Authentic Indian Butter Chicken

Angela Gast

Authentic Indian Butter Chicken

Otherwise know as Chicken Makhani, Indian Butter Chicken is probably my all-time favorite way to prepare chicken. I grew up eating authentic Indian food because my sister is half Indian. We ate at a lot of excellent Indian restaurants like the Bombay Palace in Washington D.C. and I got to experience meals cooked by relatives visiting from India.

I find it shocking that Indian food is not more popular in the U.S. because the flavors are so rich and delicious. With a few unique spices, you can create this very authentic Indian butter chicken recipe yourself … If you like this, I’ll have a few more Indian recipescoming your way. By the way, contrary to popular belief, curry is not used in this recipe or even used that often in other Indian dishes.


  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream Salt to taste


  1. In a large ziplock bag, marinate chicken in lemon juice, chili power and salt. Refrigerate for 30 mins – 1 hour. DO NOT MARINATE OVERNIGHT or the acid in the lemon will toughen the chicken.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in butter and oil until onions are translucent. Stir in garam masala. When masala begins to crackle, mix in ginger, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, fennel seed and fenugreek leaves.
  3. Add marinated chicken to saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once chicken is thoroughly cooked, stir in heavy cream. Simmer for about 5 minutes then serve over rice.

Serves: 4

Angela Gast isa modern, working mom who never dreamedshe would find joy in the kitchen. Sometimesshe finds more frustrations and smoke explosions than joy, but that’s why kitchens have exhaust fans. It’s been a challenge learning to cook for a family while raising toddlers and holding down a full time job. So, her blogis about capturing successes. It keeps her motivated and feels good to share her vetted recipes with others who may be in the same shoes.