Butter Chicken 

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The Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) originates from India and is one of the most relaxing chicken curries made with common aromatics. The creamy, buttery, and tangy chicken curry can make you mad when its pleasant aroma wafts around the kitchen. 

butter chicken

Last week, I made the White Chicken Korma with cream, which got many compliments. Later next week, my husband asked me to make a similar creamy chicken curry, and the Butter Chicken recipe instantly hit my mind. 

If you’re a fan of Indian and Pakistani cuisines, you might know about this creamy butter chicken curry, a mostly highlighted item in every Indian restaurant. The aroma of this chicken curry can make you drool, so be ready for it!

butter chicken recipe

I’ve been making butter chicken since I got married 24 years ago. Over time, I’ve made many more alternatives to refine this recipe further. And Now I’ve come up with the most subtle version. 

Whenever butter chicken is on the dining table, my husband and kids lick their plates clean, relishing every flavorful bite. So, if you’re a fan of true creamy flavors, you must try this recipe. 

Why This Butter Chicken Recipe Will Win Your Heart 

  • Exceeded expectations: This chicken curry is way more flavorful than your expectations. The traditional Indian spices change the entire game, and butter makes the curry even more aromatic.

  • Super Easy: I was delighted to make this recipe because it’s a breeze. The ingredients used in this recipe are easily available in every pantry.

  • Filling & Hearty: The Butter Chicken is the best bet if you’re craving something tangy. This filling and heart chicken curry will make you feel like you have eaten something from heaven. 

  • Aromatic: In this recipe, we used some common aromatics and traditional Indian spices that make the entire recipe more aromatic like the Chicken Tikka Masala. It might be that your neighbors will ask you to give them a plate of it once they catch a whiff!

Check Out! Butter Chicken Vs Chicken Tikka Masala

History Of Butter Chicken 

best butter chicken

I’m Pakistani, and both Indian and Pakistani are the same. Regarding our Chicken recipes, the Chicken Karahi and Butter Chicken hold significance in our hearts. 

The Butter Chicken roots originate from Delhi, India, where the Mughals ruled. The chef at the Moti Mahal restaurant (Delhi) first made this recipe. From there, this recipe spread throughout India and Pakistan. 

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) is prepared with tomato and onion gravy. First, we fry the marinated chicken in butter and add it to the special gravy. Typically, this cuisine is served with naan, chapati, or white rice. 

The thick butter and creamy gravy are the hallmarks of butter chicken. Even though few folk like to add water to the curry to make it thin, however, I like the thick version. 

The juicy and butter chicken chunks simmered with Indian spices, giving a more relaxing and soothing taste. I can bet after trying this recipe, you will forget every other chicken curry. 

I’ve also write a detail guide on difference between chicken korma and butter chicken.


garlic butter chicken ingredients

Marination: You need chicken for marination; boneless and bone-in chicken pieces are suitable. Further, you need yogurt, garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, dry fenugreek powder, red chili flakes, and dry coriander powder. I want my version to be tangier and fierier, so I’m using all these spices. 

Butter: I’m using salted butter. It adds more umami taste to chicken pieces. 

Onion & Tomatoes: A few individuals dislike using onions in this chicken curry. But onion brings a more savory flavor profile. Plus, tomatoes are other essentials that bring a velvety and mild texture. 

Dairy Cream & Sugar: I will add a dash of dairy cream to add depth and fluffiness to the curry. Mayonnaise is also the best substitute for the best flavors. And sugar compliments the heat of spices, so you must add it. 

Ground Spices: You need all the basic ground spices for gravy, including salt, turmeric powder, red chili flakes, and red chili powder.

Garnishing: I will use sesame seeds, cilantro, and green chiles. You can also go for lemons and finely minced ginger. 

Garam Masala: In garam masala, I use cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and cumin seeds. You can also use the powdered form of garam masala. 

Let’s Make Butter Chicken 

  1. Marination: First, combine all the marination ingredients in one large mixing bowl. Mix everything together thoroughly until the spices blend perfectly with the chicken. Draw some deep cuts over the chicken for better marination. Now, set aside this mixing bowl for 10 to 15 minutes. 
marinate chicken
marinated chicken

Make The Gravy 

  1. Sauté The Onions: Heat the oil in a large pan; you can also use the ghee. Sauté the onion until golden. In my case, it took me around two minutes. 
  1. Add Garam Masala: Then, toss all the garam masala and stir it for one minute. Next, add the four garlic cloves, green chilies and tomatoes. Plus, just add a splash of water to cook the tomatoes. Stir it well, and close the lid for 2 minutes.  
adding garlic cloves
  1. Blend In Food Processor: This secret step infuses extra flavors into the curry. Transfer the gravy to the food processor and blend everything tougher. And let it stay in the juicer machine for a few minutes. 
blend everything in juicer machine
  1. Fry The Chicken:Heat the pan and add butter, spread it over the entire pan with a spatula, and then fry the chicken in this butter for 10 minutes. Don’t run away from your kitchen during this process. Stir well, and then close the lid. After 10 minute the chicken is ready, transfer it to another pot and set it aside. 
frying the chicken
fry the chicken
  1. Making Curry:In the same wok or pan, add the blended gravy, some oil, and butter. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
adding gravy
  1. Bloom Spices:Toss all the ground spices, dairy cream, and sugar. Plus, add a splash of water to prevent spices from sticking to the bottom. Stir for 2 minutes.
spice for butter chicken
  1. Add Chicken To Curry: Finally, add chicken to the curry and mix it well so that the gravy perfectly infuses with chicken. Keep stirring it for 2 to 3 minutes. 
adding chicken in curry
  1. Garnishing: For garnishing, I’m using sesame seeds, some cilantro, and green chilies. Now, our butter chicken is ready to dish out. Serve it hot with naans. Enjoy!  

Some Tips For Making Butter Chicken More Special 

  • Must use dairy cream to get the best creamy and hearty flavor. Mayonnaise is also the best substitute for making the texture velvetier. 

  • Add yogurt during marination to make the chicken more juicy and succulent. 

  • Please don’t add water in this recipe. Water can dilute the taste of butter and other spices. Only add a dash of water after adding spices.

  • Dry fenugreek is one of the best aromatics that makes the curry more pleasant and flavorful, so must add it. You can also use ginger paste, and some cardamoms.

  • Add some sugar to compliment the spices and get the best-nuanced flavor.


Simply add the dash of Paprika powder (Red Kashmiri chili) and amp up the amount of red chili flakes. Both these ingredients increase the spicy flavor of the curry. 

You can store butter chicken in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 days. To reheat, simply transfer it to the stovetop and simmer the curry for a few minutes on medium flame. 

Marination is the key to bringing savory, tangy, and zesty flavors to the chicken pieces. Must add dry fenugreek to bring an aromatic flavor. For succulent chicken chunks, marinate them with yogurt. 

How To Serve Butter Chicken?

When it comes to serving, you don’t need to overthink about it. Simply serve the butter chicken with hot naan, roti, or chapati. Or if you’re a rice lover, white rice is a suitable option with this chicken curry. 

Additionally, this treat pairs well with mixed pickles, yogurt Rita, mint chutney, and salads. I love this cucumber salad with butter chicken. 

More Chicken Recipes

butter chicken

Butter Chicken 

The Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) originates from India and is one of the most relaxing chicken curries made with common aromatics. The creamy, buttery, and tangy chicken curry can make you mad when its pleasant aroma wafts around the kitchen. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4



  • 700 g chicken 
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • ½ tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp dry fenugreek powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • Salt (Adjustable)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste 

For Curry 

  • ½ cup oil 
  • 300 g butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp cream / mayonnaise 
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • ½ tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Garam masala powder
  • 1/3 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • bowl cilantro
  • 3 green chilies


  • Marination: Combine all the marination ingredients in a large mixing bowl and perfectly marinate the chicken. Set it aside for 15 minutes. 
  • Preparing The Curry: Take a large pan, add oil, and sauté the onion until golden. Toss in the garam masala and stir for a minute. Add garlic, chillies, tomatoes, and a splash of water. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Blend The Curry: Now transfer this masala (curry) to the food process and blend it well. This will give us a thick paste that helps us to thicken the curry. 
  • Fry The Chicken: Add the butter in a pan, and fry it in it for 10 minutes. Stir and cover the lid during this process. Now, transfer the chicken to another pot and set aside. 
  • Combine Everything: In the same pan again, melt the butter, add a splash of oil, and blend gravy. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes. Then add all the ground spices and chicken. Stir it well so that spices get perfectly into the chicken. Simmer for 3 minutes on medium flame. 
  • Garnishing: Finally, sprinkle some sesame seeds, cilantro, and green chilies. And our Butter chicken is now ready to serve. 
Keyword Butter Chicken
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