Creamy Butter Chicken Recipe | Chicken Makhani

Butter Chicken, also known as Chicken Makhani is one of the popular lip-smacking Indian non-vegetarian dishes made with chicken, spices, tomatoes & cream. Loved by many across the world, it was invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, the owner of Moti Mahal Restaurant in Delhi. This creamy & authentic tasting butter chicken is the best when you can make at home. Serve with basmati rice, naan or roti is a delight which most Indians love during their restaurant visits.

To make an authentic butter chicken recipe, first, we need to marinate the chicken, grilled and then cooked in a rich gravy made with tomato, cashew nuts, butter, and a special spice blend as a base. Unlike most Indian curries,  butter chicken uses tomato as a base instead of the base prepared with onions and a ginger garlic paste. Cashews and fresh cream add to the sweetness and richness of the dish.

This post will guide you with step-by-step instructions on how to make butter chicken at home with homemade masalas and fresh ingredients that tastes absolutely delicious, flavor-packed, creamy, and rich. The recipe shared here is an authentic one, except grilling in tandoor. Not every one of us has a tandoor or an oven. So for this post, I have done it in a pan.

Recipe Ingredients & Cooking Process

Note: You can change the Servings count below to get updated ingredient quantities.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken Recipe – a lip-smacking Indian non-vegetarian dishes made with chicken, spices, tomatoes & cream.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Butter Chicken, Chicken Makhani
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 500 g Chicken (skinless withbone-in, cut into medium-sized pieces)
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Ginger – Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Ginger (Chopped)
  • 4 pods Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Onions (thinly chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cup Tomato (thinly chopped)
  • 1-2 no. Green Chilli (Slit)
  • 3 tbsp Thick Curd/Yogurt
  • 2 no. Bay Leaf
  • 2 no. Green Cardamom
  • 3 no. Cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 1 no. Black Cardamom
  • 1-2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kasoori Methi Powder
  • 10 no. Cashews
  • 2-3 tbsp Fresh Cream
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red Food Color – a pinch (Optional)


Marinate the Chicken

  • Wash the chicken neatly until the water runs off clearly.
  • Add salt, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric to the chicken and mix well. Keep it aside for 15 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, take 1 tbsp of oil and add 1 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder. Mix well.
  • Then add little salt, curd and mix well. Add marinated chicken pieces into it and mix until you have a thick coating of the masala to the chicken pieces.
  • Set aside for at least one hour in the refrigerator.

Grilling or Roasting Chicken

  • Heat a 1 tbsp of oil/butter in a pan and place the marinated chicken pieces.
  • Fry on low-medium flame till the moisture in the chicken evaporates. It may take 10-15 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken pieces in between so that they cook evenly.
  • Switch off the flame and keep aside.

Preparing the Gravy

  • Take 1 cup of water in a Kadai/pan, add roughly chopped tomatoes, onions, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, ginger, garlic pods, cashews, green chillies, remaining Kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, kasoori methi, salt & little butter.
  • Stir and cook on medium heat for 5 -10 minutes until the tomatoes are mushy.
  • Turn off the heat & cool it down.
  • Transfer it into a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Keep it aside.

Making of Butter Chicken / Murg Makhani

  • To make the Chicken Makhni, heat the remaining butter in a non-stick pan and add the bay leaf.
  • Then add the blended tomato gravy, 1 cup of water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Add the sugar and mix well.
  • Cook until the gravy becomes thick & begins to leave the sides of the pan.
  • Add the grilled or fried chicken pieces to the gravy. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Finally, add fresh cream & switch off the flame. Serve hot with naan or paratha.


  1. Marinate chicken for at least 1 hour, or overnight if time allows. The longer it marinates, the more tender your chicken will be.
  2. Don’t skip cashews and cream as the rich taste in the gravy comes from these two only.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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