Butter Chicken – Punjab Murgh Makhani

Butter chicken
Butter chicken or murgh makhani is a classic Punjabi recipe.

Butter Chicken – Punjab Murgh Makhani is rich, buttery, creamy chicken needs no introduction. Most probably the best known of all Indian dishes.

Murgh Makhani served in the restaurants is also a measuring tool to judge the quality of the restaurant. If a restaurant cannot whip up a good Murgh Makhani, the kind that will leave you stuffed and satisfied yet craving for more, that restaurant is not worth stepping into the second time around.

Originating in northwestern India and eastern Pakistan, Butter Chicken is typically a very rich dish, as is typical with cuisine from the Punjab due to the amount of calories that the rural people burn whilst working in the fields during the day. According to Wikipedia, Butter Chicken can be traced back to Mogal times to a chap by the name of Kundan Lal Gujral. Kundan supposedly ran a famous restaurant in Peshawar which was called “Moti Mohal”.


  • Chicken    800 grams
  • Lemon juice 1 tablespoon
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Butter 2 tablespoons

For marinade

  • Yogurt 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic paste 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger paste 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice 2 tablespoons
  • Mustard oil 2 tablespoons



  • Butter     50 grams
  • Ginger paste 1 tablespoon
  • Green chillies,chopped     4-5
  • Red chilli powder 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) 1/2 teaspoon
  • Whole garam masala 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic paste 1 tablespoon
  • Tomato puree 400 grams
  • Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • Honey 2 tablespoons
  • Cream 1 cup

Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken) Recipe

  1. Make incisions with a sharp knife on breast and leg pieces of the chicken. Apply a mixture of red chilli powder, lemon juice and salt to the chicken and set aside for half an hour.
  2. Hang yogurt in a muslin cloth for fifteen to twenty minutes to remove extra water. Add red chilli powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, garam masala powder and mustard oil.
  3. Apply this marinade to the chicken pieces and refrigerate for three to four hours. Put the chicken onto a skewer and cook in a moderately hot tandoor or a preheated oven (200°C) for ten to twelve minutes or until almost done. Baste it with butter and cook for another two minutes.
  4. Remove and set aside. Heat butter in a pan. Add green cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Sauté for two minutes, add ginger-garlic paste and chopped green chillies. Cook for two minutes.
  5. Add tomato puree, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt and one cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. Add sugar or honey and powdered kasoori methi. Add cooked tandoori chicken pieces. Simmer for five minutes and then add fresh cream.
Butter chicken
Butter chicken or murgh makhani is a classic Punjabi recipe.