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A plate of Butter Chicken on a table
5 from 12 votes

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken, or Murgh Makhani, is a classic Indian chicken recipe made with tender juicy chicken pieces cooked in creamy, mildly spiced tomato sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
marinate1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 574kcal


Chicken and Marinade

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 8 tbsp butter (1 stick, 1/4 pound)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 yellow onions diced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (not ground cumin)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt plus more to taste
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1.5 cups cream
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup ground cashews optional
  • fresh cilantro to garnish


For the Marinade

  • Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a large mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add the chicken and mix well to coat.
  • Cover and allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to three days.

For the Curry

  • Heat the oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt completely. Add the onions and mix well to combine. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until starting to soften and turn translucent.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and cumin seeds to the pot. Continue to cook until the onions start to brown, approximately 3-5 minutes. Stir often.
  • Mix in the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, red chili powder, and salt with the onions. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow mixture to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Optional- remove the cinnamon stick and transfer the onion and tomato mixture to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy then return tomato sauce back to the pot.
  • Increase heat to medium. Add the chicken (plus marinade) to the pan. Mix to combine. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Mix in the cream, tomato paste, and ground cashews. Allow the curry to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste and garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.


Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 255mg | Sodium: 631mg | Potassium: 775mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1240IU | Vitamin C: 8.4mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 4.3mg
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