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Indian Curry Chicken - Butter Chicken, Murgh Kari
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5 from 13 votes

Indian Chicken Curry Recipe - Butter Chicken (Murgh Kari)

Seriously tasty, this super easy Indian curry chicken recipe consists of deeply marinated chicken in an incredibly creamy tomato-based curry sauce. This is Butter Chicken at its best and its I-Can’t-Stop-Tasting-It Good!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken, indian chicken curry, murgh kari
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Lima


Chicken and Marinade

  • 2 pounds chicken  skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ cup yogurt plain, full fat
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon red chili powder to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon ghee melted
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) Sauce

  • 4 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • ½ tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 cup water as needed
  • 2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce canned, pureed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener to taste, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to taste, optional
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves sliced for garnish, optional


Marinate the chicken

  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade except the chicken and mix well. Add the chicken and miss, making sure the chicken is well covered. If time permits, cover the bowl and marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least a half hour. For optimal results, marinate the chicken overnight.
    Marinating the Butter Chicken

Fry the marinated chicken

  • Heat the ghee over moderate heat in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, take the chicken out of the marinade, shake off any excess marinade and fry the chicken in small batches so that the chicken is cooked about 80% through (about 3 minutes). Put the fried chicken pieces into a bowl for later. While frying, do not wipe off the marinade. Also, discard the leftover marinade in the bowl.
    Fry the marinated chicken

Create the sauce and cook the butter chicken

  • Continuing on medium heat, add the vegetable oil to the same frying pan that the chicken was fried in. Add the onions and sauté until transparent. Add the garlic, ginger, red chili powder, cumin, coriander, garam masala, salt and sugar and a cup of water. Fry until you see the spices separate from the oil 2-3 minutes. If the spices look too dry while cooking feel free to add up to a cup of water.
    Fry the onions
  • Add the fried chicken (including any juices in the bowl), pureed tomatoes and cream. Turn down the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt, sugar and lemon juice as needed.
    Add the sauce ingredients
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, ghee and a little cream. Enjoy!
    Indian Curry Chicken - Butter Chicken



This recipe yields approximately 8 servings. The nutrition information has been calculated using an online recipe nutrition calculator and is intended for informational purposes only and should be used as a general guideline. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should independently verify it using your preferred tool.
Indian Chicken Curry Nutrition