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5 from 1 vote

Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken ~ also known as Chicken Makhani, is a classic, flavorful Indian dish
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Tricia


For the chicken marinade:

  • 7 ounces full-fat plain Greek yogurt, about 1 cup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce, low sodium or puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


To make the chicken marinade:

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a glass bowl. Toss to combine, cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

To make the sauce:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the garam masala, chili powder, cayenne and salt. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the marinated chicken pieces. Don’t worry about scraping out any remaining marinade mixture - just discard. Sauté until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the half-and-half and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and warm gently until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat. Serve over hot rice and garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.