MURG MAKHANI…. commonly called as Butter Chicken. A hugely popular Punjabi dish!

This dish was actually invented to finish off the leftover tandoori chicken. And who knew then that it would be such a hit ever!!! The preparation of this gravy is similar to that of paneer makhani gravy.

The use of butter, in those days homemade makkhan and cream, again malai in the old days… makes this dish quite sweet and subtle in taste.

For some more delicious dishes, do take a look at the following recipes too….

1. Hirvaa Kombadi Masala

2. Chicken Korma

3. Kombdi Kaleji Sukkaa Masala

4. Methi Murg

5. Tandoori Chicken Coleslaw Toast Sandwich

Here’s the recipe for the delicious Murg Makhani…..



3 Large Tomatoes

1/2 Small Onion

1 tsp Ginger garlic paste

10 Cashews

1 tbs Magaz seeds

2 tsp Sugar (to be adjusted)

2 tsp Cream

1 tbs Oil

1 tbs Butter

1 Star anise

2 Small Cardamoms

2 One inch Cinnamon pieces

1 tsp Bedgi red chilli powder

2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder

1 tsp Corriander powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1/2 tsp Punjabi garam masala

1 tsp Kasuri methi

Salt to taste


250 gm Boneless chicken

1 tsp Lemon juice

1/2 tsp Ginger garlic paste

1 tsp Oil

1 tbs Butter

1 Charcoal piece


1/4 cup Hung curd

1 tsp Ginger garlic paste

1 tsp Oil

1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder

1/4 tsp Kasuri methi powder

1/2 tsp Corriander powder

1/4 tsp Cumin powder

1/4 tsp Punjabi garam masala

Salt to taste


1. To begin making the Butter Chicken, first prepare the marinade for the chicken pieces by mixing together the mentioned ingredients.

2. Wash the chicken thoroughly and drain all water. Cut into desired size chunks. Rub the lemon juice and 1 tsp ginger garlic paste on all pieces. Keep aside for about 15 minutes. Then squeeze all pieces well (not too hard) and transfer to another bowl.

3. Marinate the pieces with the prepared mixture and keep aside for about an hour.

4. In the meantime soak the cashews and magaz seeds in hot water for about an hour.

5. Drain and grind to a smooth paste.

6. Heat sufficient water in a pan for blanching the tomatoes. At the smooth end of the tomatoes make a small cross sign with a knife. This helps easy peeling after blanching. When the water is hot, add the tomatoes and immerse for approximately 4-5 minutes.

7. Remove from the hot water onto a plate. The peels at the end where the cross sign was made will start coming off. Peel the tomatoes and grind to a puree.

8. Grind the onion to a smooth paste.

9. In a kadhai, heat oil. Add butter and heat. Now add the whole spices. When they splutter add the onion paste and cook.

10. Cook till it changes colour. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute.

11. Add the tomato puree and mix. Bring to a boil and cook. Add the spice powders and salt.

12. When the tomatoes are cooked add the cashew magaz paste and mix well. Cook for a while. Add sugar and some water to bring the gravy to a medium consistency. Check seasoning.

13. On a hot griddle spread the kasuri methi for about a minute. Crush it with fingers and then add to the gravy. Turn off the heat and keep aside.

14. Heat a pan. Add the oil and butter. When hot add the chicken pieces and shallow fry on both sides till done and a bit charred.

15. At the same time when frying the chicken, heat a piece of coal on open flame till the red ambers are seen.

16. Place a small bowl at the centre of the pan in which the tandoor pieces are kept and place the hot red coal in it. Pour a few drops of oil on the coal and immediately shut the pan with a lid. Place a heavy weight over it. Keep covered for about 2 minutes.

17. Open the lid and remove the charcoal. This process imparts to the chicken pieces a smoked tandoor flavour.

18. Either shred these pieces or add them to the prepared gravy as it is and bring to a boil. Check seasoning and spices. Add any if desired. Adjust the consistency by adding some water if required.

19. Turn off the heat and add the cream and mix well.

20. Serve hot with khastaa paratha and some Biryani Rice.


To reduce the use of cream, milk can be used instead of water to adjust the consistency of the gravy. Instead of readymade butter, using homemade butter is always better. Again, honey can be used to sweeten the gravy instead of sugar. But as cooked honey is bad for health I preferred using sugar instead. Overall a delicious dish which can be made healthy by cleverly substituting certain ingredients.

Author: tastyrecipesfrompooja

An artist by nature, I love painting, travelling to different places and photographing nature, gardening, crochet, reading, etc. It's my nature to give my best to anything and everything I do. From a person who could cook very few dishes..... I have converted myself to a person who now can cook varied dishes! I like perfection in all my work. Reading a lot of recipes, watching different famous chefs' cooking shows on television and observing their methods, techniques and tips very closely and studiously what has made me a very good cook today. Though there are numerous recipes I haven't tried my hand at..... there are many other in which I have gained exerpertise only by trial and error! I still watch all interesting cookery shows on TV to gain more knowledge on cooking techniques of other cultures from here and abroad!! Nowadays, I have started adding healthy twists to my dishes as and when I can without compromising on their original taste. Started this blog to share a few recipes of mine with all other cooking enthusiasts! Happy cooking to all! 😃

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