Butter Chicken Recipe

Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a popular North Indian dish known for its rich and creamy tomato-based sauce. This article will guide you through the process of making delicious butter chicken at home. With tender pieces of chicken cooked in a flavorful sauce, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends. So, let’s dive into the culinary journey of preparing a mouthwatering butter chicken!

Butter Chicken Recipe
Prep Time 20 Min
Food Type Non Veg

Butter chicken is a classic Indian dish that has gained immense popularity worldwide. It is believed to have originated in the 1950s in Delhi, India. The dish is known for its harmonious blend of aromatic spices, creamy texture, and smoky flavors. Butter chicken is traditionally cooked in a tandoor (clay oven), but it can also be prepared using a regular stovetop.

Ingredients for Butter Chicken

Before we embark on the cooking process, let’s gather the necessary ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds (700 grams) boneless chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Step-by-Step Instructions for Butter Chicken Recipe

3.1. Marinating the Chicken

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, and salt.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and coat them well.
  3. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.

3.2. Preparing the Sauce

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it turns golden brown.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute.
  4. Pour in the tomato puree and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the remaining spices: garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, and salt to taste.
  6. Cook the sauce for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together.
  7. Remove the skillet from heat and let the sauce cool for a few minutes.

3.3. Cooking the Chicken

  1. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook until they are lightly browned.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and cook the chicken until it is cooked through and tender.
  4. Remove the chicken from heat and set it aside.

3.4. Combining the Chicken with the Sauce

  1. Transfer the cooled sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and place it over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream and dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi).
  4. Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  5. Adjust the salt and spices according to your taste preferences.
  6. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Tips and Variations for Butter Chicken

Vegan or Vegetarian Alternatives

For a vegan or vegetarian version of butter chicken, you can substitute the chicken with tofu, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), or a variety of vegetables like mushrooms, cauliflower, or potatoes.

Spiciness Level

If you prefer a spicier butter chicken, you can increase the amount of red chili powder or add chopped green chilies during the cooking process.

Creaminess Adjustment

To adjust the creaminess of the dish, you can reduce or increase the amount of heavy cream used. For a lighter version, you can use half-and-half or coconut milk as a substitute.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Butter chicken is best enjoyed with naan bread, basmati rice, or jeera rice. You can also pair it with a side of cucumber raita (yogurt dip) and pickled onions for a complete Indian meal experience.

Health Benefits of Butter Chicken

While butter chicken is undoubtedly delicious, it’s worth noting some potential health benefits. Chicken is a good source of lean protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. The spices used in butter chicken, such as turmeric and ginger, contain anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. However, it’s important to consume butter chicken in moderation due to its calorie and fat content.


Can I make butter chicken without marinating the chicken?

Marinating the chicken is an essential step in butter chicken as it helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. Skipping the marination process may result in less flavorful and less tender chicken.

Can I substitute the cream with a healthier alternative?

Yes, if you prefer a healthier alternative to heavy cream, you can use low-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, or coconut milk. Keep in mind that it may slightly alter the taste and texture of the dish.

How can I make butter chicken spicier?

To make butter chicken spicier, you can increase the amount of red chili powder or add chopped green chilies during the cooking process. Adjust the spice level according to your preference.

Can I freeze butter chicken for later consumption?

Yes, butter chicken can be frozen for later consumption. Allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag. It can be stored

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