Go Back
+ servings
Best butter chicken recipe
Print Pin
5 from 22 votes

Restaurant-Style Butter Chicken

Tandoori chicken morsels cooked in a milk tomato and cream-based gravy. This recipe is exactly like the butter chicken you get at fancy Indian restaurants. It's so delicious that you will never order butter chicken takeout again.
Course entree, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Butter chicken, Murgh Makhni
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 610kcal


For the sauce

  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp butter/oil
  • 2-3 cardamoms
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • a few drops of orange food color optional
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp honey/sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves crushed


For the chicken

  • For this recipe, the chicken needs to be cooked separately like a tandoori before adding it to the sauce. You can cook the tandoori chicken with bones in the sauce, but I like butter chicken boneless, so I separate the meat from the bones before adding it to the sauce. If you want to use boneless chicken for the recipe, instead of going through the trouble of making tandoori chicken, then just make the yogurt marinade (which is the second tandoori chicken marinade), marinate the chicken pieces, and broil for 16-20 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Here is a video:

For the Sauce

  • Broil the tomatoes at the highest temperature possible for 10-12 minutes, or until the skin starts to split and blister. Let them cool down. Then peel the skins. Alternately, you can immerse the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or hold them over an open gas flame to peel the skin. But charring the tomatoes a little gives it a much better taste.
  • Puree the tomatoes using a little water.
  • Heat butter over medium heat in a non-stick pan.
  • Add cardamom and bay leaves and wait until they start spluttering (30 secs).
  • Add garlic and chopped green chilies and saute for 30 more seconds.
  • Add the tomato puree and tomato paste and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until the butter/oil has separated (13-15 mins).
  • Add chili powder, salt and sugar/honey, and food color; give it a stir and let simmer for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the tandoori chicken pieces and let simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat, add cream and dried fenugreek and let simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Adjust seasoning before removing from heat.
  • Garnish with a drizzle of fresh cream and cilantro/coriander leaves (optional).
  • Serve with naan, pita, or rice.



Serving: 4g | Calories: 610kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.6g | Protein: 43.9g | Fat: 41.9g | Saturated Fat: 14.8g | Cholesterol: 202mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 9.6g | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 4mg