The Classic Butter Chicken Recipe That’s Finger-Lickin’ Good!

Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is without a doubt one of the most popular dishes to have emerged from North Indian cuisine. The chicken is typically marinated for several hours and is cooked in a rich, thick, mildly spiced, tomato-based gravy; and is often garnished with cream.

Serves: 2-3 people

Prep Time: 25 minutes, overnight for marinade

Cook Time: 40 minutes

The Elements:

1 whole chicken, cut

For Marinating The Chicken

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste

500 grams yogurt (a little over 2 cups)

Salt, to taste

For The Gravy

150 grams white butter (10 tablespoons)

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

500 grams tomato puree

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon red chili powder

A pinch of garam masala

Salt, to taste

½ cup fresh cream

5 green chilies, sliced


The Marinade

To prepare your marinating sauce, mix the red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, yogurt and salt together in a bowl and add the chicken.

Rest the chicken overnight in the refrigerator to achieve the optimum level of marinade.

Before you begin cooking, roast the chicken in an oven for about 5-10 minutes until it turns to a lovely golden brown colour. If you don’t have an oven, you can sear the chicken on the pan until you obtain the desired color.

The Gravy

In a pan heat 5 tablespoons of white butter and add in the cumin seeds, let it sizzle then add the tomato puree, sugar, red chili powder, a pinch of garam masala and salt. Mix these ingredients well together on medium heat.

Now it’s time to add the chicken, along with this add the remaining white butter, fresh cream and the sliced green chilies. Stir everything well together and cook until the chicken is done.

Serve with rice or warm naan.