Butter Chicken Murgh Makhani Recipe

Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a creamy and rich Indian curry known for its delectable tomato-based sauce. Here’s how to make this classic dish at home:

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Serves: 4-6
Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) Recipe


For the Marinated Chicken

  • 1.5 pounds (700g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste

For the Tomato Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (for color)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and sugar, to taste

For Garnish

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Fresh cream (optional)


Marinating the Chicken

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken pieces with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well to coat the chicken evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Cooking the Tomato Gravy

  1. In a large skillet or pan, heat vegetable oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it turns translucent and begins to brown.
  2. Stir in the minced garlic and ginger. Sauté for another 2 minutes until the raw aroma disappears.
  3. Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, and paprika. Cook this mixture for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oil begins to separate from the tomato mixture and it thickens.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, and slowly add the heavy cream while stirring continuously. This will create a creamy sauce.
  5. Stir in the butter and season the sauce with salt and a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Cooking the Marinated Chicken

  1. In a separate skillet or pan, heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook until they are browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

Combining Chicken with Tomato Gravy

  1. Transfer the cooked chicken pieces into the tomato gravy and gently stir to coat the chicken with the creamy tomato sauce.
  2. Allow the Butter Chicken to simmer on low heat for an additional 10 minutes to meld the flavors.


  1. Garnish the Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and a drizzle of fresh cream, if desired.
  2. Serve hot with steamed rice, naan bread, or paratha.

Enjoy your homemade Butter Chicken, a creamy and indulgent Indian dish that’s sure to delight your taste buds!

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