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Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

Savor the richness of Indian Butter Chicken with this authentic recipe. Tender chicken in a creamy, spiced tomato sauce, this dish is a staple in Indian cuisine.

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Units Scale

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup heavy cream or half & half
2 cups tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon garam masala and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Cook the chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, then set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.
Saute onion in the saucepan until soft and translucent.
Stir in the butter, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and bay leaf.
Cook the mixture for 1 minute while stirring continuously.
Add the tomato puree to the saucepan and continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Blend in the cream or half-and-half, yogurt, and chopped cilantro into the saucepan.
Reduce the heat to low, add the browned chicken into the sauce, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and additional cayenne pepper according to taste.
Just before serving, mix in the ground cashews.
Serve the Chicken Makhani over steamed basmati rice for a complete meal.


For a nuttier flavor and thicker sauce, ensure the cashews are finely ground before mixing into the sauce.
If you desire more heat, adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your preference.
Adding 1/4 teaspoon of ground fenugreek to the sauce can provide an authentic flavor to the dish.
You can use cream for a richer taste or half-and-half for a lighter option.

  • Author: 9
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Halal


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: Approximately 600 kcal
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 850mg
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Cholesterol: 150mg

Keywords: Chicken Makhani, Indian Butter Chicken, Creamy Chicken, Indian Cuisine, Authentic Indian Recipe, Comfort Food,