Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani

What is Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken (murgh makhani) is one of the most famous curries in the world and is renowned for its delicious and creamy sauce.

Here is a pure homemade variation that is slightly healthier and can be made from a supermarket trip away from buying fresh ingredients.

As with most spicy curries, this butter chicken recipe is great for batch cooking and meal prep, which you can freeze or reheat on weeknights to serve with basmati rice, naan bread, or roti.

You can also try a vegetarian alternative Paneer Butter Masala that tastes just as good without the chicken.

We love this recipe because you do not need to use store-bought butter chicken pastes, and by using fresh ingredients, you will notice and appreciate the difference.

You do not need any fancy ingredients. Just get the spice mix right for the chicken and sauce, and use a high-speed blender for the sauce.

It can be cooked in one pot and left to slow cook which is perfect for weekend cooking.


Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) Recipe

Butter chicken (murgh makhani) is one of the most famous curries in the world and is renowned for its delicious and creamy sauce. Here is a pure homemade variation that is slightly healthier and can be made from a supermarket trip away from buying fresh ingredients.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian, North Indian, Punjabi
Servings4 servings
Calories (per serving)393.64 kcal


Chicken Marinade


For the Chicken + Paste:


Chicken Marinade

  • Add to your mixing bowl: chicken, yogurt, garlic paste, ginger paste, red chilli powder, garam masala, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and allow it to marinate in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours - however 1 hour should be okay if you have no time.
  • Add oil to your pan, and shallow the chicken pieces until they are cooked on the outside, which should take 5 minutes on each side.
  • Keep the cooked chicken aside and cover while you prepare the paste.

Paste - note: you will need a blender

  • In the same pan, add oil again, and add butter too.
  • Add the red onions, garlic paste and ginger paste, and sauté until golden.
  • Add the red chilli powder, garam masala, ground cumin and ground coriander.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cashew nuts, and stir to combine.
  • Allow the simmer by adding water.
  • Once it has been cooked and cooled down, place it into a blender and blend until it forms into smooth paste.

Combine Chicken and Paste

  • To the same pan, add the butter and red chilli powder.
  • Add the paste to the pan, followed by the chicken pieces.
  • Cover and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the kasuri methi and garnish with chopped coriander.
  • Serve with rice, naan or a flatbread.


  • For meal prep purposes, refrigerate up to 4 days.
  • I would recommend using a hand blender for the paste.
  • To save time you can prepare the paste in advance, which can be used for other recipes.
  • Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes in a mixing bowl.
  • For this recipe I have used chicken breasts which reflects the nutritional information.
  • Nutritional information excludes rice and only counts the butter chicken.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 393.64kcalCarbohydrates: 14.16gProtein: 33.12gFat: 23.21gSaturated Fat: 6.62gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7.47gMonounsaturated Fat: 6.72gTrans Fat: 0.32gCholesterol: 96.61mgSodium: 852.7mgPotassium: 969.58mgFiber: 3.76gSugar: 6.13gVitamin A: 2283.37IUVitamin B1: 0.17mgVitamin B2: 0.3mgVitamin B3: 14.41mgVitamin B5: 2.17mgVitamin B6: 1.21mgVitamin B12: 0.48µgVitamin C: 22.73mgVitamin D: 0.13µgVitamin E: 3.32mgVitamin K: 35.27µgCalcium: 88.04mgCopper: 0.32mgFolate: 37.24µgIron: 2.28mgManganese: 0.38mgMagnesium: 77.64mgPhosphorus: 392.94mgSelenium: 45.2µgZinc: 1.73mgNet Carbohydrates: 10.4g
Read more nutritional information values.

Data source: USDA

Keyword Butter Chicken, Butter Chicken Recipe, Healthy Butter Chicken
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How To Reheat Butter Chicken?

Saucepan5 minutes, on medium heat.
Microwave2 minutes, covered.

How To Store Butter Chicken?

Fridge3 to 4 days.
Freezer3 to 4 months.

Where Does Murgh Makhani Originate From?

According to this book, butter chicken was invented in Delhi by a restaurant called Moti Mahal in 1947.

It originates from a very talented and innovative Indian chef named Kundan Lal Gujral, who also happened to invent the famous dishes’ tandoori chicken and dal makhani.

As with most recipe inventions, butter chicken was allegedly developed by mistake and unintentionally thanks to leftover marinated chicken cooked in a tandoor.

The chef wanted to use the marinated chicken the next day for his restaurant, so he could sell it again, rather than throwing it out. However, back then, they did not have enough refrigeration facilities and instead added spicy tomato gravy with butter and cream.

It turned out to be a hit and butter chicken is now famous all around the world.

Is Butter Chicken Gluten Free?

This butter chicken recipe is gluten-free but double-check the butter you are using if you are on a gluten-free diet.

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