Butter Chicken Recipe | PBS Food

Butter Chicken, which is also known murgh makhani, is a traditional Indian dish, made velvety with cream and butter and sensuously aromatic with herbs, nuts, and spices.


Yield: 4 servings



  • 2 fully cooked Tandoori chickens
  • 4 1/2 cups tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter divided
  • 3 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 8 jalapeño chilies washed, deseeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or more for taste and color
  • 1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 5 teaspoons cashew nut paste
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated jaggery (palm sugar)
  • Slivered almonds for garnish


  1. De-bone the precooked Tandoori chickens, and shred the meat, following the grain. Set the meat aside. Next, wash and blanche the tomatoes and deseed them, then put the tomato pulp in a blender and purée to a fine paste.
  2. Over medium heat, melt half the butter in a thick-bottomed vessel and add the ginger and garlic paste. Stir briskly over low heat until all the liquid evaporates.
  3. Add the chilies and paprika and cook until you can smell the roasted seasonings. Then add the puréed tomato paste and cook until the sourness of the tomatoes is gone.
  4. If the gravy is not smooth enough, pass it through a finely meshed sieve and set aside.
  5. Melt the remaining butter in a Kadai and add chopped ginger and garlic sauté over medium heat. Add the cashew nut paste and heavy cream, stirring all the time. Cook until the mixture thickens. Add the grated raw sugar and cook some more.
  6. Now add the tomato gravy the above sauce and if the sauce is not red enough, add more paprika, about 1/2 teaspoon. Mix well and cook together. While the gravy is simmering add the shredded chicken. Season and serve hot garnished with slivered almonds.
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