Butter Chicken(Murg makhani)



  1. 1kg chicken , washed, patted dry and cut into small pieces – (feel free to use chicken with or without bones, chicken thighs or a combination of breast and thighs,preferably boneless)
  2. 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. salt
  5. oil/butter/ghee to baste while grilling

For marinade:

  1. 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  2. 1.5 teaspoons kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves
  3. 1/2 – 1 teaspoon turmeric
  4. 1 teaspoon garam masala (prefer homemade)
  5. 1.5 tablespoon mustard oil, or any other cooking oil to substitute
  6. 1.5 tablespoon ginger paste
  7. 1/2 tablespoon garlic paste


For the sauce/Makhani Masala:

  1. 2.5 inch fresh ginger, made into a paste
  2. 8-10 cloves of garlic, made into a paste
  3. 2-4 fresh green chili pepper, slit
  4. 4 tablespoon melted butter
  5. 4 green cardamoms
  6. 1.5 – 2 inch cinnamon sticks
  7. 2 cloves
  8. 1/2 -3/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  9. 3-3.5 cups tomato puree (fresh tomatoes)
  10. 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  11. 10 almonds, soaked, peeled and made into a paste
  12. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  13. 1 tablespoon kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves, very lightly toasted on a dry skillet and crushed
  14. 1/2 tablespoon sugar or honey (you might need to adjust this based on how tart the tomatoes are. The dish will not be sweet. The sweet is used to neutralize the acid)
  15. 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon heavy cream



  1. Apply red chili powder, lemon juice and salt to the chicken and set aside for 20 minutes. This is the first marination.
  2. Combine all ingredients of the second marinade (see the  list). Apply this marinade to the chicken and refrigerate for three to four hours;keeping overnight works better.
  3. Put the chicken on skewers.The chicken may be grilled on a skillet/cast iron pan/grill pan on the stove top too. Heat the skillet/stove top grill pan and coat it with oil. Place the skewers and cook while turning them around and basting with oil and marinade until done, for about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.i use this method for grilling..You can also use grill or oven for grilling.
  4. Cook until done. Do not overcook, as the chicken will dry out and get fibrous. Baste it with butter/ghee/oil or marinade if you want, a couple of times while cooking. Set aside once done.

Cooking the Sauce:

  1. Heat butter/ghee or oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add green cardamoms,cloves and cinnamon. Saute for a couple of minutes or till they start to sizzle and get fragrant; add the fenugreek seeds. When the  seeds sizzle, add ginger paste and garlic paste, and the slit green chillies. Cook in medium heat for five  minutes; the water from the paste would have evaporated and the ginger garlic paste would have reduced in quantity.
  2. Add tomato puree or paste, red chili powder, and salt. Cook (partially cover during cooking) at medium heat for about 20 minutes. The puree will reduce to a paste and the oil/ghee will separate from the sides of the pan.
  3. After the tomatoes are cooked , blend the cooked sauce (along with all the spices) into a smooth puree, if you want a restaurant like smooth texture for the sauce – especially if you are using fresh tomatoes. Bring  it back to the pan after blending and continue with the rest of the process.
  4. Add 2.5 cups of hot water to the pan, add the almond paste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes; add sugar and crushed kasuri methi.
  5. Add cooked grilled chicken pieces. Stir well , the chicken will be well coated with the sauce. Cover and simmer for ten minutes; Lower the heat and add garam masala and the heavy cream. Stir in the cream and simmer at low heat for about five more minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and  cream before serving.



Anitha Varghese


Posted on July 1, 2015, in Non Veg Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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