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  • Writer's pictureAarti Kapoor

Butter Chicken

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Today I finally sat down to writing the post on one of my favorite and most loved recipes - Butter Chicken. I have had so many friends who have requested me for this recipe and for some reason or the other this was getting delayed. So here it is...

This is one recipe that is loved by cherished all over the world and needs no introduction. When I was studying in London, most people who met and knew that I was from India, said so you know how to make Butter was very amusing to me. Back then, I did not know how to cook a decent meal, leave along Butter chicken. But today I can proudly say, that I love making this dish at every special occasion since it is enjoyed by everyone. My daughter calls it the best chicken dish in the world :)

Butter chicken, chicken makhani

In the past, I have made this dish using many different versions and variations from recipes on food channels, masterchef recipes, and obviously my mom's recipe. I made some additions and subtractions along the way to come up with this recipe that gives a good balance of creaminess and flavor but at the same time the ingredients are not too heavy on the stomach. Of course, if you are in a mood to indulge you can increase the amount of cream that goes into the dish and let me tell you its totally worth it.

I marinade the chicken separately and leave it overnight for maximum flavour, but if you are in a hurry, (which is totally understandable when its butter chicken we are talking about) 30 minutes is good enough to marinade the chicken. Without any further delay, here are the ingredients and the recipe.


Butter Chicken Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes (additional time for marination of chicken)

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-5 people

Marinade for Chicken Makhani:


Chicken filets – 500 gm, thigh or breast pieces, cut into medium sized cubes (you can also use chicken with bones)

Natural Yogurt – 1 cup

Ginger – ½ inch piece

Garlic paste – 3-4 cloves

Fresh coriander – ½ cup

Kashmiri red chili or cayenne pepper – 2 tsp

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Tandoori masala - 2 tsp (store bought, optional)

Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

Oil – 1 tbsp

Salt to taste


  1. Add the ingredients of the marinade into a mixer or grinder and blend them together. Add the marinade to the cut chicken pieces and coat the chicken pieces well with the marinade. Keep the chicken aside for atleast an hour before cooking – longer the better.

  2. Before cooking, add a tbsp of oil to the marinade and mix well. Either grill or sauté the chicken pieces in a heavy bottom pan until cooked.

  3. Add the cooked chicken pieces to the makhani sauce (recipe below)

Makhani Sauce:


Ghee or Oil – 2 tbsp

Black cardamom – 2

Cinnamon – 1-inch stick

Bay leaf - 1

Ginger – 2 tsp (grated)

Garlic – 1 tsp (grated)

Onion – 1 (chopped fine)

Tomato – 2 tomatoes (grinded to a puree)

Chili powder – ½ tsp. (optional)

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Cashew nut – 10, soak in warm milk for 15 minutes

Cream (Mat fløte) – 2 tbsp

Honey – 1 tbsp

Kasoori methi – 2 tsp

Lemon juice – 2 tsp

Salt to taste

Murg makhani, butter chicken


  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and add the bay leaf, black cardamom and cinnamon stick. Let the flavors infuse for a few seconds and add the chopped onions. Add a tsp of salt while the onions are cooking to help the cooking process.

  2. Once the onions start to brown on the edges, add the ginger-garlic. Saute for a minute and add the chopped tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for about 8-10 minutes until the tomato-onion mixture is well blended and pulpy. You should see oil on top of your masala.

  3. Now add a splash of water and add chili powder and garam masala.

  4. Keep the mixture aside and let it cool. Once cool, add the mixture into a blender along with the cashews soaked in milk.

  5. Pour the blended mixture back into the pan and sauté for a min. Add water according to the consistency you desire. Now add kasoori methi leaves (crushed between your palms) and cream.

  6. Now add the chicken pieces and sauté them such that the sauce covers the chicken pieces.

  7. Finish it up by adding lemon juice and honey just before serving.

  8. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

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