Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken) Recipe

Average Rating:

Categories: Chicken, Indian, Low-Sodium Recipes, Main Dish, Poultry

Submitted By: Jmichaele from Delft.

  • 28 ounces (1 3/4 pounds) chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons, divided, ground Garam Masala
  • 185 ml (heaping 3/4 cup) plain yogurt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 25 grams (about 2 tablespoons) chopped shallots
  • 50 grams (about 3 tablespoons) chopped yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 5 grams (about 1 teaspoon) minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (2-3 cloves) garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon medium chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 250 ml (about 1 cup) tomato coulis or tomato paste
  • 250 ml (about 1 cup) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (or more as needed) water
  • 25 grams (about 1/4 cup) coarsely ground unsalted cashews
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
Serves / Yields


Preparation Instructions
  1. Blend 1 teaspoon Garam Masala and 1/2 cup Yogurt and add to the Chicken Breasts and marinate for at least 2 hours. (Leave the Chicken Breasts whole)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F/ 175° C and bake the chicken pieces for 30 minutes. Cut the cooked Chicken Breasts into ¾ inch pieces.
  3. Very finely mince the Shallot and Yellow Onion in a food processor. Heat Peanut Oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Sauté the shallot and yellow onion until soft and translucent.
  4. Stir in the Lemon Juice, Ginger, Garlic, remaining teaspoon Garam Masala, Chili Powder, Cumin, Fenugreek, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, Tomato Puree, Heavy Cream, remaining Yogurt and Water. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the Cashews to the sauce and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  6. Add the chicken to the warm sauce. Stir in the Unsalted Butter until just melted, adjust thickness by adding a little water if needed and serve.

Quick Shopping List

Garam Masala Curry Mixture, Whole Or Ground
Ground, in a glass shaker jar
In a 1/2 cup shaker jar, net wt. 2 oz.
Chili Powder, Mild, Medium, Or Hot
Medium, in a glass jar
1/2 cup shaker jar, net wt. 2.5 oz.
Indian Cumin Seed, Whole Or Ground
Ground, in a glass shaker jar
1/2 cup shaker jar, net wt. 2.25 oz.
Fenugreek Seeds, Whole Or Ground
Ground, in a glass shaker jar
In a 1/2 cup shaker jar, net wt. 3 oz.
Cayenne Pepper
Ground, in a glass shaker jar
1/2 cup shaker jar, net wt. 2 oz.
Tellicherry Ground Black Pepper
30/60 Mesh (Regular Dustless Grind) in a glass jar
1/2 cup shaker jar, net wt. 2 oz.

Submit Comment

Jennifer W. Said:

Until now, the only way I've ever prepared Indian food was to saute chicken and add a jar of pre-made commercial simmer sauce (Patak's, Seeds of Change, etc.). This recipe was a bit more work, but definitely worth it! I used goat milk yogurt and fresh pureed tomato in lieu of tomato paste, and it came out perfectly. The chicken is quite tender, and the spices give it a rich and vibrant flavor. I went all out and made some fig chutney and roasted cauliflower too, and this is a meal to remember!

Make it Again? Jennifer W. would make this recipe again.

Cindy J. Said:

I made this last night for dinner and my husband had 3 helpings! We are big Indian food fans and frequent our local Indian restaurants regularly, but probably less after I made this! I purchased all the spices needed from and made the recipe exactly as written with just a tiny salt and pepper adjustment...this will be a regular dish in our is rich, so maybe once per month. I think it would be perfectly fine to substitute half n' half for the cream to cut down on calories and fat! Thank you for this awesome recipe, I will be 'stealing' more from you! Cindy in CA

Make it Again? Cindy J. would make this recipe again.