An Authentic Guide to an Authentic Recipe: How to Make Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken, often referred to as Murgh Makhani, is a creamy, flavorful, and aromatic curry originating from Punjab in northern India. Celebrated as a North Indian classic, Indian Butter Chicken epitomizes comfort food, featuring tender chunks of chicken bathed in spiced yogurt, simmered in a sumptuous tomato sauce, and enriched with cream and butter. The result? A dish that splendidly marries comfort with sophistication, satisfying both time-honored tastes and modern cravings. So, let’s dive into creating this irresistible Indian Butter Chicken, a true culinary gem.


Marinated Chicken:

  • 1 lb. of skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. of ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. of garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. of red chili powder
  • Salt to taste

For the Butter Chicken Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. of ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. of garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. of ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. of garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. of red chili powder
  • 1 cup of tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


1. Marinating the Chicken

  • In a bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, ginger paste, garlic paste, turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chili powder, and salt to create the marinade.
  • Place the chicken in the marinade and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour to let the flavors combine.

2. Cooking the Chicken

  • Raise the oven temperature to 400F (200C).
  • Place the chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chicken should be cooked through and slightly browned on the edges after being baked for 15-20 minutes. You can also cook the chicken on a stovetop skillet until cooked and lightly browned.
  • Set the cooked chicken aside.

3. Preparing the Butter Chicken Sauce

  • Two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of vegetable oil should be melted together over medium heat in a big skillet.
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn soft and translucent.
  • Cook the ginger-garlic paste for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until aromatic.
  • Mix it with chili powder, cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Cook for a couple of minutes, allowing the spices to bloom.

4. Simmering the Sauce

  • The tomato puree should be poured in and stirred thoroughly with the spices. Simmer the ingredients for about 10 minutes to enable the flavors to combine and the sauce to thicken.
  • Stir the cooked chicken into the sauce so that it is well covered.

5. Adding Creaminess

  • Reduce the heat to low and pour in the heavy cream, stirring gently to incorporate.
  • Season it with salt to taste and sprinkle in a pinch of sugar for a more harmonious flavor.
  • Let the butter chicken simmer gently for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to taste creamy.

6. Finishing Touches

  • To give the sauce a glossy sheen, stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter.
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro for a burst of color and freshness.

7. Serving the Delightful Dish

  • Transfer the Indian Butter Chicken to a serving dish and prepare to be transported to a world of aromatic Indian flavors. Serve it alongside fragrant basmati rice, naan bread, or even roti for a complete and satisfying meal. The creamy, tomato-infused sauce enveloping the tender chicken pieces will captivate your taste buds and leave you craving more. Enjoy this beloved Indian classic with family and friends, and relish the comforting elegance it brings to your table.


Indian Butter Chicken is not just a recipe; it’s a celebration of flavors, traditions, and the art of culinary craftsmanship. The marriage of aromatic spices, succulent chicken, and creamy tomato goodness creates a dish that’s more than just a meal – an experience. Whether you’re a seasoned lover of Indian cuisine or a curious newcomer, this recipe promises to delight and impress. So, gather your ingredients, don your apron, and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Indian flavors as you create a stunning Butter Chicken feast that will leave a lasting impression.

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