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Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhanwala)

Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhanwala)

  1. Servings: 4 persons

  2. Time: 1 hour

  3. Difficulty: Medium

Butter chicken is a creamy buttery mildly spiced chicken curry in onion tomato gravy with cashewnut paste incorporated. It is usually paired with tandoori roti or naan


Boneless chicken – 500 gms (preferably leg piece alternatively, breast piece)

For Marination

– Curd (thick) – 1/4 cup

– Corriander powder – 1/2 tbsp

– Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

– Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 tbsp

– Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

– Garam masala – 1 tsp

– Salt – 1tsp

For Gravy

– Butter – 1/4 cup

– Oil – 1 tbsp

– Cumin – 1 tsp

– Cloves – 4 nos.

– Green cardamom – 1 no

– Cinnamon – 1/2 inch stick

– Red Chilies (whole) – 8-10 nos. (beydagi chillies which are not very spicy.)

– Garlic cloves – 5-6 nos

– Onion – 2 medium (sliced lengthwise)

– Tomato – 5 medium (sliced lengthwise)

– Cashew nuts – 20 nos.

– Kasuri Methi – 1 tbsp

– Salt to taste


  1. Clean and cut chicken pieces lengthwise. If using breast pieces then try to flatten it before cutting by placing it between plastic sheets and hitting it with wooden mallet. This prevents it from being chewy after cooking. 

  2. Add salt, turmeric powder, kashmiri red chili powder, corriander powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala & curd. Mix well and keep aside for 30 minutes in fridge

  3. In a pan, add oil and butter. When it becomes hot, add cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, red chilies and garlic. Saute until fragrant. Take care not to burn red chillies.

  4. Add sliced onion and saute further on high heat until onion starts turning brown.

  5. Add tomatoes and cashew nuts. Continue sauteing further until tomatoes are well cooked and turn mushy. If necessary, cook it covered for 5 minutes

  6. Remove from flame and allow it to cool. Remove cinnamon pieces and discard

  7. Once cooled, blend this mixture with little water until smooth

  8. In the same pan, taken 1 tsbsp oil. Add marinated chicken pieces and saute on high flame for 3-4 minutes until chicken changes color. Keep it aside.

  9. In the same pan, take one tbsp oil and one tbsp butter. Add blended mixture and saute for 4-5 minutes. 

  10. Add sauted chicken pieces, mix well and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add hald cup water and adjust consistency. Add salt to taste

  11. Cook covered for 8-10 minutes

  12. Take small pan, add kasuri methi and heat it slightly on low heat. Saute for 2-3 minutes till it turns crispy. Once cooled, crumple it slightly and add to chicken and stir

  13. Serve hot with tandoori roti / naan

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