Indian Butter Chicken (Makhani)

Indian Butter Chicken (Makhani)


1236 people made this

Indian butter chicken, also known as chicken makhani, is a very flavourful dish which you can make as mild or spicy as you like. Serve with basmati rice.

Mitch Ferguson

Serves: 4 

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 40g butter
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger,peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 1 cup (250ml) cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) tomato puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons water

Preparation:10min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:40min 

  1. To make the sauce: heat half of the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Fry the shallots and onion until soft and transparent.
  2. Stir in butter, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, half the garam masala, the chilli powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add tomato puree, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the cream and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Heat the rest of the oil in a large heavy frypan over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, turning once, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat and season with the rest of the garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Spoon the cooked chicken into the sauce.
  6. Mix together the cornflour and water, then stir into the sauce. Adjust seasonings and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

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Reviews (9)


i loooove this curry. i made it for my dad's 60th earlier this year and was a big hit. instead of using the cornflour to thicken it, i used a handful of finely crushed cashew nuts. - 18 Sep 2009


It is a fantastic, easy to follow recipe and tastes great!!! - 27 Sep 2014


A favourite at home. Easy to follow recipe. The second time we made it though, we left all the chilli and Cayenne out of it. Those that like it spicy just added the cayenne pepper after it was served. Yum. - 10 Mar 2014

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