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How to make Murg Makhani or Butter Chicken.

Updated on May 1, 2017
tonymead60 profile image

Tony is a curry addict. Ask him what he wants—the answer will always be a curry. He has travelled to India many times in search of recipes.

Can You Resist This Dish

An impressive meal..

Butter chicken is a delicious dish, but sadly I have seen some terrible recipes for it in books etc. This dish is not a domestic dish, more of a restaurant dish. It is said that it was originally invented in Indian restaurants in India to use up all the wonderful left-overs of tandoori chicken trays and dishes in the restaurant. Well you can believe just what you want.

However, it makes a great dish for entertaining, and will definitely impress your guests.

Tandoori Chicken.

To make this I’m going to have to show you first how to make tandoori chicken, Because it is the best type of cooked chicken for this recipe. If you put raw chicken into this, it will give it a different texture, because water will come out of the chicken and dilute the flavours.

You will also at no extra charge get a wonderful recipe for tomato sauce that you can use for many dishes.

Tandoori Chicken

So part one is make your tandoori chicken. You can then of course just serve this with rice or chapatis, but you are missing out on the rest of this wonderful dish.

Many people think that Tandoori is a recipe. But in fact, it’s actually a cooking method that has become synonymous with the food that is prepared. Tandoor is a clay oven made of special clay, in fact, it is basically little more than a very large clay pot, large enough to hold a good sized fire and then all the food that gets placed in it.

You can use a whole chicken or chicken pieces for this. Make three cuts into each breast piece and the same into the thighs. Now put in a good sized mixing bowl…

You need to make two marinades

We need two marinades.

For the first, you need.

Juice of one lemon


Two teaspoons of Kashmiri chilli [this type is quite mild, but adds a deep red colour.]

One dessertspoon of garlic. You can use fresh, but the paste adds a more intense flavour.

Pour the juice of one Lemon over the chicken. Rub the other ingredients into the chicken and leave for about an hour. This gives you time to make the next marinade.

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Pot Well seasoned to add extra flavor
Tandoori Pot Well seasoned to add extra flavor | Source
Slow cooked onions.
Slow cooked onions.

At this stage you can add the magic 'hing' or 'Asafoetida'. This greatly helps your digestion and the undesirable effects of tummy gas. I always use it when making dishes with vegatables and inparticular anything with beans in it. I usually have the powder form of this which should be used in very small amounts, maybe as little as a quarter of a teaspoon for the whole dish.

The Second Marinade

The second marinade for butter chicken, you need.


Kashmiri chilli

400ml of plain yogurt

4 tbls of Gram flour. [you can use ordinary flour, but gram adds a nutty taste to the mix.]

Ginger either paste or fresh.

Mustard powder

Garlic paste

Warm a frying pan and add some oil about 2 tbles do not get the oil too hot. Now add the flour; stir well and mix it to a paste. I lift the pan off the heat to stop it getting too hot, and then give it a stir before putting back on the heat.

In a bowl, mix the yogurt ginger, mustard, and garlic powder to a thick cream. Now add the flour to the mix stirring all the time. Now, mix a pinch of salt.

completly cover the whole chicken
completly cover the whole chicken

Add the Gorgeous, Spices

The next step is to pour this second mix over the chicken making sure that it completely covers all the exposed meat in the cuts. Place the chicken on a roasting tray, use up your mixes to cover the chicken. This needs to be cooked on a fairly high heat in the oven, traditionally this would be cooked in a tandoori oven.

Cook for twenty minutes and then baste the chicken with its own juices, if you are using a whole chicken then you can turn it over at this point. Cook for another ten to fifteen minutes not so long if you are using pieces and then leave it to cool.

deep red sauce
deep red sauce | Source

A Versatile Sauce Useful With Many Dishes...

Now for the tomato sauce.[this sauce recipe is very versatile and you can use it as a gravy or sauce with many dishes, not just this one so make a note of it.]

Chop about six or eight tomatoes into small pieces so that they cook evenly.

In a frying pan add about a tablespoon of olive oil and the same amount of ghee.

Put 4 green cardamom, 4 cloves of garlic and a little mace into the melted butter cook for a few minutes and now add your tomatoes. Chop about an inch of fresh ginger into thin slices and add to the pan. You can also add two green chillies but it is not necessary.

Cook until all the ingredients are looking soft and blended, and then let it cool a little. Pour the mix into your blender and give it a real good whizz.

This now needs to be strained to leave a creamy spicy tomato sauce. I like to add a little honey to sweeten it also a little more red chilli or paprika for extra colour. Put it back on the heat in a large frying pan, now add two tablespoons of butter and melt it into the mix.

The chicken is now ready to break up and add to the sauce
The chicken is now ready to break up and add to the sauce

Delicious Recipe For Butter Chicken

Put your chicken into the mix and cook for twenty minutes making sure that your chicken is covered by the sauce and is well cooked.

Serve with rice or chapatis [take a look at my recipe for chapatis if you are not sure how to make them.]

Serve with love and your guests or family will be thrilled by the taste of this dish.

Happy cooking.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 10 min
Cook time: 2 hours 30 min
Ready in: 3 hours 40 min
Yields: 4 people

Please rate this super dish

5 stars from 1 rating of Butter Chicken

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