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Creamy Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)

Use this creamy butter chicken recipe to make authentic butter chicken that is as good as it gets! It’s creamy, easy to make, and only uses one pan!

August 1, 2021
Butter ChickenPhoto By Petite Gourmets
Difficulty Easy
Servings 4-6 people
Preparation 15 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Total 45 mins

Butter Chicken Recipe Video



  1. Combine the chicken with yogurt, ginger, garlic, and all the other spices required for the marinade (2 teaspoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon each of turmeric, ground cumin, paprika, and salt) in a bowl and leave it to marinate for at least 30 to 60 minutes. If you have the time, leave the chicken to marinate overnight.
  2. Once the chicken is marinated, add oil to a large skillet or pot and heat it up on medium-high heat till sizzling. Add the marinated chicken in batches and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  3. Then, in the same pan, heat butter or ghee and add the cut onions to it. Fry for about 6 minutes until they start to sweat, making sure to scrape up any browned bits sticking to the pan.
  4. Add in the ginger and garlic, sautéing until fragrant (about a minute) before adding the ground coriander, cumin, and garam masala. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 20 more seconds.
  5. Introduce crushed tomatoes, chili powder, and salt to the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens and gains a deep brown-red color. Stir occasionally.
  6. Blend this sauce in a blender with a couple of tablespoons of water and pour the resulting smooth mixture back into the pan. Add in cream, sugar, and crushed kasoori methi and stir before adding the partially cooked chicken.
  7. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the sauce is thick and bubbling and the chicken is cooked through before dishing out your authentic butter chicken. Garnish and enjoy hot!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Butter Chicken
Serves 4-6
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Protein 36 g72%
Total Fat 41 g52.6%
Cholesterol 250 mg83.3%
Sodium 1601 mg69.6%
Potassium 973 mg20.7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Leave the chicken marinating overnight for incredibly soft and tender butter chicken.
  • When you sear the chicken, keep the browned bits formed for extra flavor.
  • Fry the chicken in batches of two or three to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  • If you prefer, you can replace the two tablespoons of ghee with one tablespoon of butter and oil each.
  • For the best sauce, allow your tomatoes to cook off until they are almost dry. This should take 10-15 minutes, but you can add a couple of tablespoons of water if they dry too soon.
  • This butter chicken recipe calls for heavy whipping cream or thickened cream. To make butter chicken without cream, substitute with evaporated milk or half-and-half.
  • For a richer sauce, melt in a couple tablespoons of butter or ghee into it at the end.
  • If the sauce ends up too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of ghee or butter or a minimal amount of water and simmer till it thins out.
Rate This Recipe

This authentic butter chicken recipe can easily rival the one found at any restaurant. It's buttery, flavorful, and unbelievably tender, all signs of a great butter chicken! Not to mention, there are no hard to find ingredients, and the recipe takes only a little over an hour to make.

What Is Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken or Murgh makhani is an Indian inspired dish consisting of grilled chicken in a creamy and buttery sauce. It is thought to have originated in Northern India in the 1950s when Kundan Lal Gujral, owner of popular Delhi restaurant Moti Mahal, mixed leftover tandoori chicken with a mixture of spices, butter, and tomato and served it.

How to Make Butter Chicken?

To make authentic butter chicken, first marinate the chicken pieces in a mixture of yogurt, ginger, garlic, and other spices for approximately 30 to 60 minutes before frying them. Then sauté some onions, ginger, and garlic with ground coriander, cumin, and garam masala and add crushed tomatoes, chili powder, and salt to the mix. Simmer for 10-15 minutes before blending this mixture in a blender and pouring the smooth mixture back into the pan. Finally, add cream, sugar, kasoori methi, and the partially cooked chicken and cook for another 8-10 minutes.

Butter Chicken VS Chicken Tikka Masala

While the two dishes are remarkably similar in taste and texture, they do have some subtle differences. The main difference between Butter Chicken vs Tikka Masala is that butter chicken masala is a blend of tomato sauce and spices, while tikka masala is made with tomato gravy and onion sauce. This results in butter chicken being less tomatoey and chicken tikka masala being less creamy.

How to Serve Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken should be served with sides like pulao, basmati rice, naan bread, aloo gobi, daal, raita, chutney, or papadum for a delicious traditional dinner. But can also be paired with salad, steamed vegetables, cauliflower rice, or pasta for something a little more modernized.

Here are some delicious recipes you can serve with Butter Chicken:

How to Store Butter Chicken?

Store leftover butter chicken in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in a refrigerator or freeze it in a freezer bag, airtight container, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove, and add extra cream if your butter chicken looks dried out.

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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