Savory Indian Butter Chicken Recipe: Make Authentic Murgh Makhani at Home by Chef Gigi

Savory Indian Butter Chicken Recipe: Make Authentic Murgh Makhani at Home

Butter chicken, also called murgh makhani, is a delicious Indian dish that's simply chicken in a seasoned tomato-based sauce. You will marvel at the complex, savory flavor, and it's easier than you may think. This Indian butter chicken recipe takes about 30 minutes to get on the table, and is worth every minute. This is a great way to introduce your family to the spices and flavors or Indian cuisine.

To make this savory butter chicken you will need to gather the following ingredients: Greek yogurt, a lemon for juicing, ground turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin, boneless chicken breasts, butter, onion, jalapenos, a cinnamon stick, garlic, fresh ginger, ground paprika, canned diced tomatoes, heavy cream and fresh cilantro for serving.

Serve this authentic Indian butter chicken family style for dinner with cooked white rice or with fresh naan (here's how to make naan at home).

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Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  • cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced organic tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

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Recipe Notes

  • You could use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.
  • This recipe freezes well. Pack it into freezer bags or freezer containers and freeze for up to three months.

Here’s how to make it: 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon, turmeric, 1 teaspoon of the garam masala and cumin. Add chicken and toss until fully coated. Let marinate for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Working in batches, add chicken and cook until golden all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and melt 2 additional tablespoons of butter. Add the onions, jalapeños and the cinnamon stick. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, remaining teaspoon garam masala and paprika. Cook an additional minute to release the essential oils of the spice.
  4. Add the tomatoes and bring mixture to a simmer. Return chicken to pot and toss well to coat. Allow the mixture to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Finish by slowly stirring in the remaining butter and heavy cream. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 326

Total Fat: 25.8g

Saturated Fat: 15g

Cholesterol: 98mg

Sodium: 272mg

Total Carbohydrate: 10.3g

Dietary Fiber: 3g

Total Sugars: 4.9g

Protein: 16.4g

Vitamin D: 18mcg

Calcium: 67mg

Iron: 5mg

Potassium: 398mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Donna John
Just printed this out. Going to make it soon. Mmm! Chef Gigi Gaggero
Yummy Pair
I made this delicious dishes at my home and share it preparation on my YouTube channel.
This sounds amazing! 😋
Elisa Schmitz
OMG, how delicious! #yum
Just based on an actual cultural meal I've seen some documentaries on Indian cooking they use a lot of spices and use those special clay pots does that make a difference or how you prepare this because when I've talked to some of my friends and I'm going to hopefully catch up with they have a preparation step that they usually cook the spices first and then add normally potatoes and red onions things of that nature someone is prepared the traditional way thanks a lot

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