Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

Some may know it as Butter chicken or Murgh Makhani. But I grew up to this delicious chicken curry known as Butter Chicken! This creamy tomato sauce is so flavourful, with the marinated tandoori chicken pieces.

Preparation time: 15 minutes  | Cook time: 20 minutes | Serves: 2-3

Spice level: Medium


For the Marinade:

  • 600gr chicken breast (cubed chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1½ tbsp fresh garlic (finely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup  Full fat natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Sprinkle red food colour (optional) 

For the Butter Chicken Sauce

  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 green chilli 
  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 3 whole Cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2-4 black peppercorns
  • 2 small-medium cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup tomato purée
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Chili powder (to your taste)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1½ tsp tandoori powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves


For the marinade

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients together in a zippy lock bag or a bowl and cover for 2 hours or for tastiest results overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 200C. Place your chicken pieces in a bowl and add your 2 tbsp oil combine it through and place baking tray and cook for 25 minutes.

3. After 25 minutes, if there is extra liquid from the yoghurt/chicken, drain slowly by taking the liquid out with a deep spoon, so that there is no trace of water.

4. Put the oven on 250C and place it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

For the Butter chicken sauce:

1. In a food processor add 1 medium white onion, 3-4 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp ginger and 1 green chilli. Process in until you have a smooth paste and keep aside.

2. On medium heat using a non-stick pot, heat up 2 tbsp butter, add 3 whole Cardamom pods, 3 whole cloves, 2-4 black peppercorns and 2 small – medium size cinnamon sticks. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. 

3. Add the purée of onion, chilli, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the 1 cup tomato purée, along with 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp Chili powder, ½ tsp garam masala, 1½tsp tandoori powder and ½ tsp salt and stir it all in and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water and let it sizzle/bubble for another 5 minutes 

5. Reduce the heat let it continue to simmer, add 1 tsp honey, 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves, stir in.

6. Add the oven cooked chicken pieces, and stir in the sauce. Add 2 cups water and Let it simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. 

7. Finally add ½ cup cream and stir in.

Serve with a garnishing of sliced almonds or cashews and coriander leaves.

This butter chicken tastes amazing with my cashew pulao rice or even naan bread.

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