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.
If you want more easy batch cooking recipe then do check out my Cook Once Eat Twice recipe collection too as well as my collection of easy homemade curry recipes.
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 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 300 g chicken diced
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tablespoon 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.
North Indian Chicken Curry
Burmese Chicken Curry
Jamie Oliver's Favourite Chicken Curry
Pin for later!
KEEP IN TOUCH
Places I'm sharing this Chicken Makhani
Cook Blog Share hosted by Jenny at Apply to Face
This recipe reminds me of my favorite Indian restaurant!. It makes me very happy. 🙂 The spices work with the tomatoes in such a way that you can really taste them for the fruit that they really are. Every bite got better and better. Even my husband, who normally poo poos spicy food, really liked this recipe. I am saving this recipe to my favorites!
I'm so pleased that you and your husband loved this recipe Christy!
Jhuls | The Not So Creative Cook
I love butter chicken. I just discovered the deliciousness of it last year. Ahh! This sounds so good! Healthier than the ones I get from a resto. Thanks for sharing, Corina. x
Thanks Jhuls! I'm pleased you're a butter chicken lover too. I am always happy to have curry and homemade ones, even if they're not completely healthy, are still usually healthier than the bought ones.
Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie
This is right up my street! (I think I must sound like a broken record on your blog comments as I pretty much say that about every recipe you create - but it's true!) I love home made curries and especially when they are quick and easy like this one. Eb x
I'm quite happy for you to keep saying it! I feel the same about most of your recipes too x
Thank you so much for sharing recipes.Great blog!!!
Thank you Fiona!
What a delicious sounding dish, I especially like the 'sweet' spices and ingredients that go into the tangy tomato sauce.
Thanks Monika! I'm really glad you like it.
We eat / cook quite a lot of Indian inspired food but I don't think I have ever made this. I always assumed butter chicken was a bit dull but this looks really tasty so thank you 🙂
I'm so pleased you like it Claire! It's definitely worth making.
Anna | Once Upon A Food Blog
This is my husband's favourite curry when we get a take away but I've never tried to make it before. I'm feeling totally inspired and very pleased that I have a jar of mango chutney in the cupboard just waiting to be cracked open!
It's definitely worth making! I hope it lives up to your husband's standards if you do make it!
I love the sound of this curry so its on my list for making soon. Homemade curry is always so much nicer than any ready meal curry and as you say so much more nutritous if you make it yourself.
It is indeed! Even though this one has butter and cream in it it still tasted much healthier than a takeaway or ready meal butter chicken too!
Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder
I'm a huge fan of butter chicken and it features on our menu regularly as it's quick, easy and super tasty but without the expense of pricey take away. Love your take on it, sounds delicious!
Thanks Jo! I'm so pleased you like it as well.
I agree. I also try to never oder anything I can make myself at home. Well, I guess you can make most of the things at home but the point is: something like this chicken can be easily cooked at home, and it will taste like no other take away in the world!
That's so true Laura! I love homemade curries.
this looks absolutely delicious and I would never say no to a curry . I am a bit of a curry addict I have to admit and yours looks so delicious. Inspiring indeed!
Thanks Ramona! We are all definitely curry addicts in our house too. I'm so lucky that the children will both eat curries too as long as they are not too hot!
Thank you for the great post - it looks delicious! I've never successfully made a curry before (although I did have an epic fail in the slow cooker!) so I might just have to give it another shot! #CookBlogShare
I hope it works for you if you try it again. I've made a few curries in the slow cooker but I definitely prefer them made on the hob!
Oh my goodness. I am just the biggest fan of Butter Chicken. It is my absolute favourite curry. I could live off the stuff.I used to love to watch Keith Floyd too! I have never cooked with fenugreek leaves before but your flavours sound absolutely divine. Thanks for sharing it with #CookBlogShare
I'm so glad you like it Jenny! I think I remember a butter chicken recipe on your blog too as I think I was thinking of making it a while ago but never got around to. x
This looks so good, I love all the flavors in this dish, even the name "butter chicken' is so appealing, I need to make this a.s.a.p.!
The name is great isn't it? It definitely makes is sound delicious.
Butter chicken is so yummy! I love your preparation and all of the wonderful flavors. I bet your kitchen smelled amazing!
Oh it did! I love making curries at home.
Julie @ Running in a Skirt
The spices in this sound wonderful! I bet this is a perfect dinner for a cold night. So tasty!
Oh definitely! I love curries on a cold night. They are one of my favourite meals though so I tend to make one most weeks all year round.
suma @ ajjimanemixes
one of the most loved Indian chicken preparations.its great to see it included in your blog. love your recipes..kudos! ajjimanemixes.wordpress.com
[email protected] In Pyjamas
I love homemade curry. This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing on Sweet and Savoury Sundays, stop by and share with us again this weekend!
Oo what a lovely sauce! I'm on a big curry kick lately and I really want to try this!
I am sure it was packed with flavors! This sauce looks absolutely irresistible!
I have never made my own curry, but just pinned this recipe and I'll definitely give it a try. Love the addition of cream. I always have cream to use up, too. Ha!
I love making my own curries and I hope you have a go at this. Once you get started making curries they are really quite easy.
I have never cooked with fenugreek leaves! and I almost never do a curry, this looks absolutely delicious!
They can be difficult to get hold of but I was sent a box of dried ones a while ago and that's what started me off using them.
Ah, I will see if i can find some online and try them 🙂
I love butter chicken! It's one of my fav right after korma (punjabi style)! Lovely recipe, thanks for sharing Corina!
Korma was one of the first Indian dishes I ate. I used to love it before I started eating more spicy food. I've made it at home and it is lovely but I often find it's a bit heavy to eat if I go out.
Korma I've tried at one of restuarants was quite spicy not sweet with almonds and coconut milk 🙂 Since I moved out of London I can't find any similar here!
You can never go wrong with garlic, chicken and Fenugreek leaves.
I agree completely. I only started using fenugreek leaves recently but I love the flavour.