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Butter chicken is the ultimate comfort food that your entire family will love. It is cooked in a buttery tomato sauce and seasoned with several special spices and herbs. Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) is a modern Indian dish that originated at the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi in the 1950s. But it has now become a globally beloved dish. It can be served with butter naan, roti, paratha, steamed rice for a simple Indian meal.  

Butter Chicken Vs Chicken Tikka Masala  

Butter chicken and chicken tikka masala have a lot of similarities, but they differ in flavor, texture, and taste. Tikka Masala is spicy and hot, whereas butter chicken is low on the heat & spice quotient. Another difference is that butter chicken is cooked in butter, and chicken tikka masala is cooked in oil. Besides, chicken tikka has a texture from caramelized onions, but butter chicken has a smooth and silky gravy sauce.    

Despite the extensive ingredient list, this recipe isn't difficult. The chicken marinade comes together in seconds, and while toasting and grinding whole spices improve their flavor and scent, you may save time by using pre-ground spices. 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes 

Cook Time: 30 minutes 


Ingredients For Marinade chicken 

  • 1-pound boneless chicken 
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Lal Mirch
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 

For the Gravy

  • 8-10 whole almonds
  • 8-10 whole cashews
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons dried coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Kashmiri Lal Mirch
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kasuri Methi

How To Make Butter Chicken?

Marinate the Chicken

In a large bowl, mix the chicken and the remaining marinade ingredients. Massage the marinade into the chicken with your hands. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight, covered in plastic wrap.

Soak Cashews and Almonds

Soak cashews and almonds in water for an hour before preparing the recipe.

Cook Chicken

Over medium-high heat, heat a grill pan. Using a teaspoon of oil, drizzle it into the pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade in stages and grill it in the pan for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through (clear juice runs out of it when you cut into it). Avoid overcrowding the pan. Place the chicken in a separate dish once it's cooked. Cover and save for a later.

Make Makhani Sauce

In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter. Add the ginger, garlic paste, and sugar as soon as the butter has melted. 1–2 minutes of sautéing. Cook, stirring for 8 to 10 minutes over medium-high heat, until all of the excess liquid is cooked off. The sauce should be sloppy and paste-like in texture. Coriander, garam masala, Kashmiri Lal Mirch, and salt are added to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Turn the heat off.

Puree with nuts

Transfer the paste to a blender and add the soaked cashews and almonds. Now, blend into a smooth paste.

To Finish

Put the paste in the cooking pan over medium heat. To make a smooth gravy, add the water to the paste and mix. Add the grilled chicken and heavy cream to the sauce as it begins to boil. Stir everything together thoroughly—Cook for 5 minutes with the lid on the pan.

Turn off the stove. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and the Kasuri Methi and stir. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the Kasuri Methi flavor to infuse the butter chicken.


Serve the chicken with a side of steamed rice or garlic naan. And you can freeze this leftover dish in an airtight container for up to a week. Reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat to retain the texture.

Expert Tips

This lip-smacking butter chicken recipe never uses onion. Using onion changes the taste of the recipe.

Yogurt in the marinate process tenderizes the chicken, so don't skip it

Taste in the gravy comes from cream & cashews

Is Butter Chicken Spicy?

Butter chicken is pleasantly spicy and slightly sweet, making it suitable for a wide range of palates. Unlike chicken tikka masala, which is typically enjoyed by spicy food enthusiasts, butter chicken is enjoyed by a wide range of individuals, including some who cannot eat even a single bite of spicy food.

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