Butter Chicken / Murgh Makhani

Its hard to resist grilled or fried chicken in a creamy rich gravy…..
This is one among the very popular Indian Chicken dish…
A must try recipe for those who haven’t tasted it , next time you visit any Indian restaurant.


Chicken – 2 Breast pieces (cut into small pieces)

For Marinating 

Lemon juice – 1 Tb Sp
Red chili Powder /Cayenne Pepper – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Olive oil or Vegetable oil – 2 tsp + more for grilling , baking or frying.
Caraway seeds / Ajwain – 1/4 tsp crushed ( or else use fennel seeds )
Salt to taste.

For the sauce/Curry/Gravy

Butter – 2 to 3  Tb Sp
Onion – 1 small finely chopped (Optional , Onion is not used traditionally)
Ginger and Garlic paste – 2 tsp each
Tomato’s puree – from 3 medium sized tomatoes (or else use canned tomato Puree)
Yogurt – 3 Tb Sp
Red Chili Powder – 2 tsp (or more as per preference)
Kasuri Methi / Dried Fenugreek leaves – 1 Tb Sp crushed / powdered.
Cashew nuts – 2 to 4 Tb Sp
Fresh Cream – 1/4 to 1/2 cup (Makes the curry thin or thick and rich too)

Masala’s / Spices 

Garam Masala Powder / Meat Masala Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Cardamom – 4 no’s crushed
Cloves -2 no’s
Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch small piece


* Marinate the chicken pieces with the ingredients given for marination , keep for at least an hour (if possible overnight).
* Line the skin of tomatoes with a knife and boil it for 15 to 25 minutes , peel off the skin and puree the same. Powder cashew nuts , mix 3 Tb Sp(Approx) water to the powdered cashew nut , mix and keep aside.
* I grilled the chicken pieces in a 400 Degree preheated oven for approx 12 minutes turning the sides in between , may cook on a grill till the pieces looks nice and golden brown and cooked through , keep the cooked chicken pieces aside. 
Drizzle few drops of oil over the pieces before grilling it.
* Heat butter in a wok/Kadai , when it melts add the crushed whole spices / Masala’s ( Cardamom , cloves , cinnamon and Cumin seeds) saute and then add the ginger and garlic paste , saute till done and add finely chopped onion(if using) , cook till the onion looks golden brown.
* When the onion are nicely done, add tomato puree,stir , cover with a lid and cook till the puree reduces and are done (Almost takes 15 to 20 minutes , stir occasionally) 
* Add red chili powder and stir then add the cashew nut paste , cook in low heat for 2 to 4 minutes and then add curd, stir to combine.

* Add the chicken pieces to the gravy , May add up to 1/2 cup water to the gravy (if you want it loose or else sprinkle some water, I washed the baking dish used for grilling the chicken with little water and poured it to the gravy) Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
* When the gravy starts to thicken ,add salt , Garam Masala/Meat masala  powder , Kasuri Methi / Dried fenugreek leaves crushed and cream.
* Stir to combine well and switch off the heat.
Serve with Naan bread or any Rice dish. 
Traditionally served with a teaspoon of butter on top which melts over the dish and makes it extra rich. 
Notes :
       This dish can be made with lot of alterations as per preference , like frying the chicken pieces instead of baking /Grilling it , adding whole cashew nuts to make it extra rich.
        May substitute cream with evaporated milk , more curd etc and also using Margarine instead of butter , the result varies as you know Butter and Cream gives the best result 🙂

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