Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)


"Chicken Makhani is one of my favorite Indian dishes. It is a full flavored dish that complements the chicken well. It can be made as mild or spicy as you wish by adjusting the cayenne. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread."

Ingredients 35 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 408 cals

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Original recipe yields 4 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 408 kcal
  • 20%
  • Fat:
  • 27.8 g
  • 43%
  • Carbs:
  • 15.6g
  • 5%
  • Protein:
  • 23.4 g
  • 47%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 107 mg
  • 36%
  • Sodium:
  • 620 mg
  • 25%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce.
  3. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
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Reviews 777

  1. 1063 Ratings


I wanted to comment on this recipe and some tips to make it authentic and give it that restaurant touch. The recipe itself is fairly good . The only thing I would add to make it a bit more authentic are as follows: 1/4 cup of finely ground cashews (unsalted). These should be used as a thickner and not corn starch. Indian recipes or sauces never use corn starch. For richer gravies we use ground almond or cashews and heavy cream or yogurt. 1/4 cup of heavy cream (substitute it in place of half and half) Finally if you are a true Indian curry lover and love Chicken Makhani you should buy some fenugreek(called methi - pronounced "Mei" "thi") seeds. You only use 1/4 tsp of these (they are very bitter) and grind them. Then add them to the curry when you add your other dry spices. The cashew and fenugreek is what gives Chicken makhani it's authentic flavor.


I am an Indian native looking for an Americanized version of this dish for a friend who is a little intimidated by Indian food. I gave this recipe a try, and it is almost there. First, I used fresh minced ginger and garlic, but had to triple the amount. That made a huge difference. I noticed that many reviewers said the recipe is missing something. I think that something is coriander. Most Makhani dishes have a cumin/coriander combination which is missing from this recipe. I added a little ground coriander and the dish was great. Perfect for a new Indian cook.


I haven't made this recipe yet, but am looking forward to it. But I wanted to put a word in about ginger/garlic paste. You don't have to buy this at the store -- an easy way to do this is to put equal amounts of ginger and garlic in the food processor and grind them up. They will naturally form a paste. Most Indian recipes have some variation of this -- common ones are a ginger/garlic/onion paste, or a ginger/garlic/onion/lime paste (try marinating chicken in this and roasting it!)