Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) is a super easy but full of flavor curry. This butter chicken recipe is better than any take out or butter chicken from your favorite Indian restaurant!
Murgh Makhani is one of the most famous curries around the world. Tender and juicy chicken pieces are swimming in an incredible smoky and creamy curry sauce. It is one pan chicken dish that goes great with basmati rice or butter naan. Ready in 30 minutes!
Living in the UAE, where Indians are the largest part of the population (about 30 %), Indian dishes are cooked at every house and can be ordered from almost every restaurant. We are so lucky with all Indian, Pakistani, Syrian and Lebanese restaurants around us.
And, frankly speaking, I am in love with Indian cuisine because all the dishes are very flavorful and unique. And nothing can beat a good curry after a hectic and tough day!
But Butter Chicken is my absolute favorite! Chicken is very juicy and tender thanks to the yogurt marinade and packed full of flavor thanks to spices. The smoky curry sauce is so addictive! Once you try it, you will crave it again and again!
What I like most about this homemade butter chicken is that it is budget friendly and most of the ingredients you can get from any grocery shop.
Who Invented Butter Chicken?
Butter Chicken is a northern Indian dish. It was invented by Kundan Lal Gujral. In India they call it murgh makhani ( which means chicken with butter).
Ghee (clarified butter) and heavy cream make the curry sauce very creamy and silky.
Personally I hate oily curries. This homemade butter chicken is much better because you can control the amount of ghee/ butter. I found that ghee gives better results than butter and it is much healthier. Heavy cream adds the richness the authentic Indian butter chicken has. An authentic taste with less oil!
Why is Butter Chicken Famous?
Most of Indian curries are very spicy and their recipes call for exotic spices, but butter chicken is different. It is a mild curry and easy to make. This is the reason why it is everybody’s favorite curry and so popular around the world.
what is butter chicken masala?
Murgh Makhani masala is a mixture of cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and green cardamom pods. They are typical spices used for butter chicken in India. I am sure that most of them you have in your kitchen. If you don’t have, but you like the Indian cuisine and want to explore it, I recommend to buy them because you will use these spices for other Indian dishes.
How do you make butter chicken at home?
This famous Indian curry is very easy to make at home. Even though it is a mild chicken curry in terms of spiciness, you can customize the recipe and add as much or as little red chili as you wish. Let’s have a look at the cooking method.
- First, combine chicken pieces with all the ingredients for the marinade. The longer you let chicken marinate, the juicier and more tender it is going to be. I recommend to leave chicken in the fridge to marinate overnight. In India they usually use chicken breast, but even chicken thighs will work.
- Sear chicken in batches and transfer to a plate.
If you have many burnt pieces stuck to the bottom of your skillet, you can remove them.
- Make the sauce in the same skillet.
Butter Chicken Sauce
When it comes to any curry, sauce is the key to success, Murgh Makhani is not an exception. And the good news is that the sauce is ridiculously easy to make. You will need onion, ginger, garlic, tomato passata, heavy cream, kasoori methi and spices like cloves, green cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. I used strained tomato passata, it guarantees that you get a silky and smooth sauce. Alternatively you can bake tomatoes and onion for 25-30 minutes and blend together with spices, ginger and garlic. But in this case, you will need to strain the sauce. I tried both homemade and store-bough passata and didn’t find a big difference.
When using a store-bought passata, blend it with the cooked onion, garlic , ginger and spices in a blender, then transfer back into the skillet. Add the chicken pieces and cook the sauce for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with some water.
Finally, add heavy cream and kasoori methi and cook for another 2 minutes.
I like my butter chicken to have a smoky flavor. To achieve this, heat a charcoal. Place a small measuring cup with butter, green cardamom and cloves into the skillet and put the heated charcoal on the butter. Quickly cover the skillet with the lid. Remove the cup after 10 minutes.
Making ahead of time
YES!! You can prepare murgh makhani ahead of time. Let chicken marinate and freeze. Use only when you need.
Another option is to make it, allow to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. Alternatively, you can also freeze it for 1 month.
This recipe is worth making! I am sure you are going to love this smoky butter chicken because it is seriously the BEST!
OTHER CHICKEN BREAST RECIPES
- Baked Chicken Breasts in Honey Mustard Sauce
- Chicken Stroganoff
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Creamy Dijon Chicken
- Copycat Popeyes Chicken Sandwich
- Lemon Chicken Piccata
If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating! I will be happy to hear from you!Print
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