Indian Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani

Butter Chicken is an Indian dish of chicken in a mildly spiced curry sauce and is served both in India and in Indian restaurant worldwide. The dish has its origin in authentic Punjabi cuisine and legend has it that the recipe was created by the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi.


The chicken must be marinated for several hours in a mixture of cream and spices, including: garam masala, ginger, garlic, lemon or lime, pepper, coriander,
cumin, turmeric and chili.

The chicken is usually cooked in a tandoor (traditional clay oven), but may also be grilled, roasted, or pan fried. It is served in a mild curry sauce that includes butter. There are many variations on the composition and spicing of the sauce. which might include; asafoetida, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper and fenugreek.

  • Cream may be used in the sauce or as a garnish.
  • Cashew paste may be used as a thickener.
  • Garnishes can include butter, cream, green chili, coriander, and fenugreek.


  • 1 kg raw chicken

For the Marinade:

  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 kg curd

For the Gravy:

  • 175 gm white butter
  • 1/2 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 1/2 kg tomato, pureed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 100 gm fresh cream
  • 4 green chilis, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed fenugreek leaves


For marinating the chicken

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix red chili powder, ginger, garlic paste, salt and curd.
  2. Add the raw chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well.
  3. Refrigerate overnight (minimum 6 hours)
  4. Roast the marinated chicken in a tandoor or an oven for about 10-12 minutes until it is three-fourth done.

For the chicken gravy

  1. Heat half the quantity of white butter in pan.
  2. Pour in the tomato puree, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cumin seeds, sugar, red chili powder and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add the prepared chicken, white butter, fresh cream, sliced green chilis and crushed fenugreek leaves.
  4. Saute for 3-4 minutes to let the chicken cook through.

Serve hot with rice or naan bread.

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