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Butter Chicken

Butter chicken (a.k.a Chicken Makhanwala) is an all time favorite Indian chicken dish cooked in a tangy tomato curry.

Butter Chicken
2 Hours (including marinating time)
Preparation Time
40 mins
Cooking Time
Serves 8


  • For the Chicken

    900 gms Chicken (boneless)
    3 Lemon Juice
    2 tsp Red Chili Powder
    2 tsp Salt
    1 cup Yogurt
    2 tbsp Garlic Paste
    ½ tsp Garam Masala
    1 tbsp Butter
    2 tbsp Ginger paste

    For the Makhani Gravy

    2 tbsp Butter
    1 tbsp Ginger paste
    1 tsp Green Chilies Chopped
    1 tbsp Red Chili Powder
    1 tsp Salt
    ½ tsp Dried Fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
    1 tbsp Garlic Paste
    600 gms Tomato
    ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
    4 tbsp Honey
    2 Bay Leaves
    10 Black Peppercorns
    1 Black Cardamom
    4-5 Cloves
    2 inch Cinnamon Sticks
    10 Unsalted Cashews
    1½ cup Water


Clean the chicken and cut into small pieces. Marinate the chicken with the 1 tsp red chili
powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 lemon juice. Set aside for half an hour.

Hang the yogurt for 15 minutes in a thin cotton bag to remove excess water. Make a marinate
for the chicken by adding the red chili powder (1 tsp), salt (1 tsp), ginger and garlic pastes (2
tbsp each), 2 lemon juice and garam masala (½ tsp) to the yogurt. Mix well and apply it to the
chicken. Refrigerate the chicken for 1-1½ hours.


In a pan melt 1 tbsp butter and add the marinated chicken. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or
till the chicken is cooked. Set aside to be added to the gravy.

In a saucepan boil 2 cups of water and add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked, peel
them and blend into a puree. Strain the puree to remove the seeds.

In another large saucepan, melt the butter for the gravy. Add the bay leaves, cloves, black
peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and black cardamom to the butter and cook till they sizzle. These
spices are known as whole garam masala. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and chopped
chilies and sautee for 2 minutes.

Add the tomato puree, red chili powder, garam masala powder, dried fenugreek leaves, cashew
nut paste, salt and water. Mix well and bring it to a boil.

Remove the bay leaves and the black cardamom and blend the tomato gravy to make a smooth
curry. Strain the blended curry.

Add the honey and the cooked chicken to the tomato curry. Mix well. Bring it to a boil and
check the chicken is cooked.

Do a taste test for salt and add if required. Serve hot with Roti or naan.