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Butter chicken

Butter chicken is famous dish of North India.We can adjust the flavor of this dish as we like,mild or spicy.It is best served with roti’s and naan.Butter chicken is best served with lot of Butter.We can also prepare this dish either with boneless or with bone as per our choice.The main ingredient of the gravy is tomatoes.Generally it is little bit sweetish in taste.But I prepare it spicy since my folks like it theeka that is spicy.This is a two in one recipe where you  can prepare  both Tandoori chicken and Butter chicken in the same recipe.I have posted the recipe of Tandoori murg in a separate post.

Recipe adapted from-Nita Mehtha
Chicken(800 gm)- 1 medium sized,cut into 12 pieces
Red chilly powder-1/2 tsp
Salt -to taste

Ingredients to marinade:
Curds- ½ cup hang for 30 minutes in a muslin cloth
Garlic paste-1 tbsp or 8-10 flakes of garlic-crushed to a paste
Ginger paste -1tsp or 1/2 piece of ginger-crushed to a paste
Kasoori methi-1tbsp ( dry fenugreek leaves)
Few drops of orange red color
Kala namak(black salt)-1/2 tsp
Garam masala-1tsp

Ingredients for makhani gravy:
Butter-2tbsp + oil-2tbsp,
Tej patta (bay leaf)-1
Ginger garlic paste-2tbsp or 2” piece of ginger and 16-18 flakes of garlic-crushed to a paste
Tomatoes- ½ kg(6-7)blanched, peeled and ground to a very smooth puree or 2 cups ready-made tomato puree
Cashewnuts- 4 tbsp soaked in hot warm water for 15 minutes, drained and ground to a very fine paste with a little water
Kashmiri chilly powder or degi mirch-1/4 tsp
Milk-1 cup
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Tandoori masala powder-1tsp
Sugar-1/4tsp or to taste

Method for tandoori chicken:
  1. Wash, pat dry chicken and make 2 incisions on breast, thighs and drumsticks.
  2. Rub lemon juice,salt & chilly powder on the chicken and keep aside for ½ hour.
  3. For the marinade,mix hung curd,malai,garlic & ginger paste, kasoori methi, kala namak, garam masala and color.
  4. Rub the chicken with this mixture.
  5. Keep aside for 3-4 hours in the fridge.
  6. Heat the gas tandoor(flame should be minimum) or oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  7. Place the chicken on the grill or wire rack(in the oven place a tray covered with aluminium foil, underneath the chicken to collect the drippings).
  8. Grill for 15 minutes
  9. Brush pieces with oil or pour some oil with a spoon on all the pieces.
  10. Turn  pieces and grill for another 10-15 minutes, till the chicken is dry and well cooked.
  11. Be careful not to make the chicken blackish or burnt. Keep tandoori chicken aside.

Method for makhani gravy :

  1. To prepare the makhani gravy, boil water in a pan.
  2. Add tomatoes to boiling water.
  3. Boil for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove from water and peel.
  5. Grind to a smooth puree and  keep aside
  6. Heat butter and oil together in a non stick pan or a kadai.
  7. Add tej patta(bay leaf) and stir for a few seconds.
  8. Add ginger and garlic paste, cook until liquid evaporates and the paste just changes color.
  9. Add pureed tomatoes or ready-made puree, degi mirch and sugar.
  10. Cook until the puree turns very dry and the fats separates.
  11. Add prepared cashew paste, stir for a few seconds on low heat till fat separates.
  12. Add about 1 cup of water to get the desired gravy.
  13. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  14. Add tandoori chicken and salt.
  15. Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes till the gravy turns to a bright color and reduce flame.
  16. Add milk on a very low heat and bring to a boil, stirring continuously.
  17. Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes on low heat till you get the desired thickness of the gravy.
  18. Remove from the fire and stir in cream, stirring continuously.
  19. Add garam masala and tandoori masala and stir.
  20. Garnish with 1 tbsp of fresh cream , slit green chillies or red chillies and coriander leaves. 
  21. Serve hot with garlic  naan.


  1. To prepare tandoori chicken for butter chicken, if you do not have a tandoor or an oven, simply marinate the chicken as given and cook in a non stick pan or kadai in some butter instead of a tandoor.
  2. For this, heat 4 tbsp butter in a pan.
  3. Add chicken pieces along with the marinade.
  4. Stir fry on medium high flame till the chicken is brown and crisp.
  5.  Lower heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes till chicken is tender.
  6.  Put this prepared chicken in makhani gravy.

About SaiGeetha Pai

I am Saigeetha, a homemaker, food blogger, baker and a cook. Cooking is my passion.

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