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Murgh Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken) Recipe

Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Butter Chicken, chicken, India, Indian, murgh
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time: 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 -6 Servings


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs with or without bone
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • Ghee or butter melted to brush on while grilling


  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt strained, or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves kasuri methi
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic paste


  • 4 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 1/2- 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds methi
  • 2 1/2 inch fresh ginger turned into paste
  • 8-10 garlic cloves turned into paste
  • 2-4 green chilies cut in half
  • 3-3 1/2 cups pureed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder or cayenne, paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 10 blanched almonds made into paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves kasuri methi
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • Chopped cilantro
  • Heavy cream


  • Place chicken in medium bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon red chili powder, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together strained yogurt, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves, turmeric, 1 teaspoon garam masala, mustard oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste, and 1/2 tablespoons garlic paste. Coat the chicken with the marinade and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Preheat a grill or oven at 400 degrees Skewer the marinated chicken. Place on grill or oiled baking sheet and brush with ghee. Cook for 5 minutes, turn, brush with more ghee, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  • In a large pan, heat 4 tablespoons ghee over medium heat. Add the green cardamoms, black cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Cook until they become fragrant, about 2 minutes, and stir in the fenugreek seeds. Once they begin to sizzle, stir in the ginger paste, garlic paste, and green chilies. Cook until the water from the pastes evaporates, 5-8 minutes.
  • Stir in the pureed tomatoes, red chili powder, and salt to taste. Cook until the tomatoes reduce to a thick paste, 15-20 minutes.
  • Pour in 2 1/2 cups hot water and add the almond paste. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the sugar and crushed fenugreek leaves.
  • Add the grilled chicken, stirring to coat. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes. Remove cover, reduce heat to low, and stir in garam masala and heavy cream. Simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat. Serve immediately garnished with cilantro and splashes of heavy cream.