File:Chicken makhani.jpg

Murgh Mahkani, commonly known as butter chicken, is an Indian dish. The recipe uses a lot of butter to get a smooth and rich flavor. The hot red color is from the use of hot peppers in the curry but today people prefer to have their dish mild. So, butter chicken is cooked with a little amount of chili powder and the hot red color is from food coloring used in the curry.

Butter chicken like most other dishes has an interesting history.

Once there lived a man by the name Kundan Lal Gujral in Peshawar,Punjab. He owned an eatery named 'Moti Mahal Delux'. One night a VIP arrived at the restaurant wanting to order a chicken dish. The chef had run short of ingredients (either forgetting the booking or because it was nearing closing time) , so he tossed some leftover tandoori chicken with some butter and tomato into a pan. He spiced it with garam masala and chili powder. The result was Murgh Makhani/butter chicken.

Butter chicken is so famous today, that you can order in most restaurents worldwide. There are thousands of butter chicken recipes available on the internet. The basic idea is to make a sauce with butter, garam masala, curd, tomato and chili powder and cook tandoori chicken in this sauce. The addition of qasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) makes a huge difference to its taste.




(For the marinade)

  • 1 chicken (cut into at least 15 pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon curd
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kesari powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Marinate the chicken with all the above ingredients.
  2. Let it marinate for 4 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Add a dash of oil in a flat pan.
  4. Roast the chicken slightly for 3 minutes on each side.



(For curry)

  • 5 tomatoes (blended)
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup curd (beaten) or cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. qasuri methi (Dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 10 almonds or cashew nuts (Roasted and ground to paste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of coriander leaves


  1. Add butter and the tomato purée to the sauce pan.
  2. Heat until the raw smell of the tomato changes and the purée thickens.
  3. Add salt, chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala, qasuri methi and a teaspoon of sugar to the purée.
  4. Add the curd or cream and stir till the whiteness of the curd disappears.
  5. Add the almond paste and salt.
  6. Add the stir-fried chicken and heat for 7 minutes.
  7. Add the chopped coriander and serve hot.

Easy way to cut a whole chicken into 10 pieces

What to serve with butter chicken




Butter naan, paratha, steamed rice, boiled rice and pasta tastes great with butter chicken.

Click her for 9 recipes for rotis that can be served with butter chicken.

Let us know how it turned out for you. Hope you enjoy cooking your easy butter chicken.