Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani)

Butter chicken is an old, famous indian dish, known worldwide and is often referred to as murg (chicken) makhani (butter) in most restaurants' menus. Butter chicken is known for its blend of spices, creamy texture and flavour. It is usually served with plain steamed rice, faratas or naan breads. Since plain steamed rice is more of a commoner in most households, just like in mine, I preferred making faratas to compliment this recipe. The list of ingredients might look intimidating at first, but if you go through the whole of the recipe, you will notice that it is fairly easy to make. However, it will actually take a couple of hours if you want the best out of your chicken!

Happy Cooking!


  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • An Oven
  • A Sauce Pan
  1. For the Marinade
  • 500g / 1lbs chicken cut into pieces
  • 125 ml of plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbs garlic paste
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

    2. For the Sauce
  • 2 tbsp of butter or ghee
  • 1 red onion, cut in slices
  • 1 cup / 225g of tomato paste
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick (~an inch long)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of ground fenugreek seeds
  • ½ cup of double cream (creme fraiche)


Combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours.

After the chilling time, preheat the oven to 300˚F / 175˚C.  Place the marinade in an aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Allow the marinade to cool on a rack. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the cinnamon stick, the cloves and chopped chilli. Slightly open the cardamom pods and add to the saucepan. Let saute for a few mins.

Add the onions and let cook until golden brown in colour. Add the garlic and ginger paste. Mix in the tomato paste, salt and chilli powder.

Add the baked chicken to the sauce pan and allow to cook for about 5-10 minutes or until you feel satisfied with the consistency of the sauce. Finally add the double cream, the honey and the ground fenugreek seeds. Let the gravy blend well  and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

That's it, easy and delicious! Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, serve with hot faratas and you're ready have a glimpse of heaven!

Happy Eating!

  • There are many variations to this recipe. While some may add cumin powder, powdered coriander, curry leaves and ground turmeric amongst others, I've tried to keep this recipe quite close to the original one. You may however want to try adding other ingredients.
  • For the ginger and garlic paste, the ratio is 1:1, but I've reduced the amount of ginger ½ a tsp, since I am not a very big fan of ginger! You can increase the amount if that suits your likings.
  • For the chilling time, you can always refrigerate for a lesser time period, however you might compromise with the taste.
  • Also, when you will add the baked chicken to the sauce, you can throw away the gravy in the aluminium foil, but I've kept mine just to enhance the taste.


  1. Wow,that is an awesome dish,Reva.I am following ur recipe right away :-)

    1. Nisha, can you believe I never saw your comment! Thanks, if you've tried it already I would love to know how it turned out :D

  2. Moi qui adore cuisiner, je trouve ton blog super et tes photos très réussies!!
    Mon copain adore la cuisine indienne, donc j`essaierai bientôt le Butter Chicken pour lui!!!
    Bonne continuation :-)

    1. Prisc, merci beaucoup pour l'encouragement! Essaies la recette, et fais moi savoir comment ça a été!
      Bonne cuisine à toi ;)

    2. Coucou,
      J`ai essayé le Butter Chicken en Mars, et c`était super bon!!! Tout le monde a adoré!!!
      J`ai passé la recette à une collègue pour qu`elle l`essaye demain!!!
      A bientôt!!!

  3. Makes me want to go back to India! Have you ever tried with grilled chicken? It tastes wayy better :)

    1. Never have!! But I'm gonna give that a try soon, your comment is compelling!!!


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