Easy Butter Chicken Recipe

June 24, 2020

Aromatic and tasty Indian Butter Chicken recipe

Authentic Butter Chicken
Butter chicken or known as Murg Makhani is one of the most popular dish in any Indian restaurants.
The good news is, butter chicken is not that difficult to cook in your humble kitchen.

The ingredients I had listed below seems like a mountain!! 
Trust me, once you go through what's needed, it's peanuts.

What is Butter Chicken?

Originated from Northern India. Butter chicken is considered as a mild curry, cooked in mildly spiced tomato gravy.
Its buttery gravy with addition of yoghurt, almond meal, gives the sauce a smooth, silky and slightly nutty taste.

What is the difference between Butter Chicken and Tikka Masala?

Butter chicken is cooked in a pot or pan on a stove and Chicken Tikka Masala is cooked using a tandoor oven.

Butter chicken cooked in spiced creamy tomato sauce, while chicken tikka has marinated chicken pieces cooked on skewer over tandoor oven or bbq.

How to make Butter Chicken?

I have listed down the ingredients and method in the printable recipe card below.

1. Ingredients
Words of advice! 
Don't be intimidated with the long list of ingredients!

butter chicken ingredients
2. Saute Onion till they caramelised

saute onion
3. Add marinated chicken pieces or chicken thigh 

marinated chicken pieces<
4. Add remaining of the ingredients. 
Follow the method in the recipe card below

Cooking butter chicken
5. Skip this step if your tomatoes has not much juice or use chicken stock in cube (instead of using liquid chicken stock)

I needed to thicken the sauce, hence I dish out the chicken pieces. 
No one like soft mushy chicken, right?

chicken pieces
6. Dollop butter on soon to be butter chicken

dollops of butter on cooked butter chicken
7. Place under broiler / griller 

buttered chicken

What do you serve with Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken is best serve immediately with Naan or basmati rice.
And not to forget the spicy potatoes, Potato Masala as your side dish.

 Oh, don't forget your papadums (I usually microwave my papadums) and vegetables!

Authentic butter chicken recipe

What to do with any leftover Butter Chicken?

Any leftover butter chicken, keep in an air tight container and place them in your refrigerator.
Heat thoroughly and consume within 2 days.
Butter chicken is freezable too.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken
Yield: 4
Author: Lisa Ho
Aromatic and tasty Indian Butter Chicken recipe


  • 1 kg chicken thigh (or 8 chicken pieces)
  • Juice of I lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 3 cm cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 250 ml plain yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 brown onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic - pound
  • 2cm ginger - pound
  • 500g fresh tomatoes - blend
  • ½ litre chicken stock
  • 90-100g melted butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish


  1. Roast or pan fry cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, bay leaves, cumin and coriander seeds till slightly darken and aromatic.
  2. Once cooled,  grind to fine powder.
  3. Pan fry the almond meal till aromatic (alternative: roast almond about a handful of almond (10-15 almonds) and grind)
  4. Mix all the ingredients: chicken pieces, lemon juice, chilli powder, paprika, the grounded spices, yoghurt, almond meal. 
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Heat oil in deep pot, on medium heat.
  7. Fry the chopped onion until it turn pale brown in colour.
  8. Add in pounded garlic and ginger. 
  9. Fry for another minute or two.
  10. Add chicken pieces and cook until it turns slightly opaque.
  11. Add in fresh tomatoes, chicken stock and the remaining yoghurt mix.
  12. Bring to a quick boil, stir and reduce heat to a simmer.
  13. Uncover and cook till the gravy is reduced to half and slightly thicken.
  14. Add salt to taste
  15. Dish out onto heatproof glassware, pour the melted butter and placed under the broiler for 2 minutes to brown the top.
  16. Garnish with chopped coriander
  17. Serve immediately with savoury rice or Naan.



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Delicious Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani recipe.  Butter Chicken is a Moghul Dish uses clarified butter or ghee.