Murgh makhani, also known as butter chicken, is a culinary masterpiece that has captivated taste buds worldwide. This rich, creamy, and flavorful curry is a staple in Indian cuisine, and for good reason. With its tender chicken enveloped in a velvety tomato-based sauce infused with aromatic spices and a generous touch of butter, murgh makhani is a symphony of flavors that tantalizes every sense.

The origins of murgh makhani can be traced back to the Darbar restaurant in Old Delhi, India. In the 1940s, Chef Kundan Lal Gujral experimented with a dish featuring butter-roasted chicken in a tomato-based sauce. The creation was an instant hit, and the restaurant soon became renowned for its delectable chicken preparation.

The heart of murgh makhani lies in its intricate blend of spices. Garam masala, a fragrant mix of ground spices, forms the foundation, adding warmth and depth to the flavor profile. The addition of Kashmiri red chili powder provides a subtle heat, while ginger and garlic pastes infuse the dish with their signature pungency.

The key to a truly exceptional murgh makhani lies in its preparation. The chicken is marinated for hours in a blend of yogurt, lemon juice, and a medley of spices. This tenderizes the meat and infuses it with flavor, ensuring a succulent and flavorful experience.

The star of the show, the creamy tomato-based sauce, is where the magic truly happens. Aromatic onions and garlic are cooked to perfection, adding depth and texture. Crushed tomatoes are simmered to release their sweetness, and the rich creaminess is achieved through the addition of heavy cream or malai, a thick, rich cream derived from milk.

Murgh makhani is typically served with basmati rice, its fluffy grains perfectly complementing the rich sauce. Warm naan bread, its soft texture and slightly charred surface, provides a delightful way to scoop up the saucy goodness.

Interesting Facts about Murgh Makhani:

  1. The name “murgh makhani” literally translates to “chicken in butter” in Hindi.
  2. Murgh makhani’s popularity soared in the 1960s when it was served on Air India flights, introducing it to a global audience.
  3. The dish has become so popular that it is estimated that over 100 million portions of murgh makhani are consumed worldwide annually.
  4. In 2011, the British Curry Awards crowned murgh makhani as the dish of the year.
  5. Murgh makhani has even inspired the name of a Bollywood movie, “Chicken Makhani.”

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious explorer, indulge in the culinary delights of murgh makhani. This symphony of flavors is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of India. With each bite, you’ll discover a world of spices, textures, and aromas that will leave you craving more.

Murgh Makhani – Buttered Chicken

Murgh makhani known also as butter chicken is a mild curry for a whole family. It is easy and fast to prepare and you will love the creamy taste of it. Great served with rice or naan.

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 30 mins Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 2 Calories: 580



  1. Cut chicken breast into large, bit-sized pieces.
    Next combine chopped chicken with the ground coriander, 1 tsp of the garam masala, generous pinch of salt and yogurt. 

    Leave in the fridge for about 2 hours to marinade.

  2. Add the rice and 300ml water to a pot with a lid and bring to the boil over high heat.
    Once boiling, reduce the heat to very low and cook for 10-15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed and the rice is cooked.

  3. Heat a large, wide-based pan with a matching lid, with a drizzle of vegetable oil over a high heat.
    Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 3 min, turning occasionally until the chicken is browned.
    Once browned, transfer the chicken to a plate and keep the pan for later.

  4. Meanwhile, boil a kettle. Dissolve chicken cube in a small amount of hot water.
    Peel and finely dice the brown onion.
    Return the pan to a medium heat and add 1 tbsp butter
    Once melted, add the diced onion with a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes or until softened and starting to caramelize

  5. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the ginger.
    Peel and finely chop the garlic.
    Once onion is softened add the chopped garlic, chopped ginger, ground turmeric, tomato paste, chicken stock and remaining garam masala and cook for 1 min until fragrant.

  6. Return the chicken to the pan and cook, covered for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to a curry-like consistency and the chicken is cooked through.

  7. Meanwhile chop the coriander finely including stalks. Fluff the rice with a fork, stir through the chopped coriander and season with salt. Leave some coriander for garnish.

  8. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the clotted cream.

  9. Serve the butter chicken over the coriander rice.
    Garnish with coriander leaves.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 plate

Servings 2

Amount Per Serving
Calories 580kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g64%
Saturated Fat 19g95%
Cholesterol 250mg84%
Sodium 1601mg67%
Potassium 973mg28%
Total Carbohydrate 17g6%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Sugars 6g
Protein 36g72%

Vitamin A 1895 IU
Vitamin C 19.5 mg
Calcium 171 mg
Iron 4.1 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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