Chicken Makhani

  • Time
    30 mins
  • Servings
  • Nutrition
    375 Per Serving

Chicken Makhani, also known as Butter Chicken, is said to have originated in the 1950s at Moti Mahal, a restaurant in Delhi that was famous for their tandoori chicken. The cooks created a decadent sauce with the leftover marinade, butter, cream and tomatoes, to be served with the pieces of the barbecued chicken.

Great debates have sprung regarding the differences between butter chicken and the more common chicken tikka masala. Some say the former is more authentic, but it’s hard to argue when your mouth is full.


Kitchen Tools

  • Large Pot
  • Pan or Toaster Oven
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Salt


  • 8 oz boneless chicken thighs
  • Rice
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili
  • Chicken Marinade: 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste, 1 tablespoon garam masala, ½ cup yogurt, 1 tea


No IMage Found


Mix yogurt, garam masala, ginger-garlic paste, and 1 teaspoon of salt together to form marinade. Marinate chicken for 15 minutes, or refrigerate overnight for even more flavor.

No IMage Found


In a large pot over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon butter. Brown the marinated chicken in batches so the chicken pieces do not overlap and crowd the pan. This will help them brown faster. Set the browned chicken aside in a bowl or plate.

No IMage Found


In the same pot add another teaspoon of butter and add the crushed tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook down for 5 minutes until thick and deep red, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn.

No IMage Found


Stir in the Kashmiri Chili powder and the half and half. When the sauce begins to simmer, reduce to medium-low heat.

No IMage Found


Stir in the browned chicken, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, meanwhile wash and drain the rice. Bring rice and 1 ½ cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook rice for 10-15 minutes until done.

No IMage Found


Remove Chicken Makhani from heat, stir in dry fenugreek leaves, and serve with hot basmati rice.

Tips from Chef's