Butter Chicken is probably one of the best know Indian dishes outside of Tikka Masala or Tandoori, but with authentic spices and my trick, this restaurant quality dish can be made at home. keviniscooking.com
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4.62 from 21 votes

Butter Chicken - Punjabi Murgh Makhani

Marinade for an hour, overnight, or up to 24 hours. The longer the more intense the flavor. Recipe adapted from RecipeTin Eats.

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken
Servings: 6
Calories: 931kcal
Author: Kevin Is Cooking


  • Marinade:
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp garam masala (See Note 1)
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast meat , tenders or thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces
  • Cooking:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 oz tomato sauce (See Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup cream (full fat or light) OR for a lighter version use 3/4 cup light cream + 1/4 cup milk (low fat)
  • Cilantro for garnish


  • Combine Marinade ingredients with the chicken in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, overnight, or up to 24 hours.
  • Heat the oil over high heat in a large fry pan. Add the marinated chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken is white all over - it doesn't really brown due to the marinade.
  • Add the tomato sauce, sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered. Sauce will thicken.
  • Season with salt if needed. Stir through the cream and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and a pinch of some more Garam Masala. Serve with basmati rice.


  1. Use more or less Garam Masala depending on your taste for heat. This is not a very hot dish, the spice blend is more flavor than heat. I think sometimes people confuse spicy with heat and there is a difference! :)
  2. I use Tomato Sauce in this recipe and have also used Tomato Passata, both work well in this. Tomato Passata is uncooked tomato puree that has been strained of seeds and skins. It is not cooked, where Tomato Sauce is cooked and often has other ingredients such as carrots, onions and garlic. If you want little bits of tomato in the sauce passata works well. Smoother go tomato sauce.
    Passata is readily available in most supermarkets, usually alongside pasta sauces. It costs just a little more, sometimes the same, as canned tomatoes. If you can't find it, puree canned tomatoes. This will also work with what is called "Tomato Sauce" in The U.S. of America (Australia! From what I understand don't use what you call Tomato Sauce!).


Calories: 931kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 90.5g | Fat: 57.5g | Saturated Fat: 21.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22.1g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 323.6mg | Sodium: 790.4mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 5.6g