Sunday, April 11, 2010

Murgh Makhani urf Butter Chicken

Butter chicken or Murgh Makhani is an Indian dish from Punjab, they say this dish is among the best known Indian foods all over the world. The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to Delhi, during the period of Mughal Empire. While the dish's general recipe is well known, the actual flavor can vary from restaurant to restaurant even within India. Its gravy can be made as hot or mild as you like so it suits most palates. Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice.

The recipe i have used here is again from Camellia Panjabi's 50 Great Curries of India. This dish is really creamy and so tasty. What really surprised me was how rich this curry is, i have loved having Butter Chicken in restaurants but only when i got down to preparing it did i realise how rich it is...hence i'm against the idea of making this an every week chicken dish at home....So i'm bookmarking this recipe for guests.;)


1. Chicken : 900g (use small pieces on the bone or boneless pieces)
2. Oil: 4-5 tbsp

For the marinade:

1. Yoghurt: 2 cups (full-fat or a carton of plain yoghurt)
2. Garlic Cloves: 6nos
3. Fresh Ginger: ½” piece
4. Red Chili Powder/ Paprika: 3/4 tsp
5. Coriander Powder: ¼ tsp
6. Cumin Powder: ½ tsp
7. Garam Masala Powder:
8. Salt: ½ tsp
9. Lime Juice:

For the makhani sauce:

1. Tomatoes: 700g
2. Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves): ½ tsp
3. Chilled Butter: 75g
4. Paprika: ½ tsp
5. Vinegar: few drops
6. Garam Masala Powder: ¼ tsp
7. Salt
8. Single Cream: 40g


First prepare the marinade

Step 1: Place the yoghurt in a piece of muslin and leave to hang to allow the whey to drip away ( I have read this is how you make “hung curd” but I didn’t do this as I thought the yogurt I’m using is thick enough).

Step 2: Purée the garlic and ginger in a blender (I just crushed them into a coarse paste using a good mortar and pestle) Add this and the marinade spices, salt and lime juice to the yoghurt and mix well.

Step 3: Make gashes in the chicken if using pieces on the bone. Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt mixture for at least 1 hour, preferably 2; for best results leave overnight.

Once this is done and you are ready to cook

Step 1: Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed skillet and put in the chicken with the marinade. Cover and cook over a low heat until done. Turn the chicken over during cooking.

Step 2: While the above is going on scald the tomatoes for the makhani sauce and peel off the skin. Reduce to a semi-pulp with a fork or potato masher.

Step 3: Put the tomato pulp into a frying pan and cook for 5 minutes or so until the liquid has evaporated slightly.

Step 4: Add the chilled butter and paprika; after the butter has melted, let it cook for just 1 minute. Taste… if it has no sourness; add a few drops of vinegar.

Step 5: Add the kasuri methi and garam masala powder and salt to taste.

Step 6: After 30 seconds, add the cream and stir. The sauce is now ready. Add in the chicken pieces and mix well. Serve immediately.

p.s. my snap for this dish has also gotten accepted on foodgawker....yeah yeah yippee yippee....;)


  1. one of my all time fav dish, would be perfect with Naan, looks so yum

  2. Hi miriam, how r u??glad to know ur name.......the dish looks of my favourite..But prepare it in a bit different way...will try urs in the next time....the presentation is very nice and the photography is just perfect...

    BTW...I posted few comments in your earlier posts..seems they were not reached u....any way loved ur dal tarka and the hot white chocolate as well...have a nice day...

  3. ur are so getting good at food styling..and i love all the utensils...i am so hungry right now and this is making my stomach growl..really..lemme now go and hunt for something to munch on

  4. gals....thank you so much....:)

    Kamalika...:) thanks.....oh, you are not the first person to tell me the comments didn't reach me for my earlier posts...don't know what seems to be the problem....:(

  5. gals i forgot to mention...the picture looks this good coz my friend Nishant Pagare helped me make it look this good...:D

  6. Beautiful Pic Miriam! Loved the colors..

  7. Hi Miriam, that looks like an awesome recipe for butter chicken. In my recipe I roast and grind the coriander and cumin for a much more intense flavour. Plus I make my own garam masala as I've found the shop bought ones are not nearly as good and you can't tell how long they have been sitting on the shelf. You know the other day I was told never to buy ground spices as some companies are adding fillers plus also grinding things like stems, twigs etc. Cloves is a classic and if you buy it ground it can be the clove stems as well as the seeds, which is not very good.

    I'm so passionate about spices that I've made up my own butter chicken blend to save roasting and grinding all the spices yourself every time. If you're interested my website is


  8. butter chicken looks delicious.
    first time here u have a wonderful space here..good collecttion of recipes..
    following u friend
    if u get a chance visit our blog

  9. Hi P...thanks for dropping by here on my blog n' ur comment....i just visited your blog and you have some really nice posts there...:)

  10. i made butter chicken once before, and the result was amazing, but it literally took 3 days with all the marinating!

  11. wow...u have made butter chicken? that's nice... try this recipe was a winner for me...:D

  12. I made a murgh makhani that was very similar to yours. Your dish looks amazing. I love the color of this dish. It was worth all the work. After seeing your photo, I want more!

  13. Hi Memoria...thank you so much for vising my blog n' leaving me a comment here...out of all the dishes i have tried this one surely is a winner...;)


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