Murgh Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken) Recipe -
Murgh Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken) Recipe
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Indian Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
See how to make a homemade version of Indian butter chicken. See more
  • READY IN ABOUT 2 hrs

Murgh Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

Recipe by  

"This is a simple home version of butter chicken, also known as 'murgh' or 'chicken makhani,' a popular dish in Indian restaurants. This is best served with naan, an Indian bread, or you can also serve this with basmati rice."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    1 hr 50 mins


  1. Stir the yogurt and tandoori masala powder together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined; add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Drain and discard any excess marinade.
  2. Puree the onion, ginger, and garlic with the water in a blender until it forms a smooth paste; set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken in the hot oil until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons in the skillet. Fry the onion paste in the hot oil until the moisture is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the garam masala and chili powder over the mixture; cook 1 minute more. Pour the tomato sauce into the mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook another 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan along with the half and half; bring to a boil. Add the butter, fenugreek leaves, and salt; reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until the chicken pieces are no longer pink in the middle, 15 to 20 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 16, 2010

True to it's description, this is the "simple home version" that I have been looking for without the hassles of grinding cashews, grilling the chicken, etc, etc. The best decision I made was to follow the recipe exactly as it was written even down to the minutes for cooking each layer of ingredients, and that definitely paid off. The only substitution I made was using a tsp of frozen fenugreek leaves instead of dried, but I don't think that hurt it too much. Don't be deterred if you can't find the fenugreek leaves at all...I'm sure it's fine even without them. Will definitely be making this again for many years to come. Thanks so much for submitting this recipe! PS. One small note, if the chicken releases some water when initially browning it, dump it out of the pan before heating the remaining oil and browning the onions.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 10, 2010

This was yummy, but I would recommend a couple things. Use heavy whipping cream instead of half and half. Or, condensed canned milk if you want a lighter dish. In India they never use half and half. For the "cooking oil," use vegetable oil. For the butter, you can make "ghee," which is cooked butter with removed fat. You cook the butter in a pan, and when you see the white coagulation on the top, strain the melted butter through a cheesecloth. You will have the golden goodness of the butter without the other stuff. It tastes nutty and flavorful, and if you're wondering what this stuff is - it's what you get with lobster at a good restaurant! You'll have to use a bit more butter (I use a pound) if you're going to make ghee. A lot will be removed in the straining process. Also, "tomato sauce" may be confusing. Don't use the stuff you use for pasta! (but that might be a big DUH). Use a can of pure tomatoes, diced or whole. Use the juice! And, one more thing. I tend to like more sauce with my rice and meat (I like to slurp it up with garlic naan and jasmine rice!) If you're like me, you'll want to use more heavy cream and yogurt. This will mean a pinch more of spices (careful with the chili powder!) Another tip - add yogurt to the dish slowly, so the rest of the sauce will "accept" it... the yogurt will curdle if too much is added at once. Happy eating!

May 24, 2010

This is a very good recipe that I will definitely make again. Next time I'll probably add less salt (1/2-3/4 t), and less Indian chili powder (1/8 t) so it's not quite as spicy. I used a combo of condensed milk and half & half and it turned out nicely. I ended up adding extra half & half just to balance out the salt and heat. But we loved this meal served over jasmine rice!

Feb 07, 2011

Love this recipe! this was my first foray into Indian cooking and I was pleased to say it was pretty good! I love how everything is more or less scratch, and delicious. I add a bit more garlic (hard to go wrong!) and serve with naan bread and rice. since I can't find fenugreek leaves, I use the powder. I actually did this for my extended family around Christmas, and even for my grandparents whose palettes aren't particularly adventurous, they really enjoyed this meal. yummy! I have also added spinach at the last minute and it was a nice flavour as well with a bit more nutrition :)

Jan 05, 2012

I have had butter chicken in many Indian restaurants. This recipe is So easy and So good. I really like spice so I doubled the chilli powder. I used good Indian ingredients from the Indian Market too. I would not change a thing. Next time I am going to double it!!!

May 23, 2011

Easy recipe that resulted in a very tasty dish. I didn't make it very spicy by not adding very much chili powder. The dish was very flavourful so I didn't have to add very much salt either. I marinated the pieces of chicken thighs overnight and they turned out great. I also doubled the garlic/onion/ginger paste, tomatoes and evaporated milk because I wanted double the amount of sauce. I cooked some mushrooms in the extra sauce and it was delicious. I would make this again because it is a simple recipe with great flavour. I used canned crushed tomatoes this time but next time I might try to puree canned diced tomatoes or fresh ones.

Dec 14, 2011

I loved it, especially because it leaves a spicy hot taste in the back of the throat. I changed the half and half for half of sour cream. I really liked it.

Aug 13, 2010

I used heavy whipping cream instead of Half-n-Half, and I increased the chili powder to 1/2t. Great easy recipe!


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  • Calories
  • 474 kcal
  • 24%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 12.9 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol
  • 179 mg
  • 60%
  • Fat
  • 30.4 g
  • 47%
  • Fiber
  • 2.6 g
  • 10%
  • Protein
  • 38.1 g
  • 76%
  • Sodium
  • 1141 mg
  • 46%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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