Butter Chicken recipe. Murgh Makhni

Butter Chicken recipe. Murgh Makhni

Butter Chicken



Butter Chicken / Murgh makhani is a very famous dish from India. Its made in a mildly spicy or spicy tomato gravy.  Well if you are looking for easy Butter chicken recipe ? Then you came at the right place. In this homemade recipe, Chicken pieces are marinated in spices, curd and lemon juice for several hours. Those thick pieces are grilled on tandoor and then added to tomato curry made of tomatoes , cashews and spices. Lastly flavored with fresh cream or garnished with cream. Every one have their own version of making butter chicken. Some make spicy gravy where as some love mild spice. Some add cashews and some do not add it.

 When made at home we usually do not have huge tandoor, so the chicken is grilled in oven. But as I am so use to of making my chicken in pan and then grill it on gas, that I hardly prepare chicken tikkas in oven.

My quick, easy and homemade recipe which you will love to make every now and then as it is flavorful. Here is my Butter Chicken / Murgh Makhani recipe.

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  • 1 kg boneless chicken
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1/4 cup curd
  • 1 tbsp lemon
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • pinch of red food colour ( optional ) 


  • 3-4 large tomatoes
  • 2-3 peppercorns
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1- 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp red chilly powder ( kashmiri )
  • 3 – 4 finely chopped green chilies ( optional )
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 small tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • pinch of food color ( optional )
  • 2 tbsp cream ( fresh cream )
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Oil
  • Butter 


  • 1 small piece Coal
  • 2 tbsp ghee/butter/oil


  • Clean, wash and chop boneless chicken into medium pieces and marinate them with salt , ginger garlic paste, curd , garam masala, tandoori masala , red chilly powder , oil , lemon juice , cumin powder and food color ( optional ) for few hours. I mostly marinate them a night before preparing and refrigerate them. 
  • In a fry pan add 2 tbsp butter and fry the marinated chicken pieces for about 3-4 minutes. Flip and fry the other side too until done . ( note : this frying shall not take more than 10 -15 minutes )   OR
  • Alternatively you can grill the chicken pieces in oven too, weave the chicken pieces on skewers and grill them in pre heat oven at 180 degree C for 20 minutes or until done. Make sure you keep an oven tray beneath so that the masala that drips will be later added to the gravy. Grill the chicken pieces for 10 minutes, bast with butter, flip and grill the other side too until slightly charred and done. ( my oven has a rotary system so I just baste the pieces at few intervals ) 
  • Heat the coal on gas. In a pot add all the chicken pieces and once the coal is red hot , place it in between the chicken pieces on a small piece of foil or small steel bowl. Add 1 tbsp oil or butter on the coal and cover immediately, this step will give a smoky flavor to the chicken pieces. After sometime discard the coal and keep the chicken pieces aside.
  • If you have prepared the chicken tikkas in pan instead of oven, after you give smoke to the tikkas , weave only the chicken pieces on skewers , baste with butter and directly grill them from all over to give charred effect. Preserve the gravy or you can say marinade for further use.
NOTE : You can chop or shred the chicken pieces or even keep the same size to be added in the gravy.


  • In a food processor , grind cashews and blanched tomatoes , keep aside. 
  • In a deep pan or kadhai drizzle little butter and oil add whole garam masala like peppercorns , cinnamon stick , green cardamom cloves . Let it splutter.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and fry until raw smell disappears.
  • Add this cashew paste and fry until oil separates.
  • Now add salt , red chilly powder , coriander powder and roast for a minute.
  • Add 1/2 cup water and fry until oil separates. Now add curd and marinade ( the preserved gravy if left when preparing chicken pieces ) and fry for sometime.
  • Lastly add cumin powder , garam masala powder , green chillies chopped ( optional ) and sugar . Cook for 5 minutes and adjust salt and red chilly powder.
  • Add milk , cream , mix well and cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes .
  • Now add chicken tikkas and mix well , cook for 7 – 10 minutes. Adjust the gravy and off the gas. 
  • Side by side hot coal on gas until it is red. Place a small foil paper on prepared butter chicken . Immediately place the red hot coal with the help of tong and pour some butter on it. Close the lid immediately and keep something heavy on it ( this method  will give a smokey flavor to the gravy and will enhance the flavor).
  • After some time discard the coal. Garnish with coriander leaves and here your butter chicken is ready to be served with butter naan /tandoori naans/ parathas and fresh raw onions and lemon wedges.



  1. Adding food color is optional.
  2. You can adjust the spice, increase or decrease the chilly powder and green chilies as per your taste and preferences.
  3. You can skip cream, but adding makes it more flavorful.
  4. You can skip sugar too, but I always prefer adding sugar as it gives the balance taste. Instead of sugar you can add tomato sauce too. 
  5. Instead of adding blanched tomatoes, you can add chopped tomatoes. 
  6. Instead of doing Coal dhughar on the chicken pieces , skip giving coal dhungar over the pieces and give the dungaar when the butter chicken is fully prepared. This will give smokey flavor in the thick gravy.
  7. You can do hot coal dhungar on chicken pieces and after the completion of the gravy too. Either give both the times or as per mentioned above in the method section or just after the butter chicken is fully prepared. Choice is yours.
SERVES : 4 Persons .

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