Learn how to make Butter Chicken that tastes better than what’s served in Indian restaurants and is one of the most popular Indian curries. Enjoy tender chicken pieces smothered in rich, creamy, and silky gravy that’s bursting with authentic flavor! To make butter chicken recipe you will need simple ingredients available in any store near you. Don’t forget to watch the video tutorial and follow some simple tips to make this amazing delight!
Butter Chicken Recipe
If you want to taste authentic Indian dishes, you have to travel to India, that what I used to believe in but not anymore! Butter chicken recipe changes depending on which part of India you are. The changes are not significant, mostly a slight difference in spices used, but the flavor is always pleasantly unique.
Making butter chicken is easy and is made with simple ingredients. Tender chicken with amazing flavor coming from the combination of earthy and warm spices. The butter chicken sauce is silky and is so delicious you can enjoy it on its own with a freshly made Naan bread.
Ingredients to make Butter chicken
Chicken breast or chicken thighs. I will explain in this post how to make butter chicken using chicken breast without letting it go dry.
Butter. The star of our dish, so make sure to use quality butter, and it is best to use unsalted butter.
Salt and black pepper.
Cumin and coriander powder.
Turmeric and garam masala powder.
Ginger and garlic paste.
Why is butter chicken called butter chicken?
Butter chicken is an Indian dish and is called Murgh Makhani in Hindi. Murgh means chicken, and makhani means butter or buttery. The original recipe was created in the Northern part of India. Long-time ago, Indians used to adding a huge amount of butter and Ghee to this dish plus a crazy amount of heavy cream.
Murgh makhani used to be a delicious yet oily dish. With time Indians made a few modifications in the recipe to maintain the amazing taste but with less fat.
In the recipe I’m sharing with you today, I managed to keep the amount of fat low, and I promise that you will still enjoy the original authentic flavor.
How to make Indian butter chicken in easy steps?
- Add the marinade spices to chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- In a pan, add butter and oil, then add the chicken and cook until brown patches appear on the chicken.
- In a different pan, add butter and oil, when hot add the chopped onion, sauté until translucent, add ginger and garlic paste and stir for a minute.
- Add the chopped tomato and spices. Stir and add water. Blend in a blender until smooth.
- Add butter to the pan, strain the smoothed sauce through the sieve to get a silky sauce. Add the chicken to the sauce. Add the ketchup, sugar, cream, stir, and you are done.
Using Chicken Breast in Butter chicken
It is best to use pieces from chicken thighs and legs in making butter chicken; the chicken stays tender even if you overcooked it. But if you like to use chicken breast then follow the steps below to have tender and juicy slices.
- Make sure the pan is very hot before adding the slices of the chicken breast.
- Add the chicken breast in batches. Do not crowd the pan.
- After adding the chicken to the pan, do not stir but keep it in the pan until the bottom is light brown, then flip it — Cook the other side for two minutes. Cooking the chicken breast in this way will make sure to seal the juices and keep it tender.
- When done with all the batches, proceed as per the recipe.
What’s the difference between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala?
Chicken Tikka Masala tastes a lot like butter chicken and looks the same, and the difference is the marinade. In chicken tikka masala the chicken marinade includes yogurt and lemon. The flavors are sharper and stronger.
In some restaurants, to make chicken tikka masala, they use chicken tikka pieces and add them to the butter chicken sauce.
More Indian Dishes
This post was previously published in 2013, but now it is edited with new images and a video tutorial.
You might notice that the number of ingredients is more in the video, and it’s because I have cooked for a small crowd while making the video. However, the steps remain the same.
- 2 skinless and boneless chicken breast or two chicken thighs cut in cubes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 5 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
- 3 medium tomatoes chopped
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 5 tablespoon heavy cream
- Mix all ingredients together cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Making the Sauce
- In a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons butter and one tablespoon oil.
- Fry the chicken and when it's browned, remove from heat and keep aside.
- In the saucepan, add one tablespoon oil and one tablespoon butter. Add the onion and fry until translucent.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, stir for 3-4 minutes. Add coriander, garam masala, and salt.
- Add water and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
- Let the mixture cool down then add to the blender. Add more water (may take one cup or one cup and a half) if the mixture turned out too thick.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add the tomato sauce to it through a sieve.
- Add the chicken, ketchup, sugar, and cream. Stir to blend.
- Let simmer for 2 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- If the sauce is too thick, add around ½ cup boiling water.
- Serve with Indian bread or on plain rice.
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Your butter chicken looks really lovely, I should probably try your recipe next time I will be cooking it. 🙂
Thanks Madeja, it is really delicious. Let me know how you like it when you make it 🙂
Rose Ann Sales
Looks savory! Thanks for the recipe,I will def try this.
Muna, I am DROOLING! The butter chicken looks out of this world delicious!
Thanks Angie, It's really something else 🙂
one of my favourite
Hi, Muna. I am so glad I found your blog. Everything looks so delicious, it's hard to know where to start! I think I have decided to start with your Butter Chicken. It looks amazing! Thank you.
Thank you Wendy, Butter chicken is a good start 🙂
WOW! Muna, I love Indian food but was always thought it was a lot of work - I made this tonight - AMAZING. I'm so thrilled to have found your blog. Thank you!
Hey Lana, Thank you for the feedback! I'm so glad you liked it 🙂
I cooked this for dinner tonight and it was amazing, thank you.
Thank you Noor, I'm happy that you've enjoyed it!
I made this tonight and it was so good! Best recipe ive had for this dish and very simple. Except mine didnt turn out so red as yours in the end, what did you add?
Hi Stefanie, I'm so glad you liked my recipe! The color depends on how red the tomatoes were. Sometimes I get dark yellow color other times light orange. I know that some people add food coloring but I avoid it. Mine turns out dark orange mostly, but the taste will always be the same 🙂
Thank you for this wonderful recipe . I chose your over the others because of the presentation . Now I just hope mine looks as good . From the other reviews I can see your recipe was a hit.
Thank You Andrea 🙂
Jennifer Van Haitsma
This looks so good! I have been on a major rice kick lately so I will have to try this.
This looks delicious! Your sauce sounds amazing. This is a great dish especially to feed a group.
This looks so good. Butter chicken is one of my son's favorite dishes but I've never made it from scratch. Thanks for the recipe.
You are welcome!
That chicken looks so good and the name really fits because it is so smooth and tasty. I know this is a recipe that will make typical chicken less hum drum
Now this sounds like an absolutely wonderful buttered chicken! Definitely something I could see me and my partner enjoying.
I miss Indian Food. We used to do it once in a while on date nights back when. I'm pinning so I can make yours!
Hope you enjoy it 🙂
This butter chicken was so delicious! A huge hit with everyone.
Thanks for the feedback, Heather! This a great dinner indeed.
That looks so good and so creamy. I am going to try your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing.
I have never heard of this dish before. It sure does look delicious. I love trying out new recipes, so I'll have to give this one a try too.
I love how easy this menu sounds and yet looks so delicious. This is one of those recipes I won't hesitate to try out.
Love how creamy this butter chicken is! It's a dinner idea that my whole family will love!
DROOL! I have never made this here on our own. I think it seems straightforward enough to make. I often buy the kits and would make butter chicken that way. This looks amazing fresh and moist and flavourful.
Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place
My husband and I love Indian food and I love butter chicken. Your recipe seems easy enough I might try making these!
Butter chicken is one of my favorite dishes, and this recipe looks amazing! I can't wait to try it!