A plate of Chicken Makhani, also known as Indian Butter Chicken, garnished with cilantro and served with basmati rice and naan bread.

Chicken Makhani Recipe: Authentic Indian Butter Chicken

Chicken Makhani, also known as Indian Butter Chicken, is a culinary delight that marries tender chicken with a rich, creamy, and spiced sauce. This dish is a staple in Indian cuisine and has won hearts globally for its luscious flavors and versatility. Whether you prefer it mild or with a spicy kick, this recipe can be tailored to suit your taste buds. Let’s dive into making the best Chicken Makhani you’ve ever tasted!

The Best Chicken Makhani Recipe

Notes on Ingredients

The magic of Chicken Makhani lies in its blend of spices and creamy texture. Here are some key ingredients:

  • Peanut Oil: Adds a subtle nutty flavor.
  • Shallot and Onion: Provides a sweet and aromatic base.
  • Ginger Garlic Paste: Essential for that authentic Indian taste.
  • Garam Masala: A blend of spices that gives the dish its distinctive flavor.
  • Tomato Puree: Forms the base of the sauce, giving it a rich color and taste.
  • Half-and-Half and Yogurt: These ingredients add creaminess to the sauce.
  • Chicken Thighs: Preferred for their juiciness and tenderness.

How to Make Chicken Makhani

  1. Prep the Aromatics: Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the finely chopped shallot and onion until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Build the Base: Stir in the butter, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and a bay leaf. Cook and stir for about a minute. Add the tomato puree and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Create the Creamy Sauce: Stir in the half-and-half and plain yogurt. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Cook the Chicken: In a large heavy skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of peanut oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken pieces until they are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and season with the remaining teaspoon of garam masala and cayenne pepper. Stir in a few spoonfuls of the sauce and let it simmer until the liquid reduces and the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Combine and Thicken: Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and stir well. Dissolve the cornstarch in water and mix it into the sauce. Cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened to your liking.

How to Serve Chicken Makhani

Chicken Makhani is best enjoyed with a side of fragrant basmati rice and soft naan bread. The rice soaks up the creamy sauce beautifully, while the naan can be used to scoop up every last bit of this delicious dish. For an authentic touch, garnish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice.

How to Store Chicken Makhani

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply warm it on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of water if the sauce has thickened too much. You can also freeze Chicken Makhani for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Nutrition information

NutrientAmount per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories394.68 kcal20%
Total Fat25.87 g37%
Carbs15.36 g6%
Sugars7.62 g8%
Protein26.54 g53%
Sodium287.59 mg14%
Fiber2.6 g9%
Saturated Fat10.65 g53%
Trans Fat0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat8.78 g
Polyunsaturated Fat3.99 g
Cholesterol144.44 mg48%
Calcium117.74 mg15%
Magnesium53.74 mg14%
Potassium725.07 mg21%
Iron2.7 mg19%
Zinc2.45 mg24%
Phosphorus319.35 mg46%
Vitamin A301.39 mcg38%
Vitamin C9.96 mg12%
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)0.15 mg14%
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)0.43 mg30%
Niacin (Vitamin B3)7.43 mg46%
Vitamin B60.68 mg48%
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)18.8 mcg9%
Vitamin B120.87 mcg35%
Vitamin D0.07 mcg1%
Vitamin E3.16 mg26%
Vitamin K7.69 mcg10%
Nutrition Information for Chicken Makhani

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

FAQs About Chicken Makhani

Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs?

Yes, you can use chicken breast, but thighs are preferred for their juiciness and tenderness.

How can I make the dish spicier?

Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your preference. You can also add fresh green chilies for an extra kick.

Is it necessary to use peanut oil?

While peanut oil adds a unique flavor, you can substitute it with vegetable oil or ghee.

Can I make this dish dairy-free?

Yes, you can use coconut milk instead of half-and-half and a dairy-free yogurt alternative.

A plate of Chicken Makhani, also known as Indian Butter Chicken, served with basmati rice and naan bread

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

Discover the best Chicken Makhani recipe, a delicious and authentic Indian Butter Chicken dish. Perfectly spiced and creamy, this recipe will be a hit at your dinner table!
Temps de préparation 10 minutes
Temps de cuisson 25 minutes
Temps total 35 minutes
Type de plat Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Portions 4 servings
Calories 394.68 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil divided
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • ¼ white onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water


  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté shallot and onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in butter, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and bay leaf. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, continuing to frequently stir.
  • Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, frequently stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat, and season with remaining 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Add cooked chicken into sauce and stir together.
  • Dissolve cornstarch into water, then mix into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Serve over rice with naan.
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Makhani, Comfort Food Delights, Indian Cuisine
Chicken Makhani Indian Butter Chicken recipe pin

Enjoy the rich and creamy flavors of Chicken Makhani, a dish that brings the taste of Indian cuisine right to your kitchen!

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