Murgh Makhani - Indian Butter Chicken

This is a simple home version of butter chicken, also known as 'murgh' or 'chicken makhani,' a popular dish in Indian restaurants. This is best served with naan, an Indian bread, or you can also serve this with basmati rice.


  • cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala powder
  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil divided
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Stir the yogurt and tandoori masala powder together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined; add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Drain and discard any excess marinade.
  • Puree the onion, ginger, and garlic with the water in a blender until it forms a smooth paste; set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken in the hot oil until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons in the skillet. Fry the onion paste in the hot oil until the moisture is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the garam masala and chili powder over the mixture; cook 1 minute more. Pour the tomato sauce into the mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for another 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan along with the half and half; bring to a boil. Add the butter, fenugreek leaves, and salt; reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until the chicken pieces are no longer pink in the middle, 15 to 20 minutes.

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Anita is an Indian Chef, Cookery teacher & food blogger. Her mission is to simple educate and share just how simple, healthy and tasty Indian cooking can be. She is often seen at food festivals and cookery schools demonstrating her passion for cooking to make it fun and interesting, sharing her food stories.

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