Delightful Chicken cooked in flavors of butter and spices renders this as lip smacking dish. Murgh Makhani is one of the most popular mildly spiced North Indian chicken curry and this tastes best with roti/ naan/ pulao/steamed rice. This is a delicious restaurant style butter chicken masala (murgh makhani) preparation. This dish is also one of the popular party recipe across the globe. There are too many variations in preparing this dish so here is my take on how this dish is actually prepared.

This dish originated from Moti Mahal restaurant ,Delhi. They often used to have grilled chicken leftovers , which they turned into this delightful curry next day. In restaurants, they add semi grilled chicken to the curry and yes, this makes it taste even better. You can either grill or roast the chicken and then add it to the curry. I have semi grilled the chicken and then added it to curry.


*If you are in a hurry, you can marinate the chicken for 30 mins – 60 mins but it’s recommended to marinate the chicken overnight for the right flavors to set in as yogurt tenderizes the meat

**Adding Onion is optional to the dish but adds in nice taste. I have grilled the chicken on grill pan, you can grill it in oven or over tandoor

Do check the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish

Preparation Time: 2 Hours Cooking Time: 45 mins Total time: 2 hrs 45 mins

Servings: 4-5


  • 500 g boneless chicken

For Marination

  • 1/2 tbsp Kashmiri Chili Powder/Paprika
  • 4 tbsp hung curd/Greek Yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chicken Masala/Garam Masala powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder

For Paste

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 green chili slit optional
  • 1 big onion roughly chopped -optional
  • 3-4 big tomatoes roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 8-10 cashews

For Gravy

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1-2 drops Food color – optional
  • 1 tbsp cream

For Garnish

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 teaspoon Melon seeds
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (Cilantro)
  • 1 tbsp cream

Steps to prepare

  • Mix all the ingredients mentioned under marination section in a bowl to make a paste.
  • Smear the chicken pieces with the paste and let it marinate for 3 hours preferably overnight. Longer the marination, better the taste
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a pan
  • Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, whole red chilies and garlic. Sauté for a minute or till fragrant.
  • Add onions and sauté until translucent.
  • Add cashews and tomatoes. Sauté until tomatoes are tender
  • Cool the mixture completely
  • Grind the mixture with 1 tbsp. cream and 1 tbsp. milk to smooth puree. Keep this aside
  • Grill the chicken in tandoor or oven until 60% done. Any excess marination can be used while making gravy. I have used Grill pan here. Keep the grilled chicken aside
  • Heat 2 tbsp. butter and 1 tsp oil in a pan
  • Add ground puree and sauté for 3-4 minutes. if using food color, add now and mix well
  • Add red chill powder, salt, sugar, 1/2 cup water and any left over marination. Mix well. Add green chili if required for additional spiciness
  • Add semi grilled chicken and mix well
  • Simmer, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally
  • Add cream, kasuri methi and mix well
  • Garnish with fresh cream, chopped coriander leaves and little butter. Sprinkle lightly roasted pumpkin or melon seeds on top. Serve hot with roti or naan
Butter Chicken
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

One thought on “Murgh Makhani/Butter Chicken

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