This homemade chicken makhani, also called butter chicken is a rich tomato based curry recipe that's delicious with rice or naan. It's easy to make so why not make it instead of ordering a takeaway?
There was a time when I would make a new curry recipe every week. I still probably eat a curry at least once a week but I am afraid they are not always homemade and they are not always new. After cooking so many I naturally have a few favourite curry recipes I keep returning to.
A great recipe for using up leftover cream!
Anyway, I had some cream that needed to be used up and so I was looking for a curry recipe that had cream in it. I have a few that use yogurt and I could have made one of them richer by using cream. But, I felt like making a new curry recipe.
This chicken Makhani is inspired by Keith Floyd
I was looking through, Floyd's India and came across Chicken with Tomato Gravy (Murgh Makhani), also often called Butter Chicken. I realised that I had never made a chicken makhani before. That needed to change!
Is this an authentic chicken makhani?
Well, I have read lots so recipes for chicken makhani and there are lots of variations. Some of them don't even have butter in! In fact, I often miss out the butter and simply use the cream when making this recipe.
To make a truly authentic chicken makhani the chicken should be marinated and then cooked in a tandoori oven before being added to the curry. Of course you can replicate that at home by marinating the chicken and baking it in the oven first. I would marinate it in a simple mixture of crushed garlic, grated ginger, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.
Can you adapt this chicken makhani recipe?
I altered the recipe a bit and also changed the cooking process. Even so, the finished chicken makhani was probably not too far from Floyd's recipe. At least I hope not!
Dried fenugreek leaves can be difficult to get hold of or you might not want to buy them just for this recipe. If you don't have any then just leave them out. The curry will still be delicious.
Is it a healthy curry?
Well, it is a delicious meal and it does taste quite healthy. Although it had butter and cream in it, it wasn't too rich and tasted far less creamy than a bought creamy curry. I suppose that just shows just how unhealthy bought curries can be compared to if you make your own curries.
This butter chicken is great for batch cooking
The great thing about curries is that the flavours improve the longer they are kept. Up to a point of course! It is easy to increase the quantities and make a larger batch of this chicken makhani.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge and eat them up the next day or even freeze it for later. It should keep well for 3 months in the freezer or three days in the fridge.
What sides go well with this chicken makhani?
I love to serve this with plain basmati rice but it's also great with any Indian bread. Why not make your own naan breads? A raita goes well on the side as do crispy onion bhajis or my dry okra curry.
Chicken Makhani or Butter Chicken Recipe
Chicken Makhani or Butter Chicken
- 1 red onion
- 20 g root ginger
- 2 green chilli peppers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 300 g chicken diced
- 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tbsp honey
- 50 ml double cream
- 20 g butter
- Put the onion, ginger, chillies and garlic in the small bowl of a food processor and blend to a paste.
- Heat a little oil in a pan and add the whole spices - cloves and cardamom pods. Cook for a minute and then add the paste. Cook gently for 5 minutes. If it starts to stick, add a dash of water. While this is cooking, blend the tomatoes in the food processor.
- Add the ground spices and stir into the onion mixture and then add the chicken. When there is no pink showing on any of the chicken, add the fenugreek leaves and tomatoes. Stir to coat and leave to simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
- When the chicken is well cooked, stir in the honey, cream and butter. Serve with rice or naan bread.
More of my chicken curry recipes
Have you been tempted by this delicious homemade butter chicken? If so, you might like one of my other easy chicken curry recipes.
Jamie Oliver's Favourite Chicken Curry
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Places I'm sharing this Chicken Makhani
Cook Blog Share hosted by Jenny at Apply to Face