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Butter Chicken, Anyone?

butter chicken

Butter Chicken, Ahh! my mouth is watering already, and guess same is with you. The dish originated in the North Indian State named Punjab, the place where you get a variety of chicken dishes but the “must-try” is the Butter Chicken. Small pieces / chunks of boneless chicken cooked mildly spiced thick, red and smooth gravy is what Butter Chicken is.

Known for its fiery red color the dish is not considered spicy on the contrary most places serve it slightly on the sweeter side but can be made hot as well. Murg Makhani is a dish that has wonderful flavor and a rich creamy texture. If you haven’t already, you will surely fall in love with it!

When served it is usually garnished with fresh coriander leaves, a spoon full of fresh creme and a cube or two of butter.

It is a dish made by marinating a chicken overnight in a yoghurt and spice mixture usually including garam masala, ginger, lemon or lime, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli, methi and garlic. While the Makhani sauce is made from butter, tomatoes, almonds and various spices, often including cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, fenugreek and sometimes cream. Once the sauce is prepared, the marinated and roasted chicken is chopped and added to it.

Butter Chicken Recipe no. 1


  • 1 kg boneless chicken skin removed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 6 cloves
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 1″ stick of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 almonds
  • Seeds from 3-4 pods of cardamom
  • 1 cup fresh yoghurt (must not be sour)
  • 3 tbsps vegetable/canola/sunflower cooking oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 tsps garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 can (400g or 14 oz) of tomato paste
  • 1/2 litre chicken stock
  • 2 tbsps kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 3 tbsps unmelted, soft butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Mix the chicken, lime juice, salt and red chilli powder in a large, non-metallic bowl. Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
  • Heat a flat pan or griddle on medium heat and gently roast (stirring frequently) the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves and almonds till they darken slightly. Cool and add the cardamom seeds. Now grind into a coarse powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
  • Mix the yoghurt, above whole spice powder (from previous step), coriander, cumin and turmeric powders together and add them to the chicken. Allow to marinate for another hour.
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan on medium heat. When hot, add the onions. Fry till a pale golden brown in color and then add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry for a minute.
  • Add only the chicken from the chicken-spice mix and fry till sealed (chicken will turn opaque and the flesh will go from pink to whitish in color).
  • Now add the tomato paste, chicken stock, kasuri methi and remaining part of the yogurt-spice mix to the chicken.
  • Cook till the chicken is tender and the gravy is reduced to half its original volume.
  • Melt the butter in another small pan and then pour it over the chicken.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Naan or tandoori roti.

Butter Chicken Recipe no. 2


  • 750 g – chicken
  • 1 kg – tomato
  • 250 g – hung curd
  • 200 ml – cream
  • 100 g – butter
  • 10 g – ginger
  • 10 g -fenugreek leave
  • 10 g – coriander powder
  • 5 g – green chilly
  • 2 tsp – sugar
  • 2 tsp – ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp – red chilli powder
  • salt to taste


  • First of all wash chicken and put for marinating with hung curd; ginger garlic; a pinch of salt and red chilli powder.
  • Cut all tomato and make puree of it.
  • Heat butter in kadhai; add some ginger and green chilly and fry till golden brown.
  • Add puree; stir it and add salt; red chilli powder and sugar. Mix well.
  • Add cream and stir well.
  • Add fenugreek leaves and keep boiling.
  • Heat another pan with butter to fry the chicken.
  • Fry all the chicken till half done.
  • Add fried chicken in gravy stir it well.
  • Serve hot with garnish of cream and ginger.

Butter Chicken Recipe no. 3


  • 1 kg – chicken
  • 1/4 kg – cashewnut
  • 3 cups – butter
  • 6 nos – green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp – red chilly powder
  • 1 inch – ginger
  • red colour (optional)
  • nestle cream
  • 4 nos – onions
  • 3 – tomatoes (small)
  • salt – as required
  • oil
  • ginger for garnishing
  • coriander leaves for garnishing


  • Cut chicken into small pieces.
  • Add salt and some colour and fry in a pan with enough oil; till done.
  • Grind all the ingredients well to a fine paste.
  • Melt the remaining butter in another pan and add the ground paste along with one glass of water.
  • Add the chicken pieces and allow to boil for a few minutes.
  • After 10 minutes; when it is semi-solid; add Nestle cream.
  • Garnish with long strands of ginger and coriander leaves.


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