color add tomatoes, 1 green chili,1 tbsp red chili powder, 2 tsp roasted cumin powder, 1 tbsp kasoori methi, 1 tsp black pepper powder, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder, 1 tsp tikka masala powder, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tbsp thick yogurt whisked, 5 mint leaves, 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves and salt. Place the lid and cook on low flame for 10 to 15 minutes. Until tomatoes are fully dissolved and everything is well cooked.
  • Remove the masala from heat and cool. Add 6 cashew nuts and grind to a fine paste. 
  • Pour the gravy paste back to the same saucepan. Heat and bring to a slow boil. While it is boiling add the baked chicken pieces along with the liquid. Add water if needed to adjust the consistency.
  • Finally, add a half cup of whisked cream and 1 tsp sugar and cook on low flame for 2 more minutes. Taste and adjust the salt. 
  • Serve hot with naan or roti. Drizzle more butter and cream while serving.

  • Use boneless thigh pieces for best results.
  • Cut chicken into very small pieces.
  • Whisk the cream well. 
  • Do not overcook the chicken while baking, it has to be soft and juicy.
  • If the gravy becomes too spicy, add more cream.
  • And if u need spicier, just add a green chili and cook. 



  1. my hubby is not a fan of butter chicken but he really liked this recipe and it was easier than the other butter chicken recipes