Oct 7, 2012

Creamy Butter Chicken Makhani

Chicken in mildly spiced buttery tomato gravy
Butter Chicken
This is the most popular and loved variety of chicken gravy in India! You can get in all the Indian restaurants and caters to all tastes well, as it’s not too spicy and has a mellow gravy that goes very well with roti or naan, the Indian flat bread as well as with rice. Ironically, most of the times, this recipe never has butter but cream. So I also call it my creamy chicken! This curry is spiced with lots of aromats and whole spices, which gives it a distinct flavour. The chicken can be grilled, fried or boiled for use based on your needs and taste. Weight watchers can reduce cream content or omit it completely and use boiled chicken to make it the healthier option, Let’s learn to make it now and impress our families this weekend with a restaurant quality dish at home!

Serves 4-5
Cooking time 40 mins
Chicken (with bones) 1 kilo
2 medium red onions
5 medium tomatoes
1 inch ginger
Garnish with coriander
10-12 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
100 gms cream
1 tsp kasuri methi(dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamoms
5-6 cloves
2 inch stick of cinnamon
1 whole green chili
½ tsp garam Masala
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chicken Masala (Everest or MDH [optional])
1 tsp dry coriander powder
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
Chopped coriander for garnishing

  • Wash the chicken pieces well and remove any excess fat stuck on the pieces.
  • Boil water in a pressure cooker and add a bay leaf and 1 tsp salt.
  • Boil the chicken in it for 2 whistles. Keep aside.
  • Slice the onions thinly.
  • Chop the chili, ginger and garlic.
  • Make the puree of the tomatoes by using a mixer or blender.
  • Now take a wok and heat 1 tbsp oil.
  • Add hing, jeera(cumin), bay leaf, cloves, beaten cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon stick.
  • After 30 seconds, add chopped ginger, garlic and chili.
  • Just toss for 30 seconds and add the onions and kasuri methi.
  • Mix well and heat on medium flame till onions get light brown.
  • Now add the tomato puree and reduce the flame to lowest.
  • Keep stirring every 1-2 mins so it does not stick to bottom.
  • Once the whole mixture or tadka, gets thick and oil starts leaving the edges slightly, add the powdered spices – turmeric powder, garam Masala, coriander powder and chicken Masala.
  • Mix well for another 3-4 mins so all the spices get cooked and mixture becomes uniform.
  • Turn off the gas, and put this mixture in a blender or mixer and make a fine paste of it. This paste will be of dark orange color.
  • Now turn the gas to low flame and put this paste back in the wok.
  • Add 3-4 cups of the chicken stock from the water in which the chicken was boiled.
  • Keep stirring gently till the whole gravy becomes homogeneous.
  • Now add the cream to this and mix gently for 2-3 mins.
  • Now add the chicken pieces to this and cook for another 5 mins.
  • Then add chicken stock to adjust the quantity of gravy you need and add salt accordingly. Keep in mind you already added salt when the chicken was boiled. So keep tasting as you add salt.
  • Cover the wok and let it simmer for 10 mins.
  • Turn off the gas. Take the chicken and gravy in a pretty dish or bowl. Garnish with chopped coriander and a few drops of cream and serve hot with roti, naan or rice. 

Chef’s note: This recipe might seem a little long, but the steps are simple. It’s long because I’ve tried to explain in detail so you can reproduce this dish perfectly. The time you spend for this will be totally worth it and I promise you’ll be happy you tried it.


  1. Boy, it does look good.

  2. Love that professional orange colour. Gosh I've a backlog of your recipes that need to be tried out.

    1. Hi. I gather from your name here that you're a very busy mom :) and i really recommend this chicken recipe, you can try this when having guests over maybe and i guarantee you'll be the star of the party!(i'm sure u already are!)



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