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Indian butter chicken over rice with grilled naan and a fork.

Butter Chicken Recipe (Murgh Makhani)

Teri & Jenny
Our Butter Chicken Recipe (Murgh Makhani) is so delicious. We love the tangy tomato butter sauce with juicy chicken thighs. It is also a really great recipe to throw in the freezer and reheat for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 32 mins
Total Time 42 mins
Servings 4
Calories 401 kcal


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 teaspoons cumin, divided
  • 2 ½ teaspoons coriander, divided
  • 3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (or 3/4 cup plain yogurt)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro, garnish


  • Place chicken thigh pieces in a mixing bowl, add 1 ½ teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, a sprinkle of salt, and some cracked black pepper and toss together until chicken is well coated.
  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt 1 ½ tablespoons butter.
  • Add chicken and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add remaining butter to skillet. Add shallot, garlic and ginger and sauté 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add remaining spices and continue to sauté for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Stir tomato puree into skillet and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir chicken back into skillet, season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Stir cream or yogurt into chicken mixture and simmer for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce is thick (enough to thoroughly coat chicken) and creamy. Adjust seasonings.
  • Top with chopped cilantro and serve over basmati rice, with a side of grilled pita bread.


  • ** For a smooth sauce: Blend sauce mixture from step #7 in blender until smooth. Pour sauce back into skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir chicken back into skillet, from step 9 and continue from remaining recipe directions.


Serving: 1gCalories: 401kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 24gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 136mgPotassium: 396mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1723IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 2mg
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