Butter Chicken

December 1, 2008


My favourite Indian dish of all time is Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani; a view shared by many all over the world. “No Butter Chicken, No Business” a manager of an Indian takeaway once told me.
Butter Chicken comes in many variations; some contain cashews while others contain many different spices such as turmeric and cumin.

This recipe I want to share is so easy to put together and it tastes amazing… and the aroma! The ingredients aren’t many or complicated so anybody could make this. Best of all this dish is sure to impress anyone. There is nothing more satisfying than cooking something from scratch and not from a bottle.

For the meat I recommend using thigh pieces. Thigh meat is very soft and tender when cooked, unlike breast meat which I find too dry. If you are being health concious by all means use breast meat but with such a rich sauce I find it defeats the purpose.

All the ingredients should be easy to find; most spices are readily available in major supermarkets. Ghee is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. It is clarified butter and can be found in specialist Indian grocers. It is especially important to use ghee and not regular butter as it significantly affects the taste.

Unfortunatley I cannot take the credit for cooking this meal; it was my wonderful Mum who surprised me knowing it was my favourite. I did however do the food styling, the photography and of course the eating!

So please, try this recipe out and let me know what you think!

Butter Chicken

1.5kg (3 lbs) diced chicken
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbs finely grated ginger
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp Kashmiri garam masala
1 tbs ghee*

1 tbs ghee
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 onion, finely diced
3 tbs tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs fine shreds of ginger
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp Kashmiri garam masala
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

Combine garlic, ginger, lemon juice and spices and rub into the chicken pieces. Set aside for an hour. Scrape off any excess marinade and reserve.

Fry chicken in ghee until lightly browned.

For the sauce:
In a heavy pan melt the ghee and cook garlic and onion until soft. Add reserved marinade, tomato paste, salt, sugar and ginger threads. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream. Add pieces of fried chicken and gently stir through the sauce. Cook until the chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with garam masala and coriander.

Serve with rice or Indian bread.


13 Responses to “Butter Chicken”

  1. mylastbite Says:

    This looks delicious!

  2. culinarysherpas Says:

    Thanks for this. Been CRAVING butter chicken lately and the one cuisine I’m not at all familiar with is Indian.

  3. Naomi Says:


    I just wanted to stay I stumbled upon your blog today and I can’t wait for more! Every recipe looks mouth-wateringly delicious…you are inspiring me to cook as I type!
    One more thing…how do I subscribe to your blog?:)


  4. Shilpa Says:

    heyy nice blog!! i love food and photography, s this makes a nice blend.. please post more soon! =)

  5. delightsgal Says:

    oh wow, i am soo excited to try this recipe. thx for sharing!

  6. somemoreplease Says:

    Naomi – I seem to be a bit of a numpty when it comes to things like RSS feeds :S But I did find this direct link so you can subscribe: https://somemoreplease.wordpress.com/feed/rss/

    Thanks so much for your comments!

  7. gaga Says:

    Yum, I’ve been experimenting with Indian food recently and am really enjoying it. I’m adding your dish to my list of things to try. Thanks!

  8. Your Dad Says:


    do you know how to make ghee? There is none for sale here in Morocco and I really want to use it for dishes like this one and other dishes, especially the rice ones. I can mix the equivelant for the masala but how to clarify butter if that is possible would be nice to know, it is really easy to get pure natural butter.


  9. Michelle Says:

    This is one dish that I’ve always wanted to try but never go around to. Thanks for reminding me!

  10. AndreaQ Says:

    this looks fantastic!

  11. TheWoman Says:

    Made this tonight and it turned out amazingly good! Chicken was so tender, my husband couldn’t believe it.

  12. Margie Says:

    A year late to your post…. but my family discovered and fell in love with butter chicken on a recent trip to Australia. I was thrilled to find your recipe and your blog! Can’t wait to give it a go.

  13. I am making this tonight, it sounds too good NOT to make!!!

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