murg makhani | butter chicken

Hands up if you like butter chicken!

Chances are, you did raise your hand, even if it was done mentally.


There are so many versions of butter chicken – some make use of chicken with bones while others use boneless chicken; some are cooked in a tandoor while others are roasted, grilled or pan-fried. The spices used in every recipe also differ.

Butter chicken is commonly served with naan, roti, parathas or different types of rice and this recipe can easily be adjusted to suit your taste buds.

Best of all, it is amazingly simple to make!

Here’s how.

I marinated the diced chicken (you can cut the chicken into bigger chunks of you like) with minced garlic, grated ginger, lemon juice, chili powder, paprika and garam masala.

This was covered with cling film and left in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.

In a hot Dutch oven, I melted some butter with a little olive oil (to prevent the butter from burning). I added the sliced onions.

I cooked this for a good 10-12 minutes, until the onions had cooked down and started to caramelize. Then I added minced garlic and cooked a further one minute or so.

The tomato paste was then added, and cooked for a few minutes. You’d want to cook it for a while so that there is no raw tomato flavor.

At this stage, I added the chicken and left it to cook for about a minute. Do not stir!

I turned the chicken over, and cooked another minute on this side.

Before I added garam masala.

I stirred the chicken to evenly distribute the garam masala.

Then I added water, salt and sugar.

I covered the Dutch oven and lowered the heat. The chicken was simmered until tender. Remember to stir occasionally.

Finally, I stirred in the cream, and brought the sauce up to a slow boil. Once the sauce had thickened, the dish was ready.

I garnished with some chopped coriander.

It was even more delicious the following day, so make more in order to have left overs!

Murg Makhani | Butter Chicken
Serves 6
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  1. 1 ½ pounds (700 g) chicken (thigh or breast), diced
  2. 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  3. 1 onion, finely diced
  4. 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  5. 1 teaspoon sugar
  6. 1 cup (235 ml) water
  7. 1/4 cup (60 ml) cream
  8. 1 tablespoon garam masala
  9. Salt to taste
  10. 1 small bunch cilantro/coriander - roughly chopped
  11. 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
Marinade for the chicken
  1. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  2. 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
  5. 2 teaspoon paprika - I used smoked paprika
  6. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  1. Marinate the chicken for an hour.
  2. Heat up a heavy bottom pan with 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter.
  3. Add in onion and garlic. Sauté until soft and lightly brown. Add in tomato paste. Continue to stir for a few second.
  4. Add in the chicken, do not stir the chicken. Let is cook for a minute before turning it over and cook on the other side.
  5. Add in the garam masala and continue to stir fry until the chicken changes color.
  6. Add in about 1 cup of water, salt and sugar. Cover and let it simmer slowly until chicken is tender. Stir occasionally.
  7. Stir in the cream and bring it up to slow boil until the sauce has thickened
  8. Add chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or bread
Adapted from My Kitchen Snippets
Adapted from My Kitchen Snippets
The Domestic Goddess Wannabe

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This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY, and Jozelyn of Spice Up My Kitchen.