Butter chicken curry / Murg Makhani

Best Butter chicken 

butter chicken

Butter chicken is such a popular dish in Japan. Almost every Japanese I have met here who said I love Indian food is a big fan of Butter chicken and this is one gravy that I don’t mind loading on carbs. I mean literally there is everything in it that screams carbs, but hey I tell myself one life to live, right ? and we keep it an occasional affair to indulge in our home.

When I started trying this recipe, I used to play around the proportions of the ingredients and somehow it took many trials to reach this satisfying level. Butter chicken curry  usually a tomato base curry hence remember to keep the proportion of tomatoes slightly more than the onions so you wouldn’t end up with a pale looking butter chicken.

Some tips :

  1. Don’t skip the cashews which bring the creaminess to the recipe.
  2. The final tip is don’t be in a hurry to remove it of the heat. The last few minutes it simmers in the curry sauce is very important to blend all the flavors in to the chicken and also to make the curry itself richer.
  3. Adding a bit of sweetness to the dish by adding honey takes the dish to a level up. Highly recommend.

butter chicken

The proportion of the spices is the most important part of getting the right taste for this recipe. Its a fairly easy recipe in case you want a crowd pleaser for your next party this is it !! now lets see how to make the best home made butter chicken. 

I Love to serve it with Home made garlic naan, check out my easy peasy home made naan recipe without yeast here.

No yeast garlic naan

"butter chicken"

Butter chicken recipe

Butter chicken is a rich and creamy tomato based gravy flavoured with indian spices.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Marination time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 55 mins
Course dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 People


  • blender
  • Pot
  • spatulas,
  • measuring cups
  • spoons


  • 1 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes puree or 1/2 can of tomato pulp
  • 6-8 cashews (broken into half)
  • 1/4 cup beaten yoghurt (at room temperature)
  • Corriander leaves a handful
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cream or malai
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder (add less if you prefer less spice)
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 pod of garlic (large pods)
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp crushed kasuri methi
  • 250 - 300 gms chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Tandoori chicken masala
  • 1 tsp each of ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tbsp Honey


  • Wash and cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and marinate with yoghurt , turmeric, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder lemon juice, salt , tandoori chicken masala and ginger garlic paste ... for atleast 2 hours or over night
  • In a pan, add butter, add finely chopped onions, sauté until its soft, add chopped tomatoes, chopped Ginger & garlic, green chilli , little salt and cook until the tomatoes go soft. Add the cashews, Corriander leaves and mix it in and turn off the flame. Cool it down and blend it to a smooth paste once it cools down. You can add water to help blend to a smooth paste.
  • In the same pan, add a spoon of oil and once its hot add the marinated chicken pieces, along with the marinade and cook until the chicken is cooked for 5-10 mins or cooked half way through... remove from heat and transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
  • To the same pan, add a tbsp of butter, some red chilli powder, and mix it the butter for few seconds quickly.
  • Add in the blended onion, tomato cashew paste, and add the nutmeg powder, cardamom powder, garam masala, kasuri methi, honey and mix it all in. Check for salt and Cook in low to medium flame for 10 mins, stir in between to avoid burning in the bottom.
  • Next add the cooked chicken pieces, Add fresh cream cover and cook for another 10 mins or until you see the curry is glossy on top and richer red in colour.
  • Remove from heat, garish with fresh cream, coriander leaves and butter and serve hot with naan or roti .


Adjust the spice level to suit you. The quantity mentioned is mild because I have used Kashmiri red chilli powder.
You can alternatively grill the chicken over a charcoal grill to get that perfect smoky tandoori flavor.
Its important to have the yoghurt at room temperature and well beaten to avoid curdling. This is incase you don't have too much tie to marinate.
If you don't have tandoori masala, you can simply use a mixture of red chilli powder, garam masala and little kasoori methi to it. 1 tsp each.
If you are using ready made tandoori masala, check for spice levels and salt levels and add accordingly. As it may vary from brand to brand. I had used S&B tandoori masala powder.
Keyword chicken gravy, chicken recipes, north indian gravy, north indian side dish

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