Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) - Cafe Delites (2022)

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A super easy, full flavoured Butter Chicken recipe that rivals any restaurant or take out!

Similar to Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken is one of the most popular curries at any Indian restaurant around the world. Aromatic golden chicken pieces in an incredible creamy curry sauce, this Butter Chicken recipe is one of the best you will try!You will love how easy it is to make in the comfort of your own home, especially with garlic butter rice and fresh homemade Naan bread.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) - Cafe Delites (1)

BUTTER CHICKEN

Tender and juicy chicken thanks to a deliciously spiced yogurt marinade, Butter Chicken is ridiculously easy to make. The curry sauce is out of this world!

I know you all love food with beautiful, bold flavours, and nothing beats sitting down to a good great curry to finish off a chaotic day. The aromas alone transport you to a completely different world.

The best part about cooking up Butter Chicken at home is the ingredients list. Every ingredient is easy to find from any grocery store or supermarket.

WIN-WIN!

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) - Cafe Delites (2)

WHY IS IT CALLED BUTTER CHICKEN

Butter chicken originated from Northern India in1948. Created by Kundan Lal Gujral, you may notice thatButter Chicken (known asmurgh makhani — chicken with butter), is similar to Britishtikka masala.

Prepared in a buttery gravy with the addition ofcream gives the curry sauce a silky smooth rich texture. Mostrestaurants are known to add in copious amounts of butter, which as a result can leave you feeling bloated or ill from the slick of grease.

However, we found while recipe testing that we prefer to start the sauce off in Ghee (clarified butter, or you can use a combination of half regular butter and half oil).

(Video) Amazing Chicken Tikka Masala

Adding cream at the end of cooking provides enough of that richness you look for in an authentic butter chicken. Our less oily version leaves you feeling good and satisfied.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) - Cafe Delites (3)

HOW DO YOU MAKE HOMEMADE BUTTER CHICKEN

A milder curry when compared to other Indian curries makes Butter Chicken a favourite among families with little ones. You can certainly add as much or as little chili as you wish. In other words, YOU are in total control of how spicy you make it.

As mentioned above, the juicy and tender, flavour infused chicken starts with an easy yogurt marinade made from scratch: plain yogurt, fresh garlic and ginger, and easy to find spices.

You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts. We prefer dark meat, but go with what you like.

  • First, mix your yogurt marinade together.
  • Marinate chicken for 20 minutes, or overnight if time allows. (The longer it marinates, the more tender your chicken will be.)
  • Sear chicken in a skillet or pan. Keep those charred bits on the pan to make your sauce. Browned bits = flavour. If you have too many burnt pieces stuck to the pan, you can discard some of them if you wish.
  • Finally, make your curry sauce in the same skillet.

WHAT SPICES GO IN BUTTER CHICKEN

Easy to find spices, for example: Garam masala, Tumeric, Cumin, Red Chili Powder and Salt, are all you need to make a great sauce.You may even already have some of these in your kitchen cupboards! If you don’t, there’s no doubt you may use them again.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) - Cafe Delites (4)

WHAT IS BUTTER CHICKEN SAUCE MADE OF

It’s all about that sauce when it comes to authentic butter chicken.You’ll be surprised to find that you only need an onion, a can of crushed tomatoes, garlic and ginger, and some added spices to continue those beautiful flavours in the sauce.

The trick to making a great sauce is to let the tomatoes cook off for at least 10-15 minutes, until they are almost dry on your pan. Additionally, you can add in a couple tablespoons of water if it dries to early.

After that, blend until smooth and add in your cream (heavy whipping cream or thickened cream). You can use evaporated milk or half and half for a lower calorie option.

If you want a richer sauce, feel free to add a couple tablespoons of butter (or ghee) right at the end, letting it melt though the sauce, before serving.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) - Cafe Delites (5)

(Video) How To Make The Creamiest Butter Chicken

MAKE AHEAD OPTION

The beauty of this gravy/sauce is that you can prepare it ahead of time if you want or need to. Allow it to cool completely, store it in an airtight glass jar or container and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.

Those deep flavours will have plenty of time to develop and shine through before adding your chicken. Of course, this is completely optional.

If there’s any Indian recipe that’s worth making at home, its Butter Chicken, and this is the BEST butter chicken you’ll make!

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) - Cafe Delites (6)

Serve over basmati rice and our garlic naan bread! Similarly, you can use our NO YEAST flatbread recipe if you’re looking for something easy to dip into the delicious curry gravy/sauce.

Looking for more Chicken Recipes? Try these!

French Onion Stuffed Chicken
Creamy Garlic Chicken Breasts
Chicken Piccata

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) - Cafe Delites (7)

Butter Chicken is creamy and easy to make right at home in one pan with simple ingredients! Full of incredible flavours, it rivals any Indian restaurant! Aromatic golden chicken pieces in an incredible creamy curry sauce, this Butter Chicken recipe is one of the best you will try!

(Video) How To Make Butter Chicken At Home | Restaurant Style Recipe | The Bombay Chef – Varun Inamdar

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Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 30 mins

Total: 45 mins

Serves: 5 - 6 people

Ingredients

For the chicken marinade:

  • 28 oz (800g) boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (or finely grated)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or 1 tbs butter + 1 tbs oil)
  • 1 large onion, sliced or chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced or finely grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 14 oz (400 g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your taste preference)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup of heavy or thickened cream (or evaporated milk to save calories)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kasoori methi (or dried fenugreek leaves)

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade; let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour (or overnight if time allows).

    (Video) Restaurant Style Butter Chicken!

  • Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add chicken pieces in batches of two or three, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for only 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm. (You will finish cooking the chicken in the sauce.)

  • Heat butter or ghee in the same pan. Fry the onions until they start to sweat (about 6 minutes) while scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.

  • Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add ground coriander, cumin and garam masala. Let cook for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.

  • Add crushed tomatoes, chili powder and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brown red colour.

  • Remove from heat, scoop mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add a couple tablespoons of water to help it blend (up to 1/4 cup). Work in batches depending on the size of your blender.

  • Pour the puréed sauce back into the pan. Stir the cream, sugar and crushed kasoori methi (or fenugreek leaves) through the sauce. Add the chicken with juices back into the pan and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling.

  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fresh, hotgarlic butter riceand fresh homemadeNaan bread!

Notes

OPTIONAL: To thin out the sauce, add a couple tablespoons of ghee or butter at the end of cooking, and gently simmer it through. Alternatively, add a small amount of water.

Nutrition

Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 250mg | Sodium: 1601mg | Potassium: 973mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1895IU | Vitamin C: 19.5mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 4.1mg

FAQs

Is butter chicken and chicken makhani the same thing? ›

Butter chicken originated from Northern India in 1948. Created by Kundan Lal Gujral, you may notice that Butter Chicken (known as murgh makhani — chicken with butter), is similar to British tikka masala. Prepared in a buttery gravy with the addition of cream gives the curry sauce a silky smooth rich texture.

What does murgh makhani taste like? ›

Makhani is a rich, silky, buttery gravy that is made with onion, tomatoes, cashews, and basic Indian spices. Cashew adds richness, sweetness, and creaminess to the curry, while the spices add flavors and aroma to the curry.

What is the difference between tikka masala and murgh makhani? ›

The remarkably similar dishes differ in just one way — butter chicken (murgh makani) is a creamy blend of tomato sauce and spices while tikka masala has a creamy tomato gravy and onion sauce. “They almost look the same but there is a subtle difference in taste and flavor,” says Kafle.

What is murgh makhani? ›

Butter chicken, traditionally known as murgh makhani, (pronounced [mʊrg ˈmək. kʰə.ni]) an Indian dish. which is a type of curry made from chicken with a spiced tomato and butter (makhan) sauce. Its sauce is known for its rich texture.

Why is butter chicken so good? ›

The reason why Butter chicken is such a delightful dish is because of, obviously, butter. The splendid blend of cream sauce, butter, spiced up tomatoes, and an array of Indian spices melts in your mouth instantly. If you're a chicken lover, this is a must-try dish for you.

Why is butter chicken so sweet? ›

Unlike most Indian curries where the preparation of the base starts with a blend of onion and a ginger garlic paste cooked in oil, butter chicken uses tomato as a base and is cooked in butter, giving it a slightly sweet flavor. Cashews and almonds add to the sweetness and richness of the dish.

Is makhani curry spicy? ›

"Makhani's characteristic is that it incorporates a lot of butter and cream," a helpful commentator explained. That is the core of this flavorful, non-spicy sauce. The best part about makhani sauce is that it is highly versatile and can be used for different dishes (via My Food Story).

What does murgh mean in Indian food? ›

[moorg] The Hindi word for chicken, most often seen in murgh makhani (butter chicken), murgh tikka masala (chicken in a tomato-coconut cream sauce), or murgh korma (curry chicken).

How spicy is butter chicken? ›

Like I said earlier on, butter chicken isn't spicy. Rather it's flavorful and ridiculously spiced in tomato, butter, and cream sauce. Even if you hate curry, you're probably responding to ready-made curry powder. And This meal doesn't use curry powder.

Which is better chicken tikka or butter chicken? ›

Chicken in tikka masala sauce tends to be more tender and juicy than butter chicken due to its marinade-containing yogurt. Butter chicken also tends to have a creamier texture. Both are tasty in their own right—it just depends on what you're craving! Try mixing them up if you want an exciting twist on your taste buds.

Which is healthier butter chicken or tikka masala? ›

Even in its modern recipe, butter chicken is healthier than tikka masala. An average serving of tikka masala contains a whopping 400 to 500 calories. On the other hand, butter chicken may contain 438 calories on an average serving.

Is butter chicken sweet or spicy? ›

Butter chicken is mildly spicy and slightly sweet, so it's accessible to all tastes. Unlike chicken tikka masala that usually spicy food lovers enjoy, butter chicken is loved by many people – even those who cannot have a single bite of spicy food.

What does butter chicken taste like? ›

Butter chicken has a mildly sweet flavor resulting from the butter-base, which cuts the intensity of the curry spices used in its making. Chicken tikka masala, on the other hand, has more of a kick to it. The different spices in the masala all complement each other to release their full spectrum of flavors.

What is the real name for butter chicken? ›

Butter chicken, also known as murgh makhani, was invented in the Indian city of Calcutta by chef Kundan Lal Gujral who added tomato puree to his chicken curry after running out of butter one day.

What is makhani sauce made of? ›

The makhani sauce is made from tomatoes, fresh cream, cashew nuts, onions and lots of Indian spices. makhani sauce is a rich creamy and buttery tomato based sauce used as the base to make many sabzis. While there are lots of ingredients used to make makhani sauce , most of them should be available in your kitchen.

What makes butter chicken unhealthy? ›

Butter chicken contains butter, and sometimes cream, making it a high-fat meal choice. Depending on your recipe, one serving of butter chicken may contain about 28 grams of total fat, 12 grams of saturated fat. Both butter and cream are high in saturated fat.

What is butter chicken sauce made of? ›

Water, Tomato, Cream, Unsalted butter, Vegetable oil, Sugar, Modified corn starch, Concentrated tomato purée, Spices, Dried onion, Ginger, Garlic, Salt, Lactic acid (acidulant), Paprika extract, Citric acid (acidulant), Dried fenugreek leaf.

Is butter chicken good for weight loss? ›

From oodles of cream to dollops of ghee, everything that makes butter chicken a drool-worthy treat–also makes it an enemy of weight loss.

What is England's national dish? ›

United Kingdom

Why does my butter chicken taste sour? ›

You made a dish too sour

Sourness comes from acidic ingredients (including tomatoes, wine and vinegar). If your dish tastes too sour try to add sweetness—think sugar, honey (it's healthy!), cream or even caramelized onions. You can also dilute the dish (same as you would with a dish with too much salt).

What should I do if I like butter chicken? ›

Think Beyond Butter Chicken And Try These 5 Delicious Chicken Curries At Home
  1. Amritsari Murgh Makhani. We are starting the list with a classic that is sure to make your mouth water with just its fragrance. ...
  2. Andhra Style Chicken Curry. ...
  3. Chicken Rogan Josh. ...
  4. Malabar Chicken Curry. ...
  5. Chettinad Kozhi (Chicken) Curry.
24 Nov 2021

What is the hottest Indian dish? ›

Phaal Curry

This is the world's spiciest curry made of Bhut Naga Jolokia, which previously held the title of being the hottest chilli in the world. The curry is made of chicken or tomato, ginger, fresh and two dried chilies, with three teaspoons of chili powder.

What is the hottest type of Indian curry? ›

Phaal curry is considered one of the hottest curries in the world, and the hottest of Indian curries, even hotter than vindaloo. It is a British Asian curry that originated in Birmingham, UK restaurants.

What is India's signature dish? ›

When it comes to famous Indian food, tandoori chicken is at the top of the list. The chicken is prepared by marinating it in yogurt and spices like turmeric, cardamom, coriander, fresh ginger, garlic, red chili and lime juice. Then it's grilled in a tandoor clay oven.

Is tikka masala the same as butter chicken? ›

The main difference between these two mouth-watering dishes is butter chicken has lesser tomato intensity and chicken tikka masala is less creamy than butter chicken. Tikka masala is a dry dish that is cooked in the tandoor while butter masala is cooked in a pan over a fire.

How do you order Indian food for beginners? ›

Great Dishes for Beginners—What Should I Order?
  1. Samosas are tasty and filling appetizers.
  2. Chicken Tikka Masala is a great beginner's dish.
  3. Indian chai or milk tea.
  4. Chicken biryani.
  5. Raita is a great choice to cool your stomach after spicy food.
  6. Family style is the most authentic way to eat Indian food.
2 Mar 2022

Is butter chicken the same as curry? ›

Butter chicken is a creamier curry with less tomato intensity than tikka masala. Common ingredients: Chicken, yogurt, cream, onion, tomato paste, garam masala, ginger, garlic, pepper, cumin, turmeric, butter.

What Indian food is not spicy? ›

The Best Mild Indian Dishes For People Who Don't Like Spicy Food
  • Korma. Korma is probably known best for being a mild Indian dish and it is usually the dish that people turn to when they don't like spice. ...
  • Butter Chicken. ...
  • Tandoori Chicken. ...
  • Biryani. ...
  • Malai Kofta. ...
  • Ordering these dishes.
11 Nov 2019

Is butter chicken hotter than Korma? ›

Butter chicken is more of a dairy-based dish with a unique sweet, spicy and buttery-rich flavor. On the other hand, chicken korma heavily relies on spices and slightly sour yogurt to flavor the gravy. This recipe is more spicy, earthy, oily, and has a grainy gravy that goes great with any flatbread!

What is the healthiest Indian to order? ›

The 8 Healthiest Dishes to Order at an Indian Restaurant
  • Roti. This unleavened flatbread (meaning it is made without yeast) is made from whole-wheat flour and commonly accompanies other dishes. ...
  • Chana Masala. ...
  • Rajma. ...
  • Daal. ...
  • Baingan Bharta. ...
  • Aloo Gobi. ...
  • Raita. ...
  • 8 Healthy Food Swaps That Will Save You Money at the Supermarket.
3 Nov 2021

Which is the most tastiest chicken? ›

THIGHS. Arguably the tastiest part of the chicken, thighs are little parcels of tender, juicy meat from the top of the bird's leg. You can buy them bone in, or bone out, and with the skin on or off.

What is the most popular Indian chicken dish? ›

Butter chicken the most popular restaurant style indian chicken recipes through the years. It is also known as murgh makhani, Where chicken first marinated overnight, then the chicken is cooked in tomato-onion puree, cream and loth of indian masalas. Enjoy this creamy, mouth-watering dish with naan or roti.

Which is more fattening pizza or Indian? ›

Having an Indian meal may be Britain's favourite culinary pastime, but researchers say curries are more fattening than either Chinese food or pizzas. A single meal of Indian curry has been found to have more fat than what is recommended for the entire day.

Is Paneer Tikka a junk food? ›

Having said that Paneer tikka is not an unhealthy option to have, but it is always better to negotiate for the excessive calories to maintain your health. You can burn 278 calories from paneer tikka by these exercises. Paneer Tikka is one of the fondest starters in north India.

Why do they call it butter chicken? ›

Back in those days, the unsold leftovers couldn't be stored in a fridge. Gujral didn't want to be wasteful, so he experimented with dried chunks of chicken, added tomatoes, butter, and some masalas to the gravy and thus, gave birth to the famous butter chicken.

Why does butter chicken taste like cinnamon? ›

This doesn't use curry powder. If you are unusually sensitive to cinnamon taste, this may taste very cinnamony to you if your garam masala has too much. If you're allergic to cinnamon, omit that from the garam masala and use 1 teaspoon of allspice berries instead.

Is there another name for butter chicken? ›

If you're unfamiliar with butter chicken, also known as murgh makhani, it's a popular Indian dish. It was originally created by Kundan Lal Gujral, a chef at Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi, in 1947. Although murgh makhani translates to butter chicken, its name has nothing to do with butter.

What do we call makhani in English? ›

Makhani (ਮੱਖਣੀ|link=no) is a Punjabi word meaning "butter" and may refer to several dishes from Punjabi cuisine: Dal makhani, made from beans and pulses. Murgh makhani, also known as butter chicken or chicken makhani.

What is the same as butter chicken? ›

Tikka masala became popular in America as butter chicken after Indian restaurants began serving it with a side of white rice instead of basmati. The dish doesn't always include chicken, but it's called chicken-tikka or chicken-curry when it does.

What is makhani sauce made of? ›

The makhani sauce is made from tomatoes, fresh cream, cashew nuts, onions and lots of Indian spices. makhani sauce is a rich creamy and buttery tomato based sauce used as the base to make many sabzis. While there are lots of ingredients used to make makhani sauce , most of them should be available in your kitchen.

What does murgh mean? ›

(Indian cookery) chicken quotations ▼

What is butter chicken called in England? ›

Invented in the UK in the 1960s, tikka masala is similar in taste to butter chicken, but in the end, it's a quintessential British dish, having its own blend of spices that differentiate it. So why do these two dishes get so confused in the first place?

Is butter chicken sweet or spicy? ›

Butter chicken is mildly spicy and slightly sweet, so it's accessible to all tastes. Unlike chicken tikka masala that usually spicy food lovers enjoy, butter chicken is loved by many people – even those who cannot have a single bite of spicy food.

Is a makhani spicy? ›

"Makhani's characteristic is that it incorporates a lot of butter and cream," a helpful commentator explained. That is the core of this flavorful, non-spicy sauce. The best part about makhani sauce is that it is highly versatile and can be used for different dishes (via My Food Story).

What does makhani mean in Indian food? ›

Makhani translated literally just means 'with butter'

The sauce is usually finished with butter, a little cream, some honey sweetness and Kasoori methi or the herb fenugreek (not the spice) to give it it's very distinct and delicious flavour.

What is urad dal called in India? ›

urad dal is widely used in Indian cuisine. Urad dal is called as black gram or black lentil in english. It also known as maah ki dal and kaali dal in Punjabi. The whole urad beans with husks have a black color, whereas the split and husked beans have a creamish white color.

What is butter chicken taste like? ›

Butter chicken has a mildly sweet flavor resulting from the butter-base, which cuts the intensity of the curry spices used in its making.

Is tikka masala healthier than butter chicken? ›

Even in its modern recipe, butter chicken is healthier than tikka masala. An average serving of tikka masala contains a whopping 400 to 500 calories. On the other hand, butter chicken may contain 438 calories on an average serving.

Is murgh makhani gluten free? ›

The Outdoor Gourmet Company Murgh Makhani (Gluten Free Butter Chicken) 190g.

What is the secret ingredient in Indian food? ›

Meet Hing: The Secret-Weapon Spice Of Indian Cuisine : The Salt Uncooked, the Indian spice hing may smell of sulfur and onions to some. But add a dash to your food, and magical things happen.

Is makhani mild? ›

Dal Makhani

It is a basic lentil curry mixed with red kidney beans and is prepared in a rich cream and served with a dollop of butter on top. Just like the above dishes, this recipe too is mild in taste.

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