How to Make One of the Most Famous Punjabi Dish – Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhni

Atithi Hospitality > Recipes > How to Make One of the Most Famous Punjabi Dish – Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhni
The Yellow Chilli Butter Chicken

Be of any age Butter Chicken is one of the favorite dishes of everyone! When prepared, it can be presented in many ways. Whatever its form may be upon being cooked, its flavour may change according to the preparation, but the recipe remains high in protein, low in fat and is easily digested. So let’s get on with the flavoursome Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhni.

Prep Time : 1-1.30 hour


Cook time : 41-50 minutes


Serve : 4


Level Of Cooking : Moderate


Taste : Tangy


Ingredients for Butter Chicken or murgh makhni

Cut 750 grams chicken into bite sized pieces

Turmeric powder, half a teaspoon

1 tablespoon Mustard oil

5 tablespoons Yogurt

Salt according to taste

1 teaspoon Red chilli powder

Roasted Coriander seeds and powdered coriander powder 1 teaspoon

Butter 2-3 tablespoons (The more the better)

4-5 tomatoes, finely chopped (250 grams)

Crushed 1 tablespoon of Ginger

Garlic crushed 1 tablespoon

Salt according to taste

Green cardamoms 6

Oil 2-3 tablespoons

Charcoal 2 pieces (optional)

Ghee 1 tablespoon

Black cardamom 1

Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon

Green cardamom powder 1/4 teaspoon

Garam masala powder 1/4 teaspoon

Fresh cream 4-5 tables to garnish

Sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons

Dried fenugreek leaves also known as kasuri methi roasted and powdered 1/4 teaspoon to garnish


Step 1

Take chicken in a big bowl, add turmeric powder, yogurt, mustard oil, salt, red chilli powder and coriander powder and mix well so that every piece of chicken is covered in the mix. Set aside and marinate for at least 1 hour.

Step 2

Stat preparing the gravy, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a deep non-stick pan till it melts. Add ginger, tomatoes, garlic, salt and seeds of 6 green cardamoms. Cook on high flame till tomatoes turn soft and pulpy. Switch off heat, set aside and allow to cool down.

Step 3

Heat oil in a non-stick grill pan, bring in the marinated chicken pieces, only a few pieces at a time, and grill on high heat, turning chicken pieces occasionally so they don’t get burnt, till golden brown and grill marks appear on both the sides. Remove and set aside in a bowl we will add them when the gravy is prepared.

Step 4

Transfer the cooked tomato mixture that we prepared earlier into a blender jar and blend to a fine paste.

Step 5

Pass the blended mixture through a sieve into another bowl by pressing with a spatula to get a smooth and fine gravy, if the granules pass by the dish won’t taste nice.

Step 6

To add tandoori effect to the dish, heat charcoal pieces on direct flame till they are red hot, place them in a stainless steel bowl kept over the chicken pieces, drizzle 1 tablespoon of ghee over them and cover immediately and let the chicken absorb the smoky flavour for some time. It is optional but if done adds a good smoky flavour which tastes wonderful.

Step 7

Heat remaining ghee and remaining butter in another non-stick pan, add black cardamom, mace and a pinch of green cardamoms and sauté it till they release their fragrant aroma.

Step 8

Add red chilli powder to the blended gravy and mix well. Add salt according to taste, green cardamom powder, garam masala and mix well. Add ¼ cup water, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the grilled chicken and mix, cover and cook, on medium heat, for 10-15 minutes or till chicken is cooked completely.

Step 9

Add cream, sugar, remaining green cardamom powder, ¼ tsp roasted and powdered kasuri methi, and mix well. Cook for a minute and switch the flame off.

Step 10

Transfer butter chicken into a serving bowl, drizzle a some cream and sprinkle a little dried fenugreek leaf powder and serve hot, goes well with naan or lachha parantha.


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