Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Butter Chicken / Murgh Makhani

One of our friends wanted to have butter chicken. She asked me for the recipe and I invited them over for a butter chicken dinner. So tonight we will be having friends over for some yummy butter chicken. I will make some lachha paratha's and some rice having a toss between peas pulao and jeera rice. Both of them love fish so probably a Sindhi Methi Machi (Fish in Fenugreek Gravy) or Sindhi Seyal Machi (Fish in Corriander and Garlic Sauce) or to satisfy my non-fish eating hubby may make Mushroom, Corn and Capsicum  veggie. Yes I am still working on the menu but I can certainly share the recipe for Butter Chicken.

An interesting titbit about the origins of butter chicken is that butter chicken actually came about as an accidental recipe when the cooks at a famous New Delhi restaurant Moti Mahal wanted to use up the unused portions of the tandoori chicken. They deboned the tandoori pieces and cooked them in the tomato gravy with butter. Thus was born Butter Chicken or Chicken Makhanwala.

Butter Chicken 

500 gms Boneless Chicken
For the Marinade
2 inch piece of Ginger
10-15 cloves Garlic
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Corriander Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Salt or as per taste
1 tsp Oil
1.5 Cup Plain Yogurt / Dahi

For the Gravy
1/4 Cup Broken Cashews
a pinch of Saffron
2 Tbsp Milk
8-10 Tomatoes
1 inch piece Ginger julienned
1 Bay Leaf
2 Green Cardamom / Elaichi
1 tsp Jaifal & Javitri Powder / Mace & Nutmeg Powder
2-3 Tbsp Kasoori Methi / Dried Fenugreek
4 Tbsp Butter divided
1 Tbsp Honey
Fresh Cream for Garnish

Implements / Utensils
Mixing Bowls
Baking Tray *Optional See Step 4 below

1. Clean and cut chicken into small pieces.
2. Make ginger and garlic paste for the marinade.
3. In a bowl mix lime juice, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and oil. To this add the cleaned chicken pieces and set aside for 15-20 minutes
4. Soak the cashews in milk with a pinch of saffron and set aside.

3. In another bowl mix together yogurt, garam masala, ginger / garlic paste, garam masala and corriander powder. Add it to the chicken mixture, coat well and leave for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator. I often leave it overnight covered with cling wrap in the refrigerator.

4. In a skillet, heat some butter and fry the chicken pieces on both the sides until cooked. We could also do this in the oven - Heat the oven to 350 F and coat the baking tray with oil or butter, put the chicken pieces and cook for 15 mins or till chicken is cooked through, turning the sides halfway. I like to broil it on very high temperature just before removing the chicken to give it slightly blackened sides.

5. In a wok add some fresh butter, when slightly heated add bay leaf and cardamom pods, then add chopped tomatoes and cook them on medium till pulpy. To this add some salt and red chilli powder. Add garam masala, jaifal javitri powder. Let the mixture cool, then puree it in the blender and strain using a strainer.
6. In the wok, heat the remaining butter and add the pureed cashews cook till fragrant taking care not to burn the cashew mix.
7. Now add the pureed tomatoes to the wok, add the crushed fenugreek leaves, julienned ginger and chicken pieces. Set the heat to low and let the mixture cook on slow for 15 minutes, stirring in between.
8.  Add honey mix well. Turn the heat off.
9. Garnish with fresh cream just before serving.
10. Enjoy with Naan / Parathas or Rice :)


  1. Lovely prep..looks tasty ..

  2. nice recipe. thanks for sharing. Here is video for indian butter chicken recipe by Jeet sidhu –

  3. What a delicious chicken recipe! That sauce sounds perfect!

  4. Thanks Eftychia. I would love to hear from you if you try it :)


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