Delish Butter Chicken Recipe by @thebombayeastindiangirl


The butter chicken dish is one of the husband’s and my favourite dishes. I of course made the pilgrimage to Moti Mahal in New Dehli where it was created. And I was thrilled for @thebombayeastindiangirl to share her family recipe for butter chicken and to teach me how to make the dish. The extensive range of spices is still daunting, but hopefully I get the hang of it soon. Head over to her blog to check out the history of dishes.

Recipe for Murgh Makhani – Butter Chicken


400gms Boneless Chicken cut into 1½ inch pieces (I bought chicken with bones and it was really much harder to cook! lesson learnt!)

1st Marinade:

2 Tbsp Butter

1 Tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

Salt to taste

2nd Marinade:

½ Cup Thick yogurt

2 Tsp Ginger paste

2 Tsp Garlic paste

½ Tsp Red chilli powder

½ Tsp Garam Masala powder

Salt to taste

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2 Tsp Mustard oil (Magic Ingredient) – I have to say this made all the difference! It accelerated the whole marinate!

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Makhani gravy:

10-12 medium Tomato roughly chopped

4 Tbsp Butter

4 Green Cardamoms

1 gm Mace

1 Tsp Ginger paste

1 Tsp Garlic paste

1 Tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder (can use “deghi mirch” if you like more hot)

½ Tsp Garam Masala powder

¼ Tsp Dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) roasted and crushed

1 Tbsp Honey

3/12 Tbsp Fresh cream

Salt to taste

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For the first marinade: Prick the chicken pieces all over with a fork or knife. Place them in a large bowl and add the salt, red chilli powder, lemon juice and mix well. Cover the bowl with a cling film and set aside to marinate for thirty minutes in a refrigerator.

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For the second marinade: Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth for fifteen to twenty minutes to remove extra water. Now mix together yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, chilli powder, salt and garam masala powder. Add the mustard oil and mix. Add this to the chicken with the first marinade and mix well so that all the chicken pieces are well coated. Cover the bowl with cling film and place it again in the refrigerator to marinate for about two hours.

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For the gravy: Puree the fresh tomatoes till smooth. Heat two tablespoons of butter in a deep non-stick pan on low heat. Add the green cardamoms and mace and cook till fragrant. Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and sauté for a minute.

Add the pureed tomatoes, salt, red chilli powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for fifteen to twenty minutes.

You can also cook the tomato first separately, puree and add to the gravy as per your convenience. If in a rush can use store brought good quality tomato puree as well.

As the gravy is cooking, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. String the chicken pieces onto skewers or just lay them on a hot tray (do not crowd) and cook in the preheated oven or a moderately hot tandoor for ten to twelve minutes or until almost done. Baste with the butter and cook for another two minutes. Remove and set aside.

If you don’t have an electric oven or tandoor, you can also cook the chicken on a gas tandoor, griddle or pan.

Check back on the gravy and now add the roasted and crushed kasuri methi and mix. Add the remaining butter and cook for a few minutes. Add the honey and cream and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes more.  Finally add the chicken pieces, sprinkle a little garam masala powder and cook for further 3-5 mins minutes.

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Serve hot with naan or in our case we had pilaf and chapati. :)

I had an amazing time traveling in India, mostly on my own for nearly two weeks.  The poetic chaos assaults your every senses and there’s so much inspiration and creativity in all. Here’s my album of !incredible India. And more India travel posts: here, here and here. What goes on in the India Post office circa 2010?

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