What is Butter Chicken Recipe?

Butter Chicken also known as Murgh Makhni is one of the most loved dishes around the globe. Butter Chicken is so famous that the Indian restaurants all over the world has it in their menus. The food lovers keep on gushing over the rich, luscious gravy that Butter Chicken is all about. Butter Chicken originated from Northern India and is named Butter Chicken because it is cooked with butter. It is very similar to Chicken Tikka Masala, but the gravy of Butter Chicken is richer. Some people might say that Chicken Tikka Masala is same as Butter Chicken but the difference that I find between the two is that Butter Chicken has a very rich, rustic flavored gravy. The butter and cream added to the gravy gives not only the palatable taste but also a great aroma.

butter chicken recipe

How to make Butter Chicken?

The color, rich gravy and luscious taste may tell us that this savory dish can be made only in restaurants. But Butter chicken is not that daunting as it looks like. Now you can achieve that same restaurant style savory taste at home. Yes!! Here I’m sharing the easiest Butter Chicken recipe. As it is very common in India that every region has its own very distinct recipes. Same is with Butter Chicken. Though originally from the Northern region of India, butter chicken has a fan following all around the country. Hence, the Butter Chicken recipes will have variations according to the taste of that particular area.
The extensive amount of butter used in restaurants in making Butter Chicken can sometimes leave us bloated. In this recipe of Butter Chicken we’ll cut down on the use of butter without compromising the taste. Since the cream is added to already butter rich gravy, it’s best to start off the gravy with oil. Half oil and half butter will enhance the taste and won’t let you feel bloated also.
Since most of the Indian gravy dishes are spicy because of the use of bold Indian spices, the butter chicken is more towards the milder side and that’s why it’s very popular amongst all the age groups. Though it can be made spicy but the real charm of this dish is in its mild and rich taste.

Ingredients list for Butter Chicken

The Butter Chicken recipe that I’m sharing here is very simple and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. The spices that are needed for this simple recipe is ubiquitous in every household. Here is the list of ingredients needed for the recipe of Butter Chicken:-

For Chicken Marination

Here is the list of ingredients that will be used in boiling the rice.

  1. boneless chicken – 3 lbs.
  2. Yogurt – 3 tablespoons
  3. 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  4. 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  5. 1 teaspoons garam masala
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  8. 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  9. 1 teaspoon of salt

For the Gravy

  1. 1/2 cup oil
  2. 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  3. 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  6. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  7. 1 small can of tomato paste
  8. 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  9. Salt to taste
  10. 1 cup of heavy cream
  11. 1 tablespoon sugar
  12. 1/2 teaspoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  13. 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Step by step recipe of Butter Chicken

Step 1 – Marinate the chicken pieces with the above mentioned ingredients, and keep it aside for minimum of 30 minutes. If time allows let the chicken marinate overnight as it allows the chicken pieces to be tender and full of flavor.

Step 2 – Heat oil in a large skillet add chicken pieces in it and fry until brown. Keep aside.

Step 3 – Heat oil in the same pan and add finely chopped onions in it. Let it fry till it turns golden brown.

Step 4 – Add ginger garlic paste and stir it continuously. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, chili powder, salt and 1 small can of tomato paste. Keep stirring it so that it doesn’t burn. Simmer the flame to medium low add little water and let it cook for 15-20 minutes.

Step 5 – The gravy will start thickening and the color will change to deep red. At this point add the chicken pieces and sprinkle garam masala in it. Let it cook for additional 15/20 minutes on low flame until the chicken is tender. Adjust the gravy thickness according to your preference.

Step 6 – Now add the cream, sugar and Kasoori methi. Add the butter in it. Garnish it with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

The delicious homemade Butter Chicken is ready !

Tips for making Butter Chicken

Some of these tips come in handy while making butter chicken :-

  1. Make the gravy well in advance. Let it cook and then you can refrigerate it for 24 to 48 hours. This allows the flavor to enhance.
  2. Marinate the chicken overnight, it enhances the flavors and helps chicken to cook faster.
  3. It’s optional to add orange food color.
  4. If you are watching your calories, then instead of heavy cream use evaporated milk.
  5. The boneless meat can be of chicken thighs also. For some people chicken thighs are more flavorful.
  6. Always Mix the spices first in the yogurt before adding the chicken pieces. This way you can adjust salt and chili.

Lucky Masale Butter Chicken Mix

There are so many readymade spice mixes in the market. So many brand names to choose from that one can get easily confused. These readymade mixes removes our tension of mixing the spices in the right quantity. My favorite brand is Lucky Masale. The spices used in their products are of the best quality as they gives the best flavor and aroma to the dishes. Butter Chicken Mix by Lucky Masale is the most authentic, traditional mix you can ever find. The recipe is quite easy to follow and the color, flavor and aroma are unmatched. If you don’t want to endeavor making Butter Chicken from scratch Lucky Masale Butter Chicken is the best readymade spice mix you can attempt this dish with.

What to serve with Butter Chicken?

Butter Chicken is best served with garlic naans. Some people also like it with fresh garlic rice. My personal favorite is relishing Butter Chicken with Naans!!


If there is any recipe which is worth trying at home, it’s Butter Chicken recipe. It is so easy to make and the ingredients are so simple. Try it, and trust me you will make it again and again.