Easy Butter Chicken Recipe – Murgh Makhani

by Helene Dsouza on December 6, 2013

Butter Chicken is definitely the most known and popular North Indian dish in the world. Most probably you will have come across this dish abroad and if you are in India then of course you couldn’t have missed it. I personally don’t remember when I tasted my first Butter Chicken dish but one thing is sure, it must have been in this marvelous big colorful country called India.

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com

There are countless versions of this dish and I think so it must be the most modified Indian dish ever and everybody of course claims theirs is the best – just like the middle eastern shakshuka. Some folks prefer the butter chicken with the bones, some claim that it is not a butter chicken if certain ingredients are not included. Honestly I do not know the real version and I am not going to tell you either that my easy butter chicken is the best. But I am standing behind my recipe and I assure you I can eat it every single day in my life and so does my Indian husband.

I remember how our tandoori chef would cook butter chicken occasionally. You see, butter chicken is a typical north Indian dish and so is the Chicken Tandoori and Tikka from Punjab. I am not going to go into the details of the butter chicken history since it seems to be rather blurred (and even the Wikipedia entry has changed in the past year, which is suspicious).

Anyway, so our chef would prepare, cook and serve his fabulous and famous chicken tandoori and if some was left, he would not resell it the next day, no, he would turn it into a gorgeous butter chicken lunch for us all.

The cool part in reusing tandoori chicken and turning it into a delicious butter chicken dish is…

1. left overs are turned into something even better

2. Time management – you don’t have to marinate the chicken again

and finally…

3. anything cooked previously in the Indian Tandoori oven develops a crunchy outside and perfectly cooked inside.

Because I had gained this knowledge in the past years I was reluctant to cook a butter chicken without using tandoori baked chicken. The way our chef would prepare his food was beyond perfection, although he was a humble cook, and he was the controller of the mighty tandoori oven, so I, the white western girl, couldn’t possibly recreate something so majestic in the foodie world or so I thought…

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com

After the tandoori dream crumbled and I was officially a big time tandoori fan I was stumped. I was missing the fresh nans and tandoori dishes and guess what, one fine day I simply started to prepare them at home. You can imagine that I had a couple of faux pas but all those mistakes helped me in understanding the mughlai, North Indian cuisine. Finally I have come to a point where I can say that this easy butter chicken recipe is all I will ever need because I tried different approaches but I enjoyed the flavors in this self developed recipe the most.

Not many people own a tandoori oven in their back yards, so an easy butter chicken recipe was required. I have taken the trouble to make this dish perfect because it doesn’t deserve anything less, so that you can get to enjoy it in your own four walls with the simplest means. I invite you to try this easy butter chicken if you love Indian food or if you want to learn about Indian food. Once you have done that, leave us a comment so that others can enjoy as well. I am of course always eager to read your comments and questions.

5.0 from 5 reviews

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe – Murgh Makhani
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Mughlai – North Indian
Serves: 2-3
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
I invite you to try this easy butter chicken recipe, a classic flavorful and comforting Indian dish.
Ingredients
  • 20 Almonds
  • 400 grams Chicken
  • 2 Teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 60 milliliter Yogurt
  • 1½ Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder (or less if you don’t want it too hot)
  • ½ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Chaat Masala
  • ½ Teaspoon Kitchen King Masala
  • pinch or 3-4 drops red/orange Food Coloring (optional)
  • Salt according to your taste
  • Pepper according to your taste
  • 3 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • ½ Lime
  • 4 Tablespoon Butter
  • ½ Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion sliced
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1½ Tablespoon fresh chopped Coriander (cilantro) (half for the cooking, half to garnish)
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh Cream
Instructions
  1. First toast your almonds in a dry pan by shaking the pan frequently so that they don’t burn. We need to do that so that we can blitz the almonds in the blender into fine almond flour. Keep the almond flour at the side for later. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com
  2. Then rinse the chicken, tap dry with a kitchen towel and cut into bite size cubes. Place into a bowl. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com
  3. Add to the bowl all at once the ginger garlic paste, yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric powder, chaat masala, kitchen king masala, food coloring, salt, pepper, the tomato paste, ½ lime and the previously ground almond flour. Mix the whole content well and keep aside to marinate for 20 minutes (the longer the better). Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com
  4. Add the butter and olive oil to a shallow pan and allow to melt on slow heat and add the chopped onion. Cook until the onion is turning translucent, stir frequently, then add in the bay leaf. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com
  5. Continue to add in now the chicken yogurt masala mixture and stir fry for 9 minutes before adding half amount of the chopped coriander (3/4 Tablespoon) and the cream. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com
  6. Let it cook for 1-2 more minutes. Take from the heat, garnish with the remaining chopped coriander and serve with Indian flat breads such as nan, chapati, roti.

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe - Murgh Makhani www.masalaherb.com

Have you ever been first overwhelmed with a food recipe but then mastered the trick? If yes what was the dish?

Facebook4Twitter70Google+64Pinterest2184StumbleUpon27bufferEmail
Share with the world!

You might like...

The following two tabs change content below.
I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

Latest posts by Helene Dsouza (see all)

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

A Cook Not Mad (Nat)

Butter chicken is definitely one of our favourites. Great photos!
A Cook Not Mad (Nat) recently posted..365 Project – week 48My Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Thank you for the compliment Nat! :)

Reply

Shannon | JustAsDelish

I love butter chicken, didn’t know the trick is using tandoori chicken. must try this easy recipe. and also need to try tandoori chicken.
Shannon | JustAsDelish recently posted..Dajaj Mandy (Chicken Mandy)My Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

I am working on a tandoori chicken recipe but it’s tricky without a tandoori oven. I am getting the spice/yogurt/lime/coriander flavours right but the texture outside and inside the meat is just not the same. You know what I mean, the smoked charcoal flavour is missing. This butter chicken is without tandoori chicken, it’s the easier version with the comforting flavours. :)

Reply

Rosa

That dish looks ever so good. I have never made butter chicken, but I’m willing to try…

Cheers,

Rosa

Reply

Helene Dsouza

I think so you will enjoy it as much as we do. The flavours are so very comforting!

Reply

John@Kitchen Riffs

This looks wonderful! I’ve had this dish in restaurants, but never made it. I gotta try it! Thanks so much for this.
John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..The Seelbach CocktailMy Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Thanks John, happy to read that you feel inspired! :)

Reply

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

You beauty! This looks fantastic, Helene. I can’t wait to try your recipe. I often eat this at the local Indian restaurant but I’ve never made it at home other than with a spice packet.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..In My Kitchen, December 2013My Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

I can imagine ^.^
Spice packet?

Reply

Ramona

The color of this dish is so fantastic!! Really stunning recipe. :)
Ramona recently posted..Sriracha and Apricot Glazed MeatballsMy Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Thank you Ramona. I like the colour too looks more presentable and appetising but if somebody doesn’t want to add the food colouring, it’s not a must in the recipe.

Reply

minnie@thelady8home

Your take on Butter chicken looks delicious Helene, and use of almonds is new…..most people use cashew paste. I can imagine almonds adding that smokey nutty flavor to the dish. Wonderful!!
minnie@thelady8home recently posted..Rich Rabbit Curry Indian styleMy Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Oh yes most of the folks use cashew nuts but I always preferred it with almonds and besides almonds are easier available all over the world compared to cashew nuts. :) thank you!

Reply

Betsy @ Desserts Required

When I first read the recipe, I was a tad intimidated. But your pictures put my mind at ease and I know that I can actually make this. It looks delicious and I hope to have time over winter break to give it a shot.

Thanks for the inspiration!
Betsy @ Desserts Required recently posted..Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie CupsMy Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Hi Betsy! I know how you must feel, I went through the same thing when I learned Indian cooking. The amount of ingredients can be daunting and confusing but at the end it’s a cake walk compared to european dishes for example. Here it’s all about the harmony of spices and ingredients in one dish. I will be sharing the different masala (spice mixtures) in the near future such as garam, chaat, kitchen king and tandoori masala.

Reply

SuperCutePetContest

I tried to make butter chicken once before, but it didn’t come out very good. I will try again though, using this recipe. It’s such a delicious dish that I really NEED to master it!
SuperCutePetContest recently posted..Comment on Winners Circle by Kat LentzMy Profile

Reply

GourmetGetaways

This is a favourite dish of my husband and children.
I am going to try to make it tonight… I hope I can find the Chaat Masala and Kitchen King Masala… I have never seen these before :0
GourmetGetaways recently posted..Adina Apartments Family Accommodation in BrisbaneMy Profile

Reply

wok with ray

What a beautiful and vibrant looking dish. Looks rich and delicious. :)
wok with ray recently posted..Pineapple Shrimp Fried RiceMy Profile

Reply

easyfoodsmith

The curry looks very enticing and you rightly said that it is the most popular among the north Indians.
easyfoodsmith recently posted..FOX NUT SEEDS SOUP W/ BROWN BUTTER LENTIL TEMPERINGMy Profile

Reply

Laura @ Family Spice

I love the beautiful color of this dish! Oh yes, when I first started cooking Persian food, I was insane. The one dish my husband loved, basmati rice with tomatoes and string beans, would turn to mush on me. I made a lot of stupid mistakes and then was jumping up and down when I finally got it. Now, I can make this dish in my sleep!
Laura @ Family Spice recently posted..Holiday Gift Idea and a Lemon Cake with Basil and PomegranateMy Profile

Reply

Tom @ Waegook Tom

This looks absolutely amazing. I’ve been addicted to Indian food lately, and have been eating lots and lots of delicious curry since I’ve been back home. I’ll give this recipe a try and see how it turns out!
Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted..Where To Get The Best Curry In YorkshireMy Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Thank you! I am addicted to the flavors and I have been craving them nearly every day, especially since I clicked the butter chicken pictures. ^_^ Victim of my own recipe. ;)
Feel free to share your experience in a comment later on. Cheers!

Reply

mjskit

Oh I want to take a piece of Nan and dip into that sauce! What a gorgeous color and I bet that this dish is absolutely delicious! With more time over the holidays this sounds like a great challenge! We love Indian food, so even if it doesn’t come out as perfect as yours I’m sure we’ll enjoy it. Thanks!
mjskit recently posted..Southwestern Migas (Scrambled Eggs, Green Chile and Tortillas)My Profile

Reply

notyet100

Curry looks delicious,l.its one of my fav,
Wish ya great yr ahead

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Thank you, wish you the same! =)

Reply

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

Current day month ye@r *

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: