Well the name itself gives an introduction to this dish. Butter chicken also known as Murgh Makhani or Makhani chicken is one of the most popular and relished Indian dish. A subtly flavored chicken recipe that has a wonderful balance of sweet, salty, spicy and tart flavors that meld perfectly together. Butter chicken is my boys favorite Indian dish and it’s definitely in regular rotation in my kitchen 🙂
Once you have tandoori chicken ready from there on the recipe is a breeze. I did tweak my Mom’s recipe a tiny bit to suit my family’s tastes, I added onion- tomato masala to balance the tangy flavors from tomato puree and it turned out amazing! If you don’t have the onion- tomato masala ready, its ingredients are mentioned below.
For health reasons this recipe can be cooked in oil. If you prefer you can swap cashew paste with thick yogurt to give this recipe a rich velvety texture. Also adding evaporated milk instead of cream will cut down on some more calories which this dish has to offer.
Add water accordingly; just note that the sauce thickens on its own upon standing. After finishing the recipe I thought it was lacking something, adding garam masala brought the recipe was back on track – delightfully flavorful. Enjoy this authentic traditional Indian butter chicken recipe and serve it with Naan , Kulchas or white steamed rice 🙂
If preparing everything from scratch- TOTAL COOK TIME – Overnight for marination + 1 hour 20 minutes
- Tandoori chicken from scratch – Cook time – Overnight + 25 minutes
- Onion tomato masala from scratch – Cook time – 15 – 20 minutes
- Cashew paste from scratch – Cook time – 10 minutes
- Rest of the recipe – 30 minutes
Butter Chicken or Makhani Chicken
- 6-7 pieces of Tandoori Chicken
- 2 tablespoon Onion - Tomato paste (ingredients below)
- 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
- 2 tablespoon Cashew Paste
- 1/4 cup Tomato puree
- 3-4 pieces of Whole Black Cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Coarsely pounded coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Degi Mirch
- 1 teaspoon Homemade tandoori masala
- 1.5 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Kastoori methi/ dried fenugreek leaves
- 2 tablespoon Cream (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Butter/Ghee/oil
- Before you begin have your tandoori chicken ready.
- Assemble all the ingredients.
- I prefer adding onion-tomato masala to this recipe- as too much of tomato puree gives a tangy taste and adding half of this masala and half of tomato puree keeps the perfect balance in the recipe.
- FOR ONION-TOMATO MASALA - Heat oil in a kadhai, add cumin and as it starts to sputter stir in pureed onion and ginger-garlic paste, saute till the color changes to light brown in color. Mix in chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and cook. Once masala is fully cooked oil will start to appear in the corners of the pan.P.S. this picture belongs to a different recipe and is posted here to give an idea. Your onion tomato masala is ready - for a detailed recipe please visit the link above. Follow rest of the recipe below.
- In a kadhai heat butter/ghee/oil. Add cardamom and cumin seeds. When they start to sputter mix in ginger and garlic paste and saute till they turn light brown in color.
- Add in onion tomato masala, along with cashew paste and tomato puree and mix till its fully blended.
- Stir in the spices and mix.
- Cook on medium low flame till oil starts to leave the masala, say for about 2-3 minutes. Because of the cashew paste, masala will be very sticky - no worries.
- Pour in water- about 1 cup, depending on how thick you want the gravy to be. Bring it to a boil.
- Add cream and give it a good mix.
- Finally add tandoori chicken pieces to the gravy...
- Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium low flame.
- Chicken will be all smeared in gravy. Adjust your seasonings and water content if the gravy becomes too thick. Finally mix in kastoori methi, cover and take it off the flame.
- Let the chicken soak in all the flavors.
- Serve hot with naan or warm kulchas.