Murgh Makhani/ Butter Chicken


Murgh Makhani aka Butter Chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes (among many others 🙂 )

When I think of Butter Chicken, I think of this silky, delicious tomato sauce finished with a touch of butter and heavy cream…..yumm!

My culinary adventures with Indian food started few years ago. I remember one year my husband offered to take me to an Indian buffet for my birthday.  He was just kidding,  thinking that I would hate Indian food since it’s so much different than polish food and so much more spicy. But I loved the idea and THE FOOD at the buffet 🙂 .  I became a fan of an Indian food ever since….

I was always too afraid to try cooking Indian dishes on my own. The recipes sounded so complicated and I felt intimidated :/ . My first experience with Indian dishes was with the use of ready made spice mixes that I would get from the local Indian market.


Slowly by slowly though, I started buying the real spices and reading many recipes online. Since I didn’t grow up eating Indian food, many people wonder where did I learn how to cook Indian dishes. Well, my main inspiration came from my lovely sisters in law! They always make delicious Indian dishes. As soon as I come back from their houses I try to recreate the dishes they made.

My best friend, when it comes to learning how to cook Indian dishes, is YOU TUBE! I love watching Manjula’s Kitchen as well as chef VahRehVah. Other inspirations came from fellow bloggers like Coffe and Crumpets, Indian Khana, Paru’s Kitchen and many more wonderful bloggers!

When researching the recipes for Butter Chicken I found that there are many different variations of the dish. Every chef has their own way of making it. My recipe was inspired by VahRehVah chef. No matter which recipe I found they all had few ingredients in common. That was of course chicken, butter and also tomatoes and heavy cream plus all the delicious Indian spices. Different spices can be added depending on the person who is making it and their taste.


To make Butter Chicken we’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of chicken breast (or boneless skinless thighs), cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (kashmiri chili powder is preferred because of it’s deep red color)
  • 1 tbsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. kasoori methi leaves ( dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 2 tbsp. of oil
  • 3-4 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4-5 tomatoes, diced
  • 5-6 cashew nuts or almonds
  • 1 tbsp. of ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • pinch of red coloring (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/3 of a cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste

To make it:


Heat up 1 tbsp. of oil and 1 tbsp. of butter in the pan. Fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden brown. Don’t put the entire chicken at once as it will steam and will not brown nicely. The chicken doesn’t have to cook through as it will cook in the gravy.


Once the chicken is browned from all sides set it aside on the paper towel


Mix all the spices (ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, chili powder, kasoori methi leaves and garam masala) with 1 tbsp. of water. That will prevent spices from burning when we add them to the hot oil.


On the same pan that we used to fry the chicken, add 1 tbsp. of oil and 1 tbsp. of butter. Add cumin seeds and let them fry for 15 seconds.


Add finely chopped onion and fry for 5 minutes until golden brown. Add salt to taste.


To the onion add all the spices mixed with water and fry for a minute or two, until the oil starts separating from the spices.


Add tomatoes and cashew nuts or almonds, sprinkle salt to taste and cook slowly for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes are nice and soft. The nuts will make a nice thick gravy.


Once the tomatoes are soft, transfer everything to a blender and process until smooth paste. Make sure to let the tomatoes cool for few minutes before blending.


Blended gravy transfer back to the pan and set up the heat to medium low.


Add the tomato ketchup, tomato paste and red coloring to the gravy. You can skip the coloring of course. The dish will be still delicious, it just want have this bright red color that the traditional butter chicken has. You can also add a tsp. of sugar to the sauce if you’d like. Make sure to taste the sauce and check if you need any more salt or chili powder.


Next, add the chicken and cook with the gravy for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.


Finish by adding 1 tbsp. of melted butter and heavy cream. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves over the top.


Serve with rice or naan. ENJOY!!!

I love the taste of the naan dipped into the silky gravy from the Butter Chicken. The sauce is so delicious that I could just eat it by itself. No need for chicken 🙂

 Make sure to try the recipe and let me know what you think 🙂

Your comments and feedback are always welcome!!!

And those are step by step instructions:

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 Thanks for reading and I hope you try this Butter Chicken recipe soon and let me know what you think 🙂 !!!



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