Butter chicken, aka murgh makhani, is a must-try Indian dish.

Fear not, this recipe on How to Make Indian Butter Chicken is way easier than you would think and so flavorful it will become a regular in your home menu options. (Believe it or not, I’ve even included a vegetarian option below!)

How to Make Indian Butter Chicken

The tender chicken marinated in yogurt and the creamy spiced tomato and butter curry sauce makes this dish irresistible.

The richness and depth come from the perfect blend of cream and spices. If you are craving a dish that’s a little spicy, little creamy, and lot delicious, you will love this recipe!

How to Make Indian Butter Chicken

Step 1: Marinate the chicken

To prepare the perfect Indian butter chicken, you need to start with marinating the chicken in yogurt.

Marinating the chicken overnight makes the chicken tender and juicy and brings the flavors of the curry when you cook it.

For marination, you will need about two pounds of chicken (+/-) chicken. (You could use chicken parts, or breasts, or a whole cut up chicken.)

Mix the following marinade items together in a bowl:

  • Mix 1 cup of yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, cover with cling wrap and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. (Don’t have overnight? Marinate for at least an hour.)

Step 2: Cook the chicken

To cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400F (200C).

Remove the marinated chicken from the bowl and place each piece separately on a roasting pan.

The golden rule for your chicken to turn out perfectly juicy and tender, is to cook your marinated chicken pieces for 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of your pieces.

This is enough time for the chicken to cook all the way through without drying out.

At this temperature, the chicken will also have a nice brown exterior and a juicy and succulent interior.

Take care not to overcook it, as this can lead to tough and dry chicken.

Take the tray out of the oven and set it aside.

Step 3: Prepare the Butter Chicken Sauce

To prepare the butter chicken sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet or pan over medium heat.

To the skillet, add

  • 1 large onion that’s been finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste

Cook for a few minutes until the onions turn slightly transparent.

Next, add to the skillet

  • 1 tablespoon of red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin

Continue to cook this for one to two minutes.

Next, add one 14-ounce (400g) can of crushed tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Lastly, add 1 cup heavy cream and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Combine everything together

Use a blender or a hand blender to puree the butter chicken sauce until it is smooth.

Using a blender allows for a smooth and even consistency, ensuring that every bite is super creamy, and bursting with flavor. Not to mention, it’s so much less messy than trying to manually blend  everything together. Plus, the blender allows you complete control over the texture.

Next, pour the sauce back into the skillet and add the cooked chicken.

Mix well and let it simmer for 10 minutes until everything is well combined, and the chicken is cooked through.

Step 5: Garnish and serve

Garnish the Indian butter chicken with fresh chopped coriander leaves, and finally, serve it hot with rice, naan bread, or whatever you like to enjoy it with.

Vegetarian Version? You bet…

If you are a vegetarian or just looking to cut back on meat, turning your favorite chicken dishes into vegetarian options is easier than you might think.

To make Indian Butter Chicken vegetarian, there are a few options for replacing the chicken.

A popular option is to use tofu or paneer, a type of Indian cheese. Both have a similar texture to chicken and can hold up well in the creamy tomato sauce.

Another option is to use vegetables such as cauliflower, chickpeas, or mushrooms. These options are not only delicious but also offer a variety of health benefits.

No matter which option you choose, you can still enjoy the rich and flavorful sauce that makes Indian Butter Chicken such a beloved dish.

When You Make Indian Butter Chicken You Will See…

The rich and creamy Indian butter chicken dish is a crowd favorite for a reason.

With this step-by-step recipe on how to make Indian Butter Chicken, you can make it yourself with ease, right in your own kitchen.

The tender and juicy chicken pieces combined with the smooth, intensely flavored tomato sauce make for a truly delicious and satisfying meal.

Try this recipe, and get ready to experience a taste of India right in your own home.


P.S. Want to know more about this particular dish? Wikipedia has details.