Butter Chicken | Murgh Makhani

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Butter Chicken is the most popular chicken recipe with rich & mildly spiced gravy. The recipe is from Punjabi cuisine which is now famous all over the world. Butter chicken has a smoky flavor, tangy taste with combination of curd, cream and other spices.

Chicken pieces are marinated with curd and spices for several hours to make it soft, juicy and tender. Longer you allow the chicken to marinate, juicier and soft the chicken will be. Chicken is then cooked in a tandoor or a grill till brown. These grilled chickens are added to gravy which is spicy and buttery soft. The gravy is prepared with tomato paste, spices and cashew nut paste.

Grilled chicken is added to this gravy and cooked in a slow flame to infuse the spices well into them. The gravy is made rich by adding fresh cream to it. As a variation, you can use onion too in the recipe. You can make onion paste and sauté it well before adding tomato paste.

Butter Chicken was invented by Kundan lal Gujral in his hotel Moti Mahal in Delhi to finish off leftover tandoor chicken. These chickens were mixed with a rich buttery yogurt and tomato based gravies.

Butter chicken can be prepared for any parties or gatherings to be served along with roti, chapathi or rice. You can also prepare the gravy if you have left over grilled chicken pieces.

For more Chicken Gravy and Curry Recipes check: dum chicken gravy, Malabar chicken curry, Punjabi chicken kukkad, chicken ghee roast, chicken shakuti, chicken masala, spicy chilli chicken.

You may also like: chicken dum biryani, Andhra chicken pulav, hariyali chicken kabab, tandoor chicken,Tangdi kababs,hot & spicy garlic chicken,ginger chicken, ginger-garlic chicken.



For Marinating chicken:

½ kg chicken, boneless or with bones

1 cup curd

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala powder


For gravy:

3-4 tbsp butter

1 stick cinnamon

3-4 cloves

3 cardamoms

2 green chillies slit

2 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp garam masala powder

1 tbsp kasuri methi, crushed

5-6 tomatoes

12-15 cashew nuts or almonds

1 tsp sugar


4-5 tbsp fresh cream

Coriander leaves, chopped


  • Wash chicken thoroughly several times until clear. Drain water completely and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl, add curd, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala and salt. Mix well and make a paste. Add cleaned chicken to the spice paste and rub gently to coat it well with the chicken. Cover the bowl with a lid and refrigerate overnight or for at least 3-4 hours.
  • Wash tomatoes and chop them into pieces. In a mixer jar, grind them to paste. Keep this aside.
  • Soak cashew nuts or almonds in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Grind it to smooth paste. You can use either cashew nuts or almonds or a mix of both nuts.
  • Preheat oven at 220 degree celsius for 20 minutes. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Now, take the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature.
  • Place the marinated chicken pieces on the tray and bake at 220 degree celsius for 30-35 minutes. Once done, remove the tray from oven and let it sit for some time.
  • Heat a pan/kadai and add butter. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, green chillies and fry for few seconds.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and sauté well. Add tomato paste and sauté for 3-4 minutes on a medium flame till it thickens.
  • Add red chilli powder, garam masala, 1 cup water and little salt. Also add cashew nut paste. Keep the flame on low and bring to boil. Check for salt and other spices and add if required.
  • Add grilled chicken to the gravy and mix gently. Let the chicken coat well with the gravy. Add water if required to get the consistency you prefer. Let the flame be on low and cook for few more minutes. To the gravy add sugar and crushed kasuri methi.
  • Once done, transfer the prepared butter chicken into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and fresh cream.
  • Serve hot Butter chicken with roti/naan, spiced rice or plain rice.


  • Marinating chicken in curd and spices overnight makes it soft, tender and juicy.
  • Butter chicken is mildly spicy gravy. You can add more or less spices as per your preference.
  • Cook in low flame so that the gravy and chicken incorporate well.
  • If you do not have oven, grill the chicken on a stove top.
  • You can use cashew nuts, almonds or both and make a paste.
  • Add fresh cream on top of the gravy, to make it rich and more tasty.

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Punjabi Butter Chicken Recipes | Murgh Makhani Recipes - IndiRecipes
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