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Indian Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani) Recipe

  • Author: Sheenam
  • Prep Time: 60 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 80 mins
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stove Top & Oven
  • Cuisine: Indian


Indian butter chicken (murg makhani) recipe that is so simple and easy to follow. Delicious juicy chicken cooked with homemade Indian tandoori masala, tossed in rich and buttery tomato gravy, best served with naan or rice.



Shredded Tandoori Chicken Recipe:

  • 300 grams or 2 thick chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder (see note 1)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp hot oil (see note 2)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated garlic 
  • 1 tbsp regular salted butter (15 grams) - see note 3

Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani) Gravy Recipe:

  • 6-7 tbsp (roughly 85 grams) regular salted butter (see note 3)
  • 1 1/2 cup (200 grams) thinly sliced red onions
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 4 cups (500 grams) roughly chopped tomatoes
  • salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) 



  1. Tandoori Chicken Marinade: In a bowl mix together all ingredients listed under marinade and add chicken breasts. Make sure the chicken is fully covered in the marinade. Cover with cling wrap and transfer to the fridge for 50-60 minutes. In the meanwhile, prep for the gravy.
  2. Butter Chicken Gravy: To a pan or wok, add 3 tbsp (45 grams) of butter and let melt on medium low flame. Add thinly sliced onions, ginger and garlic. Stir on medium low flame until the onions are nicely caramelised and lightly browned. Do not stop stirring at any point. Once the onions start getting stuck to the pan, add 3 tbsp (45 grams) of butter and continue cooking the onions. As they get nicely browned, add chopped tomatoes, salt and chilli powder. Mix well, cover and cook on medium low flame for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Take off the lid, add 2/3 cup water, deglaze the plan and mix well. Press down the tomato pieces with the back of the wooden spoon. Add coriander powder and garam masala. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium low flame. Take off the lid and continue cooking once the onion tomato mixture starts getting thicker and leaves oil from the corners. Once cooked, take it off the stove and let cool for about 15-20 minutes. 
  4. Shredded Tandoori Chicken: Pre-heat the oven to 220 degree celsius for about 10 minutes. Brush melted butter (1/2 tbsp) on a baking sheet lined with aluminium/ foil sheet. Place the marinated chicken breasts and spread all of the marinade on the chicken pieces. Pour the remaining 1/2 tbsp melted butter on the chicen pieces. Transfer to oven and cook for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take the tray out the oven and shred the chicken (as shown in video) and mix well in the marinade and juices. Transfer back to the oven and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Blended Gravy: Blend the cooled down onion-tomato gravy mix. Add back to the pan, add remaining water and simmer/ let cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. 
  6. Assembling: Add shredded chicken and continue cooking (turn the flame to low if gravy gets too thick). Add kasoori methi and cream, remaining 1 tbsp butter, mix well and cook for additional 1-2 minutes. Serve hot.  


  • Roasted Cumin Powder: We make our own roasted cumin powder at home by dry roasting regular cumin seeds in a pan until it starts releasing its flavors and just when it gets begins to change color and get darker, blend it or use old school mortar pestle to turn roasted cumin seeds into powder.
  • Hot Oil for marinade: It is VERY important to use hot oil. I used regular vegetable oil for this recipe. Simply add oil to a separate small pan and heat for a few minutes until its hot. Not flaming. Check the video to see how the spices get lightly cooked when hot oil is added to the marinade
  • Butter: Strongly advised to not alter butter quantity or measurement. For easier flow, divide the butter before you start cooking. You need butter at 4 steps: 1) for tandoori chicken 2) to start cooking the onions, 3) to continue cooking onions (right before you add tomatoes) and 4) to finish of the gravy when its cooked. Use all 100 grams in this recipe. 

Keywords: butter chicken, indian, curry

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