Butter Chicken/ Murgh Makhani / Butter Chicken Masala

Butter chicken is a world renowned Indian dish. The creamy smooth sweet and sour gravy is finger licking good and is a favourite across the globe. Boneless chicken pieces are marinated overnight and roasted and cooked in a thick rich gravy. I still remember our college days when we, all friends, would pool the money to eat Butter Chicken and Butter naan from restaurant. It was everyone’s favourite back then and till now I love butter chicken with the same zeal. Joel, my elder son, loves smooth gravies or dry gravy chicken dishes;Chicken Tikka Masala, butter chicken, Punjabi Chicken Curry, Kadai Chicken, Butter Paneer, Paneer Korma, Chettinad chicken curry, Chicken Masala RoastKashmiri Mutton curry etc are his favourites all the time.

This Butter chicken recipe is little different from what you usually make. I grill the chicken pieces with spices for a better taste likle i do for Chicken Tikka. It makes this dish extremely special and flavorful. Try it once and you will get addicted.The roasting process makes it a little complex than other dishes but still I am prepared to go that extra length, as the result is just awesome!. You will be happy (just like me) to put extra efforts, once you taste the results! Joe’s cleanly licked plate is all the certificate I need. 🙂 . If you want to skip the grilling process, try slow roasting on a greased non stick Tawa. Kashmiri Butter chicken which is another variety butter chicken dish,(prepared with chicken pieces with bone) rich in aroma and taste.

Traditional Butter chicken is extremely delicious and soul warming. Punjab cuisine is popular for its creamy, makhni gravy, rich in flavours. Select spices, curd, tomato onion gravy, cashews – all ingredients add to the flavour. Butter chicken  is great with steamed rice, jeera rice, ghee rice, Simple pulao, Corn Pulao, Paneer Pulao, Paneer Kulcha or whole wheat Naan. The creamy smooth gravy is very tempting. Usually a lot of cream is added to the gravy in restaurants. I use little cheese instead of cream and it tastes just the same. I am eager to start. Are you?

Time : 1 hour
Serves: 5


Boneless Chicken: 400 gms
Onion: 4 nos.
Tomatoes: 2 nos.
Curd: 1 cup
Tomato Sauce/ Ketchup: 2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste: 1½ tbsp
Red Chilly Pdr: 2½ tsp
Turmeric Pdr: ½ tsp
Pepper Pdr: ½ tsp
Cardamom: 3 nos
Cloves: 3 nos
Cinnamon: 1- 2 sticks
Perumjeerah / Aniseed: ½ tsp
Jeerah/ cumin: ½ tsp
Kasuri Methi: one generous pinch
Cashew Paste: 2 tbsp
Cheese: for Garnish
Red Food color: small pinch

Butter Chicken ( Murgh Makhani) - Ingredients

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) – Ingredients

Method for Butter Chicken

Clean and cut boneless chicken breast into small pieces/ strips and drain. Grind all spices and Masala. Marinate the chicken pieces with half of this masala, salt, half cup curd, half of ginger garlic paste, half of tomato sauce, 1 tsp ghee and little red color. (If your curd is not sour, add ¼ tsp vinegar as well). Marinate chicken pieces for two to three hours or leave in fridge overnight. Once done, spread the marinated chicken pieces in an oven dish and roast/ grill for 20 – 25 mts.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

While the chicken is grilling, grind the onions to a smooth paste. Heat butter in a kadai and sauté the onion paste till slight golden brown. Add the remaining ginger garlic paste and sauté. Add the remaining ground masala and fry for another minute. Puree the tomatoes and add this to the gravy and fry for some more time. Add the remaining curd and tomato sauce. Sauté and add cashew paste. Fry for some time and add the grilled chicken pieces and mix well.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)  Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Add 1 glass water to make gravy, adjust the salt and cover and cook for 5 – 8 minutes. Transfer the butter chicken to a serving bowl and decorate with grated cheese (or cream) and coriander leaves.

Serve with:

Butter Chicken goes well with Veg. Pulav, Rotis, Butter Naan.


  • Always use little oil as excess oil is not healthy.The cashew paste, the cheese/ cream makes it richer, so use oil sparingly.
  • Use Butter for authentic rich flavors.
  • Instead of grilling, you may roast the chicken in a greased non stick pan on low heat. Roast till the chicken is slightly brown and the spices are coated well.
  • Kasuri Methi provides great aroma and flavor to the dish.
  • Adjust the spices as per your taste. You may add little more chili powder if you like it more spicy.
  • Use grated cheese or fresh cream just before serving.
  • Food color is optional, but appeal is great when you add color.

Hope you enjoy the delicious butter chicken. Let me know if you like it. God Bless!!

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