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Butter Chicken - A Rich and Creamy Indian Delicacy

Butter Chicken – A Rich and Creamy Indian Delicacy

Table of Contents

Introduction about the dish

Welcome to the world of rich and indulgent Indian cuisine, where each dish celebrates flavors, spices, and tradition. Today, we’re diving into the sumptuous realm of Butter Chicken, a beloved North Indian classic that has captured hearts and palates worldwide. In this user-friendly guide, we’ll unravel the secrets of making Butter Chicken in your kitchen. From the succulent chicken pieces to the velvety tomato gravy, we’ll show you how to create this iconic dish that’s not just a meal but a culinary experience.

Why Butter Chicken?

Before we delve into the ingredients and techniques that make Butter Chicken unique, let’s understand why this dish holds such a revered place in Indian cuisine. Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a symphony of flavors. It’s a rich, creamy, mildly spiced dish that combines tender chicken with a luscious tomato and butter-based gravy.

Butter Chicken is not just about taste; it’s about the comfort and joy a well-made dish can bring. It’s a testament to the magic of Indian spices and the art of slow cooking. It’s a dish that transcends boundaries, appealing to novice food enthusiasts and seasoned gourmands.

What sets Butter Chicken apart is its versatility. It can be the centerpiece of your dinner party, a cozy family meal, or a comforting dish to satisfy your cravings. Pair it with naan, roti, or steamed rice, and you have a hearty and elegant feast.

What Sets Our Recipe Apart?

You might wonder, “Why make Butter Chicken at home when it’s available at Indian restaurants?” The answer is simple: Homemade butter Chicken allows you to customize the flavors to your liking, use fresh ingredients, and create a dish free from excessive cream and artificial additives.

Our user-friendly Butter Chicken recipe ensures that you’ll be able to recreate the authentic taste and experience of this North Indian classic effortlessly. We’ll guide you through each step, share tips, and provide insights to ensure your Butter Chicken turns out as creamy and delightful as it should be.

Join Us in the Kitchen

Throughout this guide, we’ll provide easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions to make your Butter Chicken-making experience delightful. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to Indian cuisine, our recipe is designed to ensure your success.

So, gather your ingredients, don your apron, and let’s embark on a culinary adventure that will transport you to the bustling streets and aromatic kitchens of North India. Let’s create a plate of Butter Chicken that’s not just a dish; it’s a celebration of tradition, a symphony of flavors, and a culinary masterpiece that will leave you craving more.

Serves: 4 People (Approx.)
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

What ingredients do I need to make them?

Step-by-Step Guide to Making This Butter Chicken

Marinate Chicken:

  • In a bowl, mix yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt.
  • Add chicken pieces to the marinade and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Sear Chicken:

  • Heat oil in a pan and sear the marinated chicken until cooked and slightly charred. Set aside.

Prepare Gravy:

  • In the same pan, add butter. Sauté chopped onions until golden brown.
  • Add tomato puree and cook until the oil separates.

Add Creamy Elements:

  • Add cashew paste and cook for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.
  • Stir in heavy cream and dried fenugreek leaves.

Simmer and Add Chicken:

  • Gently add the seared chicken to the gravy. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.


  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve the Butter Chicken hot with naan, roti, or rice.

Tips for an Efficient Preparation of this dish

  • While the chicken is marinating, prepare the onion-tomato puree and cashew paste.
  • Sear the chicken in batches to ensure even cooking.
  • Use a pre-made ginger-garlic paste to save time.

What is the Nutritional content of this dish?

350 kcalCalories
10 gCarbs
25 gFats
25 gProteins
1 gFibre
10 gSFA
100 mgCholesterol
600 mgSodium
350 mgPotassium
5 gSugar

Note: Nutrition values can vary depending on ingredients and portion sizes, so it’s essential to check specific labels or recipes for accurate nutritional information.

Conclusion: Enjoying Your Homemade Food

Indulge in the opulent flavors of North India with Butter Chicken, a dish that embodies the rich and creamy essence of Indian cuisine. With our detailed recipe and time-saving tips, you can create this beloved dish in your own kitchen. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or a fan of Indian flavors, Butter Chicken is sure to be a showstopper on your dining table, delivering a harmonious blend of aromatic spices and velvety textures in every mouthful.

Frequently Asked Questions

To make Butter Chicken more flavorful and creamy, you can follow these tips:

  1. Marination: Marinate the chicken with yogurt, lemon juice, and aromatic spices such as garam masala, cumin, and coriander. This process helps infuse the chicken with rich flavors and ensures it stays tender and juicy.
  2. Use Fresh Ingredients: Opt for fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic for the curry base. Fresh ingredients enhance the overall taste and texture of the dish.
  3. Cream and Butter: Use a generous amount of cream and butter to create a rich and velvety texture. Adding these ingredients towards the end of the cooking process will lend the dish a smooth and creamy consistency.
  4. Spice Blend: Roast and grind whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves to create a fresh and aromatic spice blend. This step can significantly elevate the overall flavor profile of the Butter Chicken.
  5. Cashew Paste: Incorporate a homemade cashew paste for a creamy and nutty undertone. Cashew paste enriches the texture and adds depth to the flavors.

By implementing these techniques, you can enhance the flavor and creaminess of your Butter Chicken, creating a more indulgent and satisfying culinary experience.

Yes, Butter Chicken can be prepared using dairy-free alternatives, making it suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance or those following a dairy-free diet. You can use plant-based alternatives such as coconut milk or cashew cream to substitute dairy products like cream and butter. Coconut milk provides a rich and creamy texture, imparting a unique tropical flavor to the dish. On the other hand, Cashew cream adds a nutty and smooth consistency that closely mimics the texture of dairy cream. By incorporating these dairy-free alternatives, you can enjoy a delicious and flavorful Butter Chicken that caters to your dietary preferences and restrictions.

Butter Chicken pairs wonderfully with various side dishes that complement its rich and savory flavors. Some popular accompaniments to serve with Butter Chicken include:

  1. Naan or Roti: Soft and fluffy naan or whole wheat roti are traditional choices that help scoop up the creamy Butter Chicken sauce.
  2. Rice: Basmati rice, jeera rice, or pulao make a great combination, allowing you to savor the flavorful sauce.
  3. Indian Bread: Paratha, kulcha, or puri can be served to add variety to your meal.
  4. Raita: A cooling cucumber or mint raita provides a refreshing contrast to the spiciness of the Butter Chicken.
  5. Pickles: Tangy Indian pickles or chutneys, like mango pickles or coriander chutney, can add an extra layer of flavor.
  6. Salad: A simple mixed vegetable salad with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chaat masala can balance the dish’s richness.
  7. Sliced Onions and Lemon: Freshly sliced onions and lemon wedges are a classic accompaniment to provide a zesty and crunchy contrast.
  8. Papad or Poppadom: Crispy, thin papads or poppadoms can add a delightful crunch to your meal.

Ultimately, the choice of side dishes depends on your preferences and the regional variations in Indian cuisine. Feel free to experiment and discover your favorite combination with Butter Chicken.

Yes, it is possible to adjust the spiciness of Butter Chicken according to personal taste preferences. Butter Chicken traditionally has a moderately spicy flavor, but you can easily customize it to suit your preferred spice level. Here are some tips to help you control the spiciness of Butter Chicken:

  1. Adjust the Amount of Red Chili Powder: You can reduce or increase the amount of red chili powder or cayenne pepper used in the recipe based on your spice tolerance.
  2. Control the Use of Fresh Green Chilies: Adding or reducing the quantity of fresh green chilies can significantly impact the overall spiciness of the dish.
  3. Modify the Use of Spicy Seasonings: You can use milder spices or reduce the amount of garam masala and other spicy seasonings while preparing the dish.
  4. Adjust with Cream or Yogurt: Adding a generous amount of cream or yogurt can help tone down the spiciness and create a creamier texture.
  5. Serve with Cooling Accompaniments: Pair your Butter Chicken with cooling accompaniments like yogurt-based raita, cucumber salad, or a refreshing glass of lassi to counterbalance the heat.

By experimenting with these adjustments and using milder versions of spices, you can easily tailor the spiciness of Butter Chicken to meet your specific taste preferences.

In Indian cuisine, Butter Chicken has various regional adaptations and versions that reflect the culinary diversity across different parts of the country. While the classic Butter Chicken is widely enjoyed, some regional variations offer unique twists to this popular dish. Here are a few examples of regional variations of Butter Chicken in Indian cuisine:

  1. Punjabi Butter Chicken: Originating from the Punjab region, this version typically incorporates rich and creamy tomato-based gravy and aromatic spices. It often includes tandoori chicken as the base, providing a smoky flavor.
  2. Delhi Butter Chicken: Hailing from the bustling streets of Delhi, this rendition is known for its smooth and velvety texture. It often features a luscious gravy made with butter, cream, and an array of spices, providing a delightful balance of flavors.
  3. South Indian Butter Chicken: The South Indian adaptation of Butter Chicken is often influenced by the local flavors and ingredients. It may incorporate a unique blend of spices and herbs characteristic of South Indian cuisine, resulting in a distinct taste profile.
  4. Bengali Butter Chicken: The Bengali version of Butter Chicken is known for its subtle yet rich flavors. It often includes the use of Bengali garam masala and incorporates regional ingredients that add a touch of sweetness and depth to the dish.
  5. Coastal Butter Chicken: Found in the coastal regions of India, this variation may incorporate the use of coconut milk or grated coconut, infusing the dish with a creamy and tropical essence, along with the incorporation of local seafood or fish for a unique twist.

These regional adaptations add diversity to the traditional Butter Chicken recipe, offering a wide array of flavors and culinary experiences across the various regions of India.

To ensure that the chicken in Butter Chicken remains tender and juicy, you can follow several key steps and techniques during the preparation process. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Marination: Marinate the chicken pieces in yogurt, lemon juice, and aromatic spices such as ginger, garlic, cumin, and garam masala. Allowing the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours or overnight, helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavors.
  2. Cooking Duration: When cooking the marinated chicken, avoid overcooking it, as this can result in harsh and dry meat. Cook the chicken until it is fully cooked and no longer pink, ensuring it remains moist and tender.
  3. Low to Medium Heat: Use low to medium heat when cooking the chicken in the rich tomato-based gravy. This gentle cooking method allows the chicken to simmer and cook slowly, resulting in tender, succulent pieces.
  4. Use of Butter or Cream: Adding butter or cream to the recipe adds richness and moisture. These ingredients help enhance the chicken’s overall texture and prevent it from becoming dry during the cooking process.
  5. Resting Period: After the Butter Chicken is cooked, allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period helps the flavors to meld together and enables the chicken to absorb the rich sauce, ensuring it remains moist and juicy when served.

By following these tips, you can ensure that the chicken in your Butter Chicken remains tender, juicy, and infused with a delectable blend of flavors.

Yes, leftover Butter Chicken can be stored and reheated for later consumption. To ensure that the dish retains its flavors and textures when reheated, it’s essential to follow some simple guidelines:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Butter Chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate it promptly, preferably within two hours of cooking.
  2. Reheating: When reheating the Butter Chicken, it’s advisable to use gentle heat to prevent overcooking and maintain the chicken’s tenderness. You can reheat it in a microwave or stovetop, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
  3. Sauce Consistency: If the sauce thickens upon refrigeration, add a small amount of water or cream to adjust the consistency and prevent the sauce from becoming too dry during reheating.
  4. Fresh Additions: To revitalize the flavors, consider adding a splash of fresh cream or a dollop of butter while reheating to enhance the richness and creaminess of the dish.

By following these steps, you can enjoy your Butter Chicken leftovers without compromising the taste and texture of the dish. Ensure the reheated Butter Chicken reaches a safe internal temperature before serving to maintain food safety standards.

Creating a healthier version of Butter Chicken without compromising the taste can be achieved by implementing simple yet effective modifications to the traditional recipe. Here are some tips:

  1. Leaner Protein: Opt for skinless chicken breasts instead of darker meat or chicken with skin. This choice reduces the overall fat content while retaining the protein richness of the dish.
  2. Use Greek Yogurt: Replace heavy cream with Greek yogurt to maintain the creamy texture and enhance the tangy flavor. Greek yogurt adds protein and reduces the overall fat content.
  3. Moderate Oil Usage: Reduce the amount of oil used for cooking the dish. Choose healthier cooking oils like olive or canola oil, which contain unsaturated fats, and use them in moderation to minimize the dish’s calorie content.
  4. Fresh Ingredients: Incorporate a variety of fresh herbs, spices, and aromatics, such as ginger, garlic, and cilantro, to enhance the flavor profile naturally without relying on excessive salt or fat.
  5. Tomato-based Sauce: Opt for a tomato-based sauce incorporating ripe tomatoes, onions, and a blend of spices rather than excessive butter or cream. This approach adds natural sweetness and depth to the dish.
  6. Balanced Serving Size: Practice portion control by serving appropriate portions of Butter Chicken alongside a generous helping of steamed vegetables or a fresh salad. This approach promotes a balanced diet and adds essential nutrients and dietary fiber to the meal.

By making these adjustments, you can create a healthier version of Butter Chicken that retains its signature flavors and textures while offering a more nutritious dining experience.

Creating the authentic flavors of Butter Chicken relies on a combination of key ingredients that contribute to its distinctive taste and aroma. Here are the essential components needed for an original Butter Chicken:

  1. Chicken: Typically, boneless, skinless chicken pieces, preferably thigh or breast meat, are used in traditional Butter Chicken recipes.
  2. Butter and Oil: The dish gets its name from the generous use of butter, which lends a rich and creamy texture. Ghee or clarified butter is often used for its distinctive flavor, and a small amount of cooking oil to prevent the butter from burning.
  3. Aromatic Spices: Garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and paprika are some essential spices that infuse the dish with its characteristic warm, earthy flavors and vibrant color.
  4. Tomato Base: Fresh, ripe tomatoes or tomato puree serve as the foundation for the sauce, offering a balance of sweetness and acidity that complements the spices.
  5. Cream and Yogurt: Heavy cream and yogurt are used to create the creamy, luscious texture of the sauce, providing a smooth and velvety consistency.
  6. Aromatics: Garlic, ginger, and onions enhance the depth of flavors in Butter Chicken, adding a fragrant and aromatic dimension to the dish.
  7. Kasuri Methi: Dried fenugreek leaves, also known as kasuri methi, are a crucial ingredient that imparts a distinct, slightly bitter flavor and a delightful aroma to the sauce.

By incorporating these essential ingredients in proportions and carefully examining cooking techniques, you can achieve the authentic flavors that define the beloved Butter Chicken.

While rich and flavorful, Butter Chicken might not be the most suitable option for individuals following a strict low-carb diet due to its moderately high carbohydrate content. The dish typically includes butter, heavy cream, and sometimes yogurt, contributing to its creamy and indulgent texture and adding to the overall carb count. Moreover, using onions and tomatoes in the sauce can slightly increase the carbohydrate levels.

If you’re trying to maintain a low-carb diet, consider adjusting to the traditional Butter Chicken recipe. Here are a few tips to make a slightly more carb-conscious version:

  1. Reduce or substitute butter and heavy cream with alternatives like olive oil and coconut milk, which contain relatively few carbs.
  2. Limit the quantity of onions and tomatoes to minimize the carbohydrate content of the sauce.
  3. Use spices and herbs generously to enhance the flavors without adding extra carbohydrates.
  4. Serve the dish with low-carb alternatives to traditional Indian bread, such as cauliflower rice or konjac rice, to complement the rich flavors of the Butter Chicken.

While it might not be an ideal option for everyday consumption on a low-carb diet, making some mindful modifications can help you enjoy this popular Indian dish without significantly deviating from your dietary goals. It’s always advisable to consult a nutritionist or healthcare provider to create a meal plan that aligns with your specific nutritional requirements and health objectives.


At Recipe2eat, we’re passionate about home cooking and its numerous benefits. We understand that cooking at home is not just about preparing delicious meals; it’s about nurturing a healthier lifestyle, fostering creativity in the kitchen, and bringing families and friends together over a shared meal. Our mission is to inspire and guide you on your culinary journey, making home cooking a delightful and rewarding experience.

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