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Monday, May 16, 2011

Murgh Makhani Or The Butter Chicken

Butter chicken or murgh makhani is an Indian dish from the Punjab region. The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to Delhi, during the period of Mughal Empire. Butter Chicken is among the best known Indian foods all over the world. Its gravy can be made as hot or mild as you like so it suits your palates. Also commonly known as Murg Makhani, Butter Chicken tastes great with other Punjabi dishes like Kaali Daal (black lentils), Naans(Indian tandoor made flatbread) and a green salad.
This delicious butter chicken was on my to-try list for a long time. I think this is one of the staples of Indian restaurants outside India. I have eaten in at least 5-6 different Indian restaurants in last  few years and each and every one had this on their menu. There are many varieties of recipes for this dish. But I combined two of my favorite chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Chef Sanjay Thumma's Recipes and got an excellent result and today I am going to share my version of Butter Chicken here.
This rich, creamy, buttery chicken is not for cooking every week, but an excellent celebration dish to indulge once in a while and can satisfy your craving of Restaurant style food at home. I made this dish for a potluck party and everyone complemented me.

Sep11 204

Ingredients :
Chicken : about 1 kg. (wash and for better taste, cut into thin small pieces – can use chicken with or without bones, chicken breast or a combination of breast and thighs)
Lemon Juice : 1 tblsp.
Red chilli powder : 1 tsp.
For marinating chicken:
Greek style hand curd/yogurt : 1 cup
Salt to taste
Mustard oil : 2 tblsp.
Ginger Paste : 2 tblsp.
Garlic paste : 1 tsp.
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves) : 1 tblsp.
For Makhani gravy : 
Butter : 4 tblsp.(melted)
Green cardamoms : 4
Cloves : 5-6
Cinnamon stick : 2 (1" piece)
Black peppercorns : 7-8
Ginger : 2 inch piece(made into paste)
Garlic : 8-10 cloves (made into paste)
Green chillies : 3-4 (slitted)
Red chilli powder : 1 tsp. or to taste
Garam masala powder : 1 tsp.
Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves) : 1 tblsp.
Tomato puree or paste : 1 cup
Cashewnuts/almonds : 10 (made into powder/paste)
Cream : 1/2 cup + 1 tblsp. for garnishing
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :
  • Take chicken pieces in a wide bowl. Apply a mixture of red chilli powder, lemon juice and salt to the chicken and set aside for half an hour. Add all the ingredients under marinade section in yogurt and apply this marinade to the chicken pieces and refrigerate for at least three to four hours, overnight works better. 
  • Heat 2 tblsp. oil in a pan, take few chicken pieces from the marinade at a time and fry until light brown from all sides. Set aside.[You can also grill or cook the chicken pieces in oven until done]. Keep rest of the marinade sauce aside, we'll use that sauce later in the gravy.
  • Heat butter in a heavy bottomed pan, add cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns, sauté for two minutes or until they get a good aroma, then add ginger-garlic paste and slitted green chillies. Stir for two minutes in medium flame.
  • Now add tomato puree, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt. Simmer and let it cook in low flame until oil/butter seperates from the spice paste. Add fried chicken pieces in the masala paste and nicely coat them in the masala paste.
  • Add about 1.5 cup of hot water and simmer till you get your desired consistency of gravy. [If you have cooked the chicken in oven or grilled them, in that case add the chicken pieces now to the gravy]. Add cashewnut paste, sugar and kasuri methi. Mix well. Check the seasoning. 
  • Simmer your flame to low and add cream in the gravy. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from flame, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and 1/2 tsp. cream.
Serve hot with Naan or Paratha. Goes also very well with Pulao or Simple Veg. Biriyani.
Monday, May 16, 2011 / by / 12 Comments


  1. Yum of fav...I have to try making this .

  2. Priti, That was real fast, I was still editing the post, thanks dear

  3. Murg makhani looks really tempting. Eta kheteo nichoi khub sundar hoyechhe.

  4. This is indeed very nice... My favourite dish everytime I visit an Indian restaurant ... from now on I can make this at home.. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. your style is very different than mine. shall try this method next time...nice to have this with paratha

    Hamaree Rasoi

  6. This is my favorite,creamy and delicious..thanks for the recipe dear..

  7. Wow tempting and delicious,looks so inviting.

  8. kudos to ur patience Indrani!!! so many ingredients to churn out a royal classic!! good one!

  9. Thank you all...
    @Suparna, yaah, it's a big list of ingredients, but the preperation is quite simple and for the taste finally comes out, anything for that, dear

  10. Wow. It looks very yummy and nice.

  11. Very nice recipe !!! my husband loves butter chicken......ill prepare this for him!!!

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


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