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Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

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Adjust Servings:
600g/ 21oz cubed chicken thighs boneless
For the marinade
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1 tbls Garam masala
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground paprika
1 tbsp to fry the chicken oil
1 medium Onions
2 medium Tomatoes
2 cloves diced Garlic
1 tbsp diced Ginger
50g/ 0.3 cups cashew nuts
1/2 cup Tomato sauce
1 tbsp Tomato paste
1/2 cup water
70g/ 0.3 cups Butter
1 tbsp ground paprika
1 tsp Garam masala
pinch Kosher Salt
1/3 cup Heavy Cream

Nutritional information

serving size
Total Fat
Saturated Fat

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Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

  • chicken
  • Gluten Free
  • about 4 hours
  • Serves 6
  • Medium


  • For the marinade

  • Sauce



There is something about Chicken Makhani that pushes me to find a piece of bread to wipe the pan until the sauce disappears completely.

This is one of my favorite Indian dishes and more important one of my kids favorite. I guess it has to do with the fact that this dish is very versatile and can be amended to match any style. It can be mild or hot, we can use cream and add more butter for a more silky smooth texture or we can adjust it to be dairy free if we thicken the sauce with only a cashio paste.

Chicken Makhani’s (Murgh Makhani) origin id from the North of india, from the punjab to be exact and its one of the most popular dish out of india with many variations. there are a few guidelines that will make this dish work in your kitchen as well.

  • keep an overnight marinade for the chicken with the yogurt and spices, it will resolve in a much juicy tender and full of flavor chicken pieces.
  • cook the onions and tomatoes good until they close to caramelization, this will give the dish its semi sweet flavor naturally.
  • Add raw cashew nuts, when blended with the sauce it thickens it into a silky paste with a textured body.

butter chicken

So why should I make Chicken Makhani?

Its true that this dish takes some time to prepare and there are easier Indian meals however Murgh Makhani is one of those dishes that will make your guests go wow, give me the recipe for this amazing chicken. Even people that are not into Indian food will love this Chicken Makhani, its the most western taste friendly indian cuisine.  With silky buttery sauce and tender chicken this dish will make everyone ask for more.

Murgh Makhani can be kept in the fridge and taste just as good the next day so just get your chapati ready to wipe out all the sauce left on the plate and enjoy.

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minimum of 4 hours

Marinade the chicken

put all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, mix and leave overnight in the fridge for the chicken to absorb all the flavors

5 minutes

cook the chicken

take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before preparation. set a pan on high heat, add the oil. when simmering add the chicken and cook half way for about 5 minutes. take out into the same bowl of the marinadde

25 minutes

make the sauce

in the same pan (no need to clean it) add 1 tbsp of the butter and saute the onions for 3 minutes until transparent, add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes, throw the tomatoes and cashew, cook for another 5 minutes until they dissolve and get all the sugars out.
add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and water, cook for another 15 minutes.

3 minutes

Blend the sauce

pour the pan content into a blender and grind the souce into a silky smooth puree.
set the pan on medium-low heat and pour the sauce inside, cook for another 3 minutes

5 minutes

finishing the dish

add all the butter that was left and pour in the cream. season with paprika and garam masala and add the chicken along with all the liquid in the bowl, adjust seasoning if needed.
cook for another 7 minutes and serve with rice


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