The Best Butter Chicken Masala Recipe (Murgh Makhani) with a delicious Makhani Sauce! Try it once to know why it's a family and kid favorite.
This super easy Restaurant Style Butter Chicken Recipe takes minutes to make. Pair the classic North Indian-inspired dish with basmati rice, warm naan, and enjoy the flavors of the creamy curry sauce.
TIP! Make Extra - Freeze it in individual portions to have a meal ready at your fingertips.
TRUTH! This restaurant-style Indian Butter Chicken Masala (also known as Chicken Makhani) is an easy and simple one-pot meal that can be made in under 30 minutes from start to finish. Whether you are making it for the first time or 50th, the flavors of the creamy tomato sauce will make you add this all-time favorite Indian recipe to your weekly rotation.
- Tomato Puree - Can substitute with tomato sauce but will have to cook longer for a thicker gravy.
- Butter Chicken Masala - I like to use MDH Brand Butter Chicken Masala (there has been new packaging for this but the ingredients are the same) whenever available. If you can not find that brand, then try Shan Butter Chicken Masala
- Heavy Whipping Cream - Can substitute with half and half, but the gravy will not be as thick which is why I do not recommend it.
- Butter - Salted or Unsalted
- Garlic - Grated
- Ginger - Grated
- Red Chili Powder
- Coriander Powder
- Turmeric Powder
- Oil, Salt, Granulated Sugar
- Fenugreek Leaves - Kasoori Methi (not to be confused with fenugreek seeds or fresh methi leaves). There is no substitution for this ingredient and it is needed in this recipe.
- Chicken - Boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders
If the time it takes to make this dish doesn't impress you, then we need to talk! This is one of the quickest curry recipes I make from scratch.
Heat a saucepan or large wok with butter and/or oil on medium to high heat. Then add the chopped chicken, butter chicken masala, and turmeric.
Mix and cook for about 3-5 minutes depending on how big the chicken pieces are. I like to cook on medium to high heat. Cook the chicken until it is about ¾ of the way fully done. There is no need to cover the pot with a lid.
Add the freshly grated garlic, freshly grated ginger, spicy red chili powder, and ground coriander powder to the chicken and cook for about 30 seconds while mixing.
Pour in the tomato puree and let it heat through completely before adding the heavy whipping cream. This will help keep the chicken tender.
Mix it well and then add the finely grounded kasoori methi, sugar, and extra butter chicken masala (optional).
Let it come to a simmer with a lid on low heat for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the butter chicken masala cool down. As it cools the gravy will thicken even more.
Storing and Reheating
Freeze - Have extras? Freeze them in freezer-friendly Ziplock Bags.
Make it ahead of time - Meal Prep for the week! If you are having a gathering and want to make this recipe, then make it ahead of time as well. It stays great in the fridge for up to 3 days or can be frozen for 2 months.
Reheating - Defrost and heat in the microwave or on the stovetop using a pot with a lid on low heat.
- Large pot/wok
- Spatula for mixing
- Cutting Board and Knife
- Grater for ginger and garlic
- Grinder for kasoori methi
Kid Friendly Butter Chicken
I eliminate red chili powder as an ingredient and add only half of the butter chicken masala, ginger, and garlic. Oh, don't forget to load up on the butter if your kids like it!
Pair it with...
Make it a complete Indian restaurant-style meal with these dishes.
- Basmati Rice
- Onion Salad
Here are more sides from The Curry Mommy collection
- Tomato Puree- Can use Tomato Sauce but simmer longer until the gravy is a bit thicker in consistency.
- Kasoori Methi- No substitutions. This ingredient is needed for this recipe to be balanced.
- MDH Butter Chicken Masala - Use Shan Butter Chicken Masala
One Social Media follower said... "We stopped eating this at Indian Restaurants. This recipe is so good!"
Kasoori Methi Details
For this recipe, Kasoori Methi is needed. I like to grind the kasoori methi before using it in this dish. Use a chutney machine or coffee grinder to blend it into a fine powder. I really think it elevates the dish to another level.
A North Indian dish that includes a creamy sauce made with heavy cream and tomatoes. This popular Indian chicken dish is tasty and delicious with homemade flatbread or even store-bought.
The biggest difference between the two recipes is that Chicken Tikka Masala spices include multiple different types of peppers whereas Butter Chicken Masala includes Kasoori Methi (fenugreek leaves). Also, Chicken Tikka Masala originated in Europe whereas Butter Chicken Masala is a North Indian recipe.
Eliminate the butter and substitute cream for half and half.
There are no onions in this recipe, but you are welcome to add them for a thicker gravy.
Authentic chicken makhani recipes marinate chicken with yogurt and spices, in this quick and easy butter chicken recipe I skipped the step.
Yes! No grains are used in this recipe and full-fat cream is used with chicken breast.
Yes! I get this question often and I can't stress how important it is to use this ingredient for Butter Chicken.
There is no substitute.
They are both the same thing. Makhani means butter in Hindi which is where the name translates over from.
Try these other Indian Recipes...
Butter Chicken Masala (Murgh Makhani)
- Large pot/wok
- Cutting Board and Knife
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes I prefer tenders or breast, but more traditional recipes use dark meat
- 12 oz heavy whipping cream (more or less)
- 15 oz canned tomato puree (or tomato sauce for a thinner gravy)
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoon butter chicken masala- my recommendations include MDH Brand, Shan Brand, or S&K Masala (use more or less depending on spice level preference)
- 3 tablespoon butter, salted or unsalted (can add more or less)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ cup kasoori methi leaves, finely grounded dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar (more or less-the measurement depends on tomato puree brand)
- 1 tablespoon dry coriander powder
- red chili powder
- salt (amount will vary based on salted or unsalted butter usage)
- handful chopped cilantro for garnishment and flavor
- Heat a pan on medium heat and add butter. Add chopped raw chicken and 1 tablespoon of butter chicken masala. Mix and cook with no lid.
- Cook for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Some water might form in the pan and that is okay.
- Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, dry coriander powder, and red chili powder. Mix and cook for about a minute.
- Add tomato puree and cook the chicken and puree until it has simmered well together.
- Add heavy whipping cream, mix, and let it come to a simmer again.
- Now add the remaining butter chicken masala, sugar, and the finely grounded kasoori methi/fenugreek leaves.
- Mix it well.
- Cover the pot and simmer on medium/low heat for about 5 minutes. Taste test and add salt according to your liking. At this point adjust sugar and red chili powder measurement as well.
- Garnish with a handful of cilantro. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes (uncovered) before serving.
- TIP: the longer it cools the thicker the sauce will get it.
- Use more or less heavy cream based on your preference. The color of the curry will change according to how much is used.
- I prefer chicken breast or tenders over dark meat for this recipe.
- Salt should be added at the end according to taste since a few of the ingredients are already salted
- Fenugreek Leaves/Kasoori Methi can be found at Indian Grocery stores or Amazon. It is dried green leaves. Please do not substitute fresh fenugreek leaves/methi or fenugreek seeds for this.
I made this for dinner tonight after my friend recommended it to me. Very easy to make and it was really good. I didn’t blend the methi but next time I plan on doing it. Can’t wait to make it again and drink the sauce because it was my favorite.
The Curry Mommy says
So happy to hear this! Thanks for following along 🙂
Tanvi S. says
This is my family’s favorite butter chicken recipe. I was shocked at how easy it is to make after watching your Instagram live.