Indian Recipes

Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani


For marinating chicken (800g) boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or 1 tbs butter + 1 tbs oil)
  • 1 large onion (sliced or chopped)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (minced or finely grated)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 14 oz (400 g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup of heavy or thickened cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kasoori methi (or dried fenugreek leaves)


Step 1: In a medium bowl, blend the chicken with all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade. Allow it to marinate for 30 minutes. The more time is given to the chicken for marinating, the more it will provide best results.

Step 2: In a large skillet, heat oil at medium- high flame. Add chicken pieces. Fry until browned on each side. Transfer the pieces into a bowl and set aside.

Step 3: Add clarified butter (ghee), cumin seeds and onion in the same pan. Cook onions until it turns from transparent to brown color.

Step 4: Now, put grated ginger and garlic. Sauté it for a minute until fragrant. Blend the mixture with crushed tomatoes, salt, red chilli powder, ground coriander and garam masala. Cover the sauce with a lid, while stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.

Step 5: Turn off the flame, Scoop the mixture into the blender. Add ¼ cup water to make a smooth puree.

Step 6: Pour the sauce back in the pan. Combine cream, sugar and crushed kasoori methi (or fenugreek leaves) and blend it evenly. Add the chicken and cook for about 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked and properly marinated in the sauce.

Step 7: Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with Naan.

Cooking Note: Add a pinch of turmeric and dried ginger for more color and spicy taste.

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