Butter Chicken

Delhi and Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani go hand in hand. I mean honestly I was not even aware of the place that it holds in the hearts of Delhiites before I came to work here way back in 1999. I mean for me it was a part of any other menu that is given to you in a north Indian restaurant. Only after I came to saddi Dilli that I realised how revered this dish is 🙂 .

Now the other thing related to this dish is the argument as to where you get the best and the most authentic Butter Chicken. I have been a apart of many food groups on the social media and this topic has always been a bone of contention. Well honestly I am yet to know and taste the most authentic recipes. But I have tried my hand at this dish many a times, of course with the aid of various recipes on the net. I have tried various permutations and combinations and finally I think this is the recipe I like the most. At least for me 2 things stand out first not using onion and second making this purely in butter make is out of this world. So let me share the my way of making this famous dish 😀 .


Ingredients :

  • 750 gms Chicken, cut into medium size pieces
  • 5-6 large Tomatoes, ripe and red
  • 8-10 Cashew nuts
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 6-7 Green Cardamom
  • 2″ piece Cinnamon
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • 1 Tbs Garlic paste
  • 1 Tsp Ginger paste
  • 1/2 Tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder
  • 4-5 Tbs Tomato puree
  • 1/2 Tbs Kasuri Methi
  • 1 Tsp ( or more or less) Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbs whisked Cream
  • 2 Tbs Oil, plus more for grilling
  • 50-60 gms Butter
  • Salt to taste

Marinade :

  • 1/2 Cup Curd, whisked
  • 1 Tsp Ginger paste
  • 1 Tsp Garlic paste
  • 1 Tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 Tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt A pinch of red food color ( Optional)

Method :

  • Mix all the marinade ingredients to a smooth paste and mix well with cleaned and washed chicken. Let it marinate overnight for best results.


  • Blanch the tomatoes and soak the cashewnuts in warm water for 10 -15 minutes.
  • Once the skin of the tomatoes starts peeling off remove from heat and let it cool. Remove the skin and puree it in a blender along with the soaked cashew nuts and keep aside.


  • Place the chicken pieces on a baking dish covered with silver foil and reserve the marinade. Drizzle a mix of oil and ghee generously over it . Grill/broil in the oven at 200 C for 20 – 30 minutes. Make sure to baste the chicken with the liquid in between so that it does not dry out. Once It is browned nicely remove and keep aside.


  • Now heat the ghee in a heavy bottom wok and add about 3/4th of the butter to it. Once melted and hot splutter the cumin seeds and add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.


  • Fry till aromatic and then add the ginger – garlic paste and turmeric. Fry for sometime on low heat and then immediately add the tomato -cashew paste and the tomato puree. Give it a good stir.
  • Once it comes to a boil , lower the heat . Rub the kasuri methi between your palms and add to the gravy along with red chilli powder, garam masala , sugar and salt.Let it simmer for about 15 minutes and keep stirring in between.


  • Now add the chicken pieces along with the liquid in the foil, the leftover marinade, 1/4 cup cream and remaining butter,  give it a good stir , cover and let it simmer further till oil separates. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning.


  • Finally adjust the consistency and the seasoning to your liking. Remove on a serving bowl and drizzle the remaining cream before serving hot with naan, roti or jeera rice.


*Alternately you can fry or grill the chicken in a pan as well.

*Though the butter and ghee can make you guilty but trust me it tastes best this way but yes for the health conscious you can use oil and in the end finish off with some butter

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