• Nupur Bhattacharya

Butter Chicken Recipe/ Restaurant Style Butter Chicken/ Murgh Makhani/How to make butter chicken

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

Tender Succulent Smoky chicken pieces in a Silky Smooth Buttery tomato sauce! Try making it like this and you won't be ordering butter chicken from a restaurant anytime soon!


Yield: 6-8 servings

Brining the chicken:

Chicken breast... 500g

Enough water to cover the chicken breasts

1/2 tablespoon salt per cup of water

Fresh Garam masala:

Cinnamon stick... 2 inch piece

Cloves… 1/2 teaspoon

Green cardamom… 1/2 teaspoon

Bayleaf… 2 medium size

Star anise… 1 piece

Chicken Marinade:

Ginger paste… 1/2 teaspoon

Garlic paste… 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder… 1/2 teaspoon

Kashmiri red chili powder… 1/2 teaspoon

Fresh garam masala… 1/2 teaspoon

Fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi, crushed)… 1/2 teaspoon

Salt... (to taste, 1/2 teaspoon)

Plain unsweetened thick yogurt… 2 tablespoons

For smoking the chicken:

One piece of coal in a metal cup

1 teaspoon of ghee

Charcoal lighter liquid

Instead of smoking the chicken with a charcoal, you can BBQ the chicken if possible!


Tomatoes (roughly chopped)... 5-6 or 500 g

Onion (roughly chopped)... 1 small size

Garlic (roughly chopped)... 5-6 cloves

Cashew nuts… 10-12 pieces

Coriander leaves (chopped)... 1 tablespoon

Fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi, crushed)… 1 tablespoon

Butter... 3 tablespoons

Fresh garam masala... 1/2 teaspoon

Kashmiri red chili powder… 1/2 teaspoon

Sugar or honey (to taste)

Salt (to taste)

Heavy cream... 3 tablespoons


Fresh garam masala

Grind the following to a powder and store in an airtight container

-Cinnamon sticks: 2 inch piece

-Cloves: half a teaspoon

-Green cardamoms: half a teaspoon

-Bay leaves: 2 medium sized

-Star anise: 1

Chicken breasts taste better than chicken thighs in this recipe, but you need to brine them so they stay nice and tender

Brining chicken breasts

  • Add 4 cups of water to 500 g of chicken breast

  • To this add 2 tablespoons of salt and mix well

  • Keep this refrigerated for two hours at least

  • After refrigeration rinse the chicken thoroughly and cut them into bite-size pieces

Marinating the chicken

  • Add half a teaspoon of ginger garlic paste, 1 teaspoon of garlic paste, half a teaspoon of coriander powder, half a teaspoon of kashmiri red chili powder, half a teaspoon of fresh garam masala, half a teaspoon of crushed kasuri methi or fenugreek leaves (you can crush them by rubbing it in between your palms), half a teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of thick yogurt

  • Mix thoroughly

  • Let this marinate for at least 30 minutes

Cooking the chicken

  • Set a pan on high heat and add one tablespoon oil to it

  • Add 1 tablespoon butter

  • When the butter melts add the marinated chicken and stir fry the chicken on high heat for 5 minutes

Make sure that the heat is high if not the chicken is going to give off a lot of water!

Smoking the chicken

  • Transfer the chicken to a bowl and smoke it with a piece of burning charcoal (placed in a small metal bowl) for five minutes.

  • You can also barbecue the chicken to get a smoky flavor.

  • Keep the chicken covered at all times so it’s stays tender.

You can heat up the coal directly on a gas flame or with the help of any charcoal lighter fluid available to you. Don’t forget to use tongs!

Making the Gravy

  • Set a pan on medium heat and add approximately 2 tablespoons of oil

  • Add onion, garlic, and cashew nuts

  • Stir the onion and garlic for approximately a minute

  • Add the tomatoes (Make sure that the tomatoes are ripe and red in order to get a nice red color gravy)

  • Cook the tomatoes for approximately 10 minutes till they’re soft and mushy

  • Once the tomatoes are cooked through, press down the pieces on a strainer (using a masher or spatula) over a bowl

  • Blend the rest of the tomato and onion pieces into a smooth mixture

  • Strain it into the same bowl

  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan set on medium heat

  • Pour the tomato sauce in, add kashmiri red chilli powder, fresh garam masala and crushed fenugreek leaves

  • Add the chicken

  • Mix well with the gravy

  • Please the lid and let it cook for approximately three minutes

  • Add salt and sugar to taste

  • Add the last tablespoon of butter followed by heavy cream

  • Garnish with coriander leaves


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