Butter Chicken Recipe

Butter Chicken Recipe

50 min
2-3 People
60 min



Ah, Butter Chicken! Just the name brings back a flood of memories from my childhood. I vividly recall the tantalizing aroma wafting from the kitchen as my mother lovingly prepared this iconic dish. It was a special treat reserved for birthdays and family gatherings, a culinary masterpiece that never failed to captivate our taste buds.


The first time I tasted Butter Chicken was a revelation. The creamy tomato-based sauce, infused with aromatic spices and tender pieces of chicken, left me utterly spellbound. From that moment on, I was hooked. Over the years, I've experimented with various recipes, each time trying to recreate the magic of that unforgettable flavor profile.




Recipe of Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)




For Makhni Gravy:

  • 2 cups Tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup sliced Onions
  • Water
  • 2-3 Green Chillies, slit into pieces
  • 2-3 Black Cardamoms
  • 2-3 Green Cardamoms
  • Few cloves
  • 1 Mace
  • 2 Kashmiri Red Chillies
  • 1/2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 small piece Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chopped Garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped Ginger
  • 2-3 Coriander stems
  • 1/2 cup Cashews

For Chicken Tikka Marination:

  • 5-6 Chicken breast pieces
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste

For Yogurt Mixture:

  • 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp Hung Yogurt

For Butter Chicken Gravy:

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Degi Red Chilli Powder
  • Makhni Gravy
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Ginger Juliennes
  • 2 tbsp Cream
  • Tikka Chicken Pieces
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves
  • 2 tsp Kasuri Methi Powder
  • A pinch of Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 tsp Honey

To garnish:

  • Cream
  • Coriander Leaves
  • Butter





For Makhni Gravy:

  1. In a pan, add water and all the Makhni Gravy ingredients.
  2. Cover and cook on low flame until tomatoes are soft.
  3. Add cashews and boil for some time.
  4. Remove whole spices, then blend the mixture with a hand blender.
  5. Strain the mixture through a sieve and set aside.

For Chicken Tikka Marination:

  1. Mix all the marination ingredients with the chicken and marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Prepare the yogurt mixture for the tikka by combining mustard oil, spices, and hung yogurt.
  3. Coat the marinated chicken with the yogurt mixture and let it marinate for another hour.
  4. Roast the marinated chicken in the oven at 180°C for 13-15 minutes.

For Butter Chicken Gravy:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add ginger-garlic paste and red chilli powder.
  2. Stir and add the strained Makhni Gravy.
  3. Add butter, salt, ginger juliennes, cream, and chicken. Mix well.
  4. Add coriander leaves, kasuri methi powder, garam masala, and honey. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Boil the gravy for a few minutes.
  6. Serve the hot and delicious butter chicken, garnished with cream, coriander leaves, and butter.


Enjoy your flavorful Butter Chicken with naan or rice!




About the Recipe:


Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a classic Indian dish that originated in the kitchens of Delhi. It features succulent pieces of chicken marinated in a spiced yogurt mixture, cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce enriched with butter and cream.


To prepare Butter Chicken, tender chunks of chicken are marinated in a blend of yogurt, lemon juice, and a mix of spices such as garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder. The marinated chicken is then grilled or pan-fried until golden brown and cooked through.


The sauce is made by sautéing onions, garlic, ginger, and spices in butter until fragrant, then adding pureed tomatoes and simmering until thickened. Cream is added to the sauce to create a rich and velvety texture, and the grilled chicken pieces are stirred in, allowing them to soak up the flavors of the sauce.


Butter Chicken is typically garnished with fresh coriander leaves and served with naan bread or rice, making it a comforting and indulgent meal that's perfect for special occasions or cozy dinners at home.



Cooking Tips:


  1. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.
  2. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the juiciest and most flavorful results.
  3. Adjust the spice level according to your preference by adding more or less chili powder.
  4. For a healthier version, you can use Greek yogurt and reduce the amount of butter and cream.
  5. Garnish with a drizzle of fresh cream and a sprinkle of garam masala before serving for an extra burst of flavor.



Pairing Guide:


Butter Chicken pairs beautifully with fragrant basmati rice or warm, fluffy naan bread. For a complete meal, serve it alongside a crisp green salad or steamed vegetables. To complement the rich and creamy flavors of the dish, pair it with a refreshing cucumber raita or tangy mango chutney.




Frequently Asked Questions:


  1. Q: Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs for Butter Chicken? A: Yes, you can use chicken breast if you prefer, but thighs tend to be more flavorful and juicy.

  2. Q: Is Butter Chicken spicy? A: The level of spiciness can be adjusted to taste by controlling the amount of chili powder used in the recipe.

  3. Q: Can I make Butter Chicken ahead of time and reheat it? A: Yes, Butter Chicken tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Simply reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

  4. Q: Can I substitute heavy cream with coconut milk for a dairy-free version? A: Yes, you can use coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative to heavy cream. It will impart a slightly different flavor but still be delicious.

  5. Q: How long does it take to cook Butter Chicken? A: The cooking time for Butter Chicken is approximately 30-40 minutes, excluding marination time.

  6. Q: Can I freeze Butter Chicken? A: Yes, Butter Chicken freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container and freezing for up to 3 months.

  7. Q: What's the difference between Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala? A: Butter Chicken has a creamy tomato-based sauce, while Chicken Tikka Masala features a spicier, yogurt-based sauce.

  8. Q: Can I make Butter Chicken in a slow cooker? A: Yes, you can cook Butter Chicken in a slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low heat for tender, flavorful results.

  9. Q: What can I substitute for garam masala if I don't have it? A: You can make a homemade garam masala substitute by combining equal parts ground cumin, coriander, and cardamom.

  10. Q: Can I make Butter Chicken without marinating the chicken? A: While marinating the chicken enhances the flavor and tenderness, you can still make Butter Chicken without marinating if you're short on time.