Butter Chicken- Easy and Authentic Murgh Makhani

By Garam Masala Kitchen
October 17, 2017
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Author Notes: Butter Chicken- Marinated and grilled chicken simmered low and slow in a rich tomato gravy and finished off with a touch of heavy cream and butter..... need I say more?
Butter Chicken or ‘Murgh Makhani‘ is an authentic Punjabi dish that was created in the 1950s. The world has never been the same again:-) It is my Mom's and my kids' favorite dish. It took me a few tries to get it to taste like the "restaurant". This dish can be made dairy-free by substituting oil and coconut cream for a butter and heavy cream. You can make this vegetarian by switching chicken with paneer or vegetables!
Here's my super easy and authentic recipe for Butter Chicken! Enjoy it with Garlic Naan or simple and fragrant Cumin Basmati Rice.
https://youtu.be/fOo-TXX2V4E;... Full recipe at: http://garammasalakitchen...
Garam Masala Kitchen

Serves: 4-6

Marinate for Tandoori Chicken

  • 1-1.2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or Breast (fat trimmed and cut in 2 inch pcs.)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoons red chili powder or cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • juice of 1/2 lime


  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (oil for dairy free)
  • 14 ounces can diced tomatoes pureed (or 4-5 ripe tomatoes pureed)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoons Red Chili Powder or cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar/sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (coconut cream/milk for dairy free option)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Marinate chicken: This step is optional, but highly recommended. If you don't have the time for it, add an additional teaspoon garam masala in the sauce. Combine all ingredients listed under "Marinade". Add chicken and coat well with the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes-4 hours. If you're short on time, broil it right away. Broil the chicken or grill it for 6-7 minutes. We're not cooking it through- just sealing the marinade flavors in the chicken.
  2. Prepare the sauce: For the sauce, heat the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Add butter (or olive oil for a dairy free dish). Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add pureed tomatoes, spices and 1/2 of the heavy cream and stir well. Add grilled chicken pieces with their juices and stir well. Close lid, set valve to Sealing and cook on Manual for 5 minutes.
  4. Open the lid after natural release of pressure (NPR). Add the remaining heavy cream and stir well. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with Naan or Cumin Basmati Rice!

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