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Overhead View of Indian Butter Chicken Recipe (Murgh Makhani)

Indian Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Indian Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) features tender spiced chicken marinated in yogurt and then grilled, served in an aromatic spiced tomato-based sauce that’s velvety smooth and rich with cream and butter.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 415kcal


Spice Mix:


  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic grated or crushed
  • 5 teaspoons Spice Mix
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into large bite-sized pieces


  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter ghee
  • 2 medium-large onions chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and minced (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic grated or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or you can use coconut sugar
  • 5 teaspoons Spice Mix
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce more or less to taste
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juices
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup golden raisins sultanas
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish if desired (optional)

For Serving:

  • Prepared basmati rice or prepared cauliflower rice


  • For the spice mix, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • For the chicken, combine all ingredients in a large bowl; cover it and marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).
  • For the sauce, heat the ghee in a 5-quart pot over medium heat; add the onion and jalapeno and cook until softened, but not browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another 30 seconds, then add the Spice Mix and lemon juice and cook 30 seconds more. Add the hot sauce and tomatoes and cook 5 minutes, then add the tomato paste and chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; cool slightly.
  • Puree the sauce until completely smooth using an immersion blender or in batches using a regular blender.
  • Return the gravy to the pan and add the bay leaf and raisins. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter until melted, then turn off the heat. Stir in the cream (don’t let it come up to a boil again).
  • While the sauce is cooking, you can cook the chicken. The chicken can be skewered and grilled, cooked in a broiler, or cooked in a very hot oven until it’s no longer pink.
  • Add cilantro and the chicken to the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired (you may want to add more salt, sugar, spices, hot sauce, lemon juice, etc.)
  • Serve with prepared basmati rice or prepared cauliflower rice.


Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 774mg | Potassium: 1047mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 915IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 4.7mg