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Butter Chicken Murgh Makhani

Learn how to make Butter Chicken that tastes better than what’s served in Indian restaurants and is one of the most popular Indian curries. Enjoy tender chicken pieces smothered in rich, creamy, and silky gravy that’s bursting with authentic flavor! To make butter chicken recipe you will need simple ingredients available in any store near you. Don’t forget to watch thevideo tutorial and follow some simple tips to make this amazing delight!

Butter Chicken served over white rice.

Butter Chicken Recipe

If you want to taste authentic Indian dishes, you have to travel to India, that what I used to believe in but not anymore! Butter chicken recipe changes depending on which part of India you are. The changes are not significant, mostly a slight difference in spices used, but the flavor is always pleasantly unique.

Making butter chicken is easy and is made with simple ingredients. Tender chicken with amazing flavor coming from the combination of earthy and warm spices. The butter chicken sauce is silky and is so delicious you can enjoy it on its own with a freshly made Naan bread.  

Close up image of butter chicken served in black plate.

Ingredients to make Butter chicken

Chicken breast or chicken thighs. I will explain in this post how to make butter chicken using chicken breast without letting it go dry.

Butter. The star of our dish, so make sure to use quality butter, and it is best to use unsalted butter.


Salt and black pepper.

Cumin and coriander powder.

Turmeric and garam masala powder.

Fresh tomatoes.



Heavy cream.

Ginger and garlic paste.

Tender chicken cubes smothered in creamy curry.

Why is butter chicken called butter chicken?

Butter chicken is an Indian dish and is called Murgh Makhani in Hindi. Murgh means chicken, and makhani means butter or buttery. The original recipe was created in the Northern part of India. Long-time ago, Indians used to adding a huge amount of butter and Ghee to this dish plus a crazy amount of heavy cream.

Murgh makhani used to be a delicious yet oily dish. With time Indians made a few modifications in the recipe to maintain the amazing taste but with less fat.

In the recipe I’m sharing with you today, I managed to keep the amount of fat low, and I promise that you will still enjoy the original authentic flavor.

Freshly made butter chicken sauce served with white rice.

How to make Indian butter chicken in easy steps?

  1. Add the marinade spices to chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. In a pan, add butter and oil, then add the chicken and cook until brown patches appear on the chicken.
  3. In a different pan, add butter and oil, when hot add the chopped onion, sauté until translucent, add ginger and garlic paste and stir for a minute.
  4. Add the chopped tomato and spices. Stir and add water. Blend in a blender until smooth.
  5. Add butter to the pan, strain the smoothed sauce through the sieve to get a silky sauce. Add the chicken to the sauce. Add the ketchup, sugar, cream, stir, and you are done.

Using Chicken Breast in Butter chicken

It is best to use pieces from chicken thighs and legs in making butter chicken; the chicken stays tender even if you overcooked it. But if you like to use chicken breast then follow the steps below to have tender and juicy slices.

  • Make sure the pan is very hot before adding the slices of the chicken breast.
  • Add the chicken breast in batches. Do not crowd the pan.
  • After adding the chicken to the pan, do not stir but keep it in the pan until the bottom is light brown, then flip it — Cook the other side for two minutes. Cooking the chicken breast in this way will make sure to seal the juices and keep it tender.
  • When done with all the batches, proceed as per the recipe.
Delicious Butter chicken recipe.

What’s the difference between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala?

Chicken Tikka Masala tastes a lot like butter chicken and looks the same, and the difference is the marinade. In chicken tikka masala the chicken marinade includes yogurt and lemon. The flavors are sharper and stronger.

In some restaurants, to make chicken tikka masala, they use chicken tikka pieces and add them to the butter chicken sauce.

More Indian Dishes

Authentic Chicken Curry

Lamb Coconut Curry Recipe

Chicken Karahi Recipe

This post was previously published in 2013, but now it is edited with new images and a video tutorial.

You might notice that the number of ingredients is more in the video, and it’s because I have cooked for a small crowd while making the video. However, the steps remain the same.

Butter Chicken. One of the most favorited Indian dishes served at weddings and special occasions. Tender chicken pieces smothered in rich, creamy, and silky gravy that’s bursting with authentic flavors! www.Arinacooking |@Arinacooking
An old image of the original post which was published in 2013.

Butter Chicken or Morgh Makhni recipe. Watch the video to learn how to make this delicious Indian dish. The sauce tastes so good you can enjoy it with bread alone. Use less amount of butter yet enjoy the amazing authentic flavor! #butterchicken

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  1. Your butter chicken looks really lovely, I should probably try your recipe next time I will be cooking it. 🙂

  2. Muna, I am DROOLING! The butter chicken looks out of this world delicious!

  3. one of my favourite

  4. Hi, Muna. I am so glad I found your blog. Everything looks so delicious, it’s hard to know where to start! I think I have decided to start with your Butter Chicken. It looks amazing! Thank you.

  5. WOW! Muna, I love Indian food but was always thought it was a lot of work – I made this tonight – AMAZING. I’m so thrilled to have found your blog. Thank you!

  6. I cooked this for dinner tonight and it was amazing, thank you.

  7. I made this tonight and it was so good! Best recipe ive had for this dish and very simple. Except mine didnt turn out so red as yours in the end, what did you add?

    • Arinacooking

      Hi Stefanie, I’m so glad you liked my recipe! The color depends on how red the tomatoes were. Sometimes I get dark yellow color other times light orange. I know that some people add food coloring but I avoid it. Mine turns out dark orange mostly, but the taste will always be the same 🙂

  8. Thank you for this wonderful recipe . I chose your over the others because of the presentation . Now I just hope mine looks as good . From the other reviews I can see your recipe was a hit.

  9. This looks so good! I have been on a major rice kick lately so I will have to try this.

  10. This looks delicious! Your sauce sounds amazing. This is a great dish especially to feed a group.

  11. Pam Wattenbarger

    This looks so good. Butter chicken is one of my son’s favorite dishes but I’ve never made it from scratch. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. That chicken looks so good and the name really fits because it is so smooth and tasty. I know this is a recipe that will make typical chicken less hum drum

  13. Now this sounds like an absolutely wonderful buttered chicken! Definitely something I could see me and my partner enjoying.

  14. I miss Indian Food. We used to do it once in a while on date nights back when. I’m pinning so I can make yours!

  15. This butter chicken was so delicious! A huge hit with everyone.

  16. That looks so good and so creamy. I am going to try your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I have never heard of this dish before. It sure does look delicious. I love trying out new recipes, so I’ll have to give this one a try too.

  18. I love how easy this menu sounds and yet looks so delicious. This is one of those recipes I won’t hesitate to try out.

  19. Catalina

    Love how creamy this butter chicken is! It’s a dinner idea that my whole family will love!

  20. DROOL! I have never made this here on our own. I think it seems straightforward enough to make. I often buy the kits and would make butter chicken that way. This looks amazing fresh and moist and flavourful.

  21. My husband and I love Indian food and I love butter chicken. Your recipe seems easy enough I might try making these!

  22. Jessica Formicola

    Butter chicken is one of my favorite dishes, and this recipe looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it!