Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a renowned dish that originated in the vibrant kitchens of India. This iconic North Indian delicacy has gained immense popularity worldwide for its rich and creamy tomato-based sauce, infused with aromatic spices and tender chicken. The velvety texture and balanced flavors of Famous Butter Chicken make it an absolute delight for food enthusiasts seeking a taste of authentic Indian cuisine. In this blog post, we will walk you through a classic recipe for this beloved dish, allowing you to recreate the magic of buttery goodness in your own kitchen.


For the chicken marinade:

  • 1.5 lbs (700g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (or paprika for milder heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt, to taste

For the butter chicken sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (or paprika for milder heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


  1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, ginger paste, garlic paste, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt for the chicken marinade.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well, ensuring each piece is coated. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight for maximum flavor.
  3. Preheat your grill or oven to medium-high heat. If using a grill, thread the marinated chicken pieces onto skewers. If using an oven, place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  4. Grill or bake the chicken until cooked through and lightly charred, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until golden brown.
  6. Add the ginger paste and garlic paste to the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring continuously to prevent burning.
  7. Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, Kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala, and fenugreek leaves. Cook for another minute to toast the spices and release their flavors.
  8. Pour in the tomato puree and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly.
  9. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring gently to combine the ingredients.
  10. Add the grilled or baked chicken to the sauce, coating each piece with the luscious butter chicken sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  11. Season with salt to taste. If desired, you can adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding a splash of water or more cream.
  12. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving. Butter Chicken pairs beautifully with steamed basmati rice or naan bread, allowing you to savor every spoonful of this delectable creation.


  • For a healthier version, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of thighs. Ensure not to overcook the chicken breasts, as they tend to dry out faster.
  • If you prefer a spicier butter chicken, you can increase the amount of Kashmiri red chili powder or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • To enhance the smoky flavor, you can grill the chicken over charcoal or use a stovetop grill pan.
  • For a vegan twist, you can substitute the chicken with tofu or paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes and use vegan butter and cashew cream instead of dairy products.

Variation: Cashew Butter Chicken

To add a delightful nutty twist to the classic Butter Chicken, you can try making Cashew Butter Chicken. Here’s how:

  1. Follow the instructions for the Butter Chicken sauce as mentioned in the original recipe.
  2. In a blender, combine 1/2 cup of cashews and 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth, creating a creamy cashew paste.
  3. In step 9 of the original recipe, substitute the heavy creamwith the cashew paste and stir well to incorporate it into the sauce.
  4. Continue following the remaining steps of the original recipe to complete the Cashew Butter Chicken.

This variation adds a creamy and nutty dimension to the dish, creating a unique flavor profile that will tantalize your taste buds.


Famous Butter Chicken is a culinary masterpiece that has captivated food lovers around the world with its rich and creamy sauce, perfectly balanced flavors, and tender chicken. By following this classic recipe, you can recreate the magic of this iconic Indian dish in your own kitchen. Whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or simply seeking a new and delicious culinary adventure, Butter Chicken is sure to impress and satisfy. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the aromatic spices, and indulge in the velvety goodness of Famous Butter Chicken. Your taste buds will thank you for this unforgettable experience.