Butter Chicken

If you have never tried Butter Chicken before this is a wonderful recipe to try Indian food. Tender chicken with a buttery tomato sauce seasoned with aromatic spices. This classic Indian dish also known as Murgh Makhani is sure to be a favorite meal to make any day of the week.

overhead view of butter chicken and rice in a bowl

You can make butter chicken Indian style at home. If you have never tried Indian food before, this Indian butter chicken recipe will make you a fan. This butter chicken is a slightly spicy cream-based dish that contains aromatic golden pieces of chicken. You will love how easy it is to make this butter chicken recipe in your own kitchen.

You may have been put off making Indian food at home because of the sometimes daunting list of ingredients. However, the ingredients in this butter chicken Indian-style recipe can be found in most supermarkets.

The secret to this tender, flavor-infused butter chicken dish is a spice-infused marinade that includes fresh ginger and garlic, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, and coriander powder. But that’s not all – there is also a wonderful sauce made from onions, coconut cream, butter, tomato paste, paprika, and optional curry paste (depending on how hot you like your curries).

Why Is It Called Butter Chicken?

It is called butter chicken because it’s prepared in a makhani (butter) sauce, which uses butter and cream. This is an authentic Indian dish –it hails from Northern India and is called murgh makhani. If you would like to read about the history of butter chicken, click here.

What Is the Difference Between Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala?

Butter chicken is a similar dish to chicken tikka masala and is one of the most popular curry dishes at any Indian restaurant. The two dishes look the same with their orange-tinged sauces. Chicken tikka masala is not as creamy and more intensified with tomato sauce. Also, the chicken in tikka masala is roasted in a tandoor, while the chicken for butter masala is prepared in a pan over heat.

Make Ahead Option

The beauty of the sauce in this recipe is that you can prepare it ahead of time. When completely cooled, store it in an airtight glass container and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.

What to Serve With Indian Butter Chicken

Try Butter Chicken Tonight!

If there’s any Indian recipe that’s worth making at home, it’s this butter chicken, and this is the best butter chicken recipe ever! I hope you are inspired to try your hand at making an Indian feast at home.

Butter Chicken Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken fillets
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Plain unsweetened yogurt
  • Garam masala
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground turmeric
  • Vegetable oil
  • Yellow onions
  • Unsweetened coconut cream
  • Butter
  • Tomato paste
  • Sugar
  • Red curry paste (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • White rice for serving
butter chicken ingredients

How to Make Butter Chicken

Making butter chicken is a simple process. Basically, you marinate chicken for a few minutes then cook it and the sauce in a pan on the stovetop. Here are the steps:

  1. Grate the garlic and ginger.
  2. Chop the onions.
    chopping onions for butter chicken sauce
  3. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Combine the garlic, ginger, yogurt, garam masala, paprika, coriander powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and toss to coat well.
    chicken pieces and marinade for butter chicken in a bowl
  6. Marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Heat a pan with the oil over medium heat.
  8. Pour the chicken and marinade into the pan and brown the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes.
  9. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  10. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan and add the onions.
  11. Cook the onions for 5 minutes on medium heat until golden, stirring occasionally.
  12. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, coconut cream, tomato paste, sugar, salt, paprika, and red curry paste.
  13. Stir and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  14. Add the chicken back in the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
    Indian butter chicken in a pan and fresh cilantro
  15. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
    butter chicken topped with chopped fresh cilantro in a pan
  16. Serve with rice.
Indian butter chicken in a pan and a bowl with rice

Delicious Chicken Recipes

Check out more of my easy chicken recipes and the best main dish recipes right here on CopyKat!

overhead view of butter chicken and rice in a bowl

Butter Chicken (Indian Murgh Makhani)

You can make delicious Butter Chicken at home with this easy recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Butter Chicken, Murgh Makhani
Servings: 4
Calories: 908kcal

Ingredients

Chicken and Marinade

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken fillets cubed
  • 5 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger grated
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Butter Chicken Sauce

  • 3 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1⅔ cup unsweetened coconut cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste optional

For Serving

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 cups cooked white rice

Instructions

  • Grate the garlic and ginger.
  • Chop the onions.
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • Combine the garlic, ginger, yogurt, garam masala, paprika, coriander powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and toss to coat well.
  • Marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Heat a pan with the oil.
  • Pour the chicken and marinade into the pan and brown the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan and add the onions.
  • Cook the onions for 5 minutes on medium heat until golden, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, coconut cream, tomato paste, sugar, salt, paprika, and red curry paste.
  • Stir and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken back in the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro.
  • Serve with white rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 908kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 45g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1445mg | Potassium: 960mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1276IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Comments

  1. gcallah

    “You can make Indian food at home.”

    Well, given that a billion Indians do so, this is pretty bloody obvious, isn’t it?

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