Butter Chicken - (Murgh Makhani)

READY IN: 50mins
Recipe by Sandi From CA

Yay! In my never-ending quest for THE perfect butter chicken recipe, I’ve finally come up with something close enough to put the search on the back burner for a lonnng time. This is an Indian dish very popular at restaurants and is somewhat similar to chicken tikka masala, but richer. Don’t let the butter content put you off. You only live once, might as well make your tongue happy! Serve over fragrant basmati rice laced with green peas and with pakoras, raita and palak paneer and you’ll be in heaven! Adjust the heat level with the red chilli powder. Prep/cook times are approximate and do not include marination. My grateful appreciation to the chefs who pointed out my errors in typing up this recipe. They're fixed now. :)

Top Review by PhilH

I would normally NEVER review a recipe that I hadn't followed to the letter. So many people make changes that end up bearing NO resemblance to the original concept. Here I will make an exception to my own rules. I have had this recipe for ages, and made several similar and whilst some vary a little, this one has a couple of ingredients that others don't and I had most in the fridge. Now let's make it clear that only a little guesswork was involved here as I have been cooking authentic Indian food for many years. The first and most startling is that the "marinade" when I looked at it, looked very similar to the "Pataks tandoori paste" that my chicken thighs had been marinating in overnight (chicken thighs is the tender meat of choice). So, in the oven they went, and part ONE sorted. Then, as mentioned by steff0566 below, I used Sour cream, as I had it there, and definitely an overdose of Paprika, It did turn out rather hot, but it all depends on what brand of chilli powder etc you have, so that is always guesswork. But other than that, a wonderful CHEAT using a tandoori mix, giving oodles of flavor and a great, authentic meal. 5 stars.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Perforate the chicken pieces with either fork tines or with little knife cuts. (The idea is to allow the marinade to penetrate the pieces somewhat and have more surface areas to cling to.) Mix well the ingredients for the marinade and rub into the chicken pieces. Let it marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator, overnight if possible for best results.
  2. Heat half the butter on medium in a heavy-bottomed pan and put in the chicken along with the marinade. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked. After the liquids have evaporated, stir fry the chicken for some time in the residual fat.
  3. Heat the remaining butter in a saucepan and add the red chilli powder, coriander, cumin and black pepper. (See TIP at bottom) Fry for a few seconds. (See Step 6 Tip.).
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and salt and cook uncovered on medium for about 7 minutes until the puree thickens and the fat separates. Stir in the whisked cream and reduce the heat to low.
  5. Add the chicken, chopped ginger and green chillies to the simmering gravy. Sprinkle salt to taste if needed. Mix well. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes or till the curry is thoroughly heated through.
  6. Just before serving pour melted butter over the curry. Garnish with a swirl of fresh cream and finely chopped coriander leaves.
  7. TIP: For a thicker and richer gravy cashewnut paste (soak cashews in water for an hour or so and grind them) can be added while making the gravy in step 3 -- fry it along with the spice powders and then proceed as above.

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