The best recipe for Butter Chicken, (Chicken Makhani) a classic Indian dish made with tender chicken breast in a fragrant spiced tomato curry sauce enriched with ghee. Vegan-adaptable and GF.
- 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces.
- 2 teaspoons salt (use 1 teaspoon per pound of chicken)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 tablespoon ghee,
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1–2 serrano chilies (or sub 1 jalapeno) split in half lengthwise ( leave tops intact)
- 4 fat garlic cloves- finely minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger finely minced (or use ginger paste)
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds or regular mustard seeds
- 14-ounce can tomato puree, tomato sauce (or sub 2 medium tomatoes, blended with their juices, roughly 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup water (or veggie broth or chicken stock)
- 1 tablespoon garam masala spice (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (optional, but elevates the dish substantially)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2–3 teaspoons paprika (do NOT use smoked paprika, if you don’t have regular, just leave it out!)
- 1 cup coconut cream (or sub heavy cream) or full fat yogurt.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar, brown sugar, or honey
- optional additions: cayenne pepper to taste, pinch turmeric, pinch cardamom, pinch coriander
- garnish with cilantro
Serve with naan bread, fluffy basmati rice, cauliflower rice or cauliflower florets and optional raita!
- Season chicken (either whole or cut into bite-sized pieces) with salt, pepper and garam masala. Heat ghee over medium heat in a large skillet or dutch oven, add chicken and brown the chicken until golden and set aside. No need to cook through.
- Add remaining ghee to the dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and chilies and saute 5-6 minutes until deeply tender and fragrant. Add the garlic, ginger , fennel seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook until ginger is cooked and golden, about 3 more minutes. Add the spices: garam masala, fenugreek, chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon stick, and toast the spices, for 30-60 seconds to bring out their flavor. Add the tomato puree plus 1 cup water.
- Add the salt and brown sugar, give a good stir. Add the seared chicken. Simmer gently on low heat for 10 minutes, uncovered, allowing all the fragrant spices to infuse the sauce and your home.
- After 10 minutes, stir in the coconut cream and simmer gently once more for 3-4 more minutes. For a brighter red hue, you could add more paprika if you like.
- Taste, adjusting the salt and spice level to taste (add cayenne to taste).
- Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with basmati rice or naan.
Garam Masala Spice can be made at home- see our Homemade Garama Masala or find it at your local supermarket – it’s one that we use here on the blog frequently, so perhaps worth investing in or making.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 307
- Sugar: 6.1 g
- Sodium: 866.3 mg
- Fat: 21 g
- Saturated Fat: 11.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 18 g
- Fiber: 5.8 g
- Protein: 16.7 g
- Cholesterol: 48 mg
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