Sep 102021
Butter Chicken

This no fuss; butter chicken, also known as murgh makhani, ticks all the boxes, few ingredients, quick, packed full of flavor and just the right amount of spice.

butter chicken in a porcelain bowl, red serving mat and naan bread

Butter Chicken

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Butter Chicken, from scratch, homemade
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe


  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Spatula
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Mortar & Pestle* – see notes
  • Nonstick Large pan/skillet 10cm deep


Standard recipe

  • ¾ tsp Hot Chili Powder or 1tsp mild*
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds *substitute cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds *substitute with mustard powder/fenugreek
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Tbsp Salted Butter
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Ginger paste
  • 2 Chicken Breast cut into about 1cm pieces
  • 4 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 100 ml Water
  • 150 ml Cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper
  • White Pepper a sprinkle

Optional Add ins:

  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 6 Button Mushrooms stems cut and tops quartered
  • ¼ Capsicum diced
  • 1 small potato cubes


  • If making your own naan, prepare your dough and allow it to rest while making your curry.
  • Heat your pan over medium heat, and toast your cumin and mustard seeds. Swirl your pan often, or they'll burn.
    Do this till they've become fragrant and the mustard seeds turn golden.
    When they start to pop remove from heat. Using a mortar & pestle, grind the cumin and mustard seeds down to a fine powder.
    *skip this step if using powders.
  • Measure out the chili, cumin, mustard and curry powder, garam masala into a bowl. Give it a stir to mix. Set aside.
  • Heat your pan over medium heat on your large flame. Add the oil and butter. Once melted together add your onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add your veggies if using. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Add your garlic and ginger, stir well to combine and cook for about a minute.
  • Add your chicken, tomato paste and spices. Stir well to make sure everything is coated in the tomato and spices and cook for 5-6minutes.
    It'll become nicely fragrant
    Add 50ml of water if it's looking too dry. You don't want to make it too wet though…
  • Add the cream and remaining water and simmer for 10minutes, stirring regularly.
    Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Make changes as you go, balance it to your taste buds.
  • Serve with naan and rice.


Not everyone has a mortar and pestle, fear not cooks, you can simply substitute seeds with powders.
 Mustard powder can be substituted with fenugreek
If you are using powders, skip the step of toasting seeds. You will still be able to get the toasty flavor, while cooking and you add your spices to the pan 
**I treat curry more as a hearty sauce with whatever veggies I’m in the mood for or what I have in the fridge.**
It’s not an exact science, so have fun when cooking and remember to follow your own bliss / taste buds

Original recipe is found on this website, amended cooking times, ingredients and spices. Overall a fabulous recipe though.

Reader Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Who knew butter chicken would be so easy to make? I now always roast cumin seeds and cannot go back! Super yum and not too oily like some of the takeaway butter chicken.

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