Chicken butter masala recipe – An easy recipe to make delicious and creamy restaurant style Indian chicken butter masala under 30 mins. It goes great with butter naan, roti or even with jeera rice. It is similar to the north Indian or punjabi murgh makhani or the Butter chicken. But there are variations in making both the dishes.
To make punjabi murgh makhani, chicken is marinated in yogurt and then grilled. It is cooked in a tomato gravy without the use of onions. Then cream is used towards the end.
Chicken butter masala is made with an onion tomato gravy. The marinated chicken is just sauteed and then added to the onion tomato gravy. Then cream is poured to make it richer.
While the punjabi chicken makhani uses a stronger garam masala, chicken butter masala is made using milder spice powders. So a good chicken masala powder or garam masala is the main ingredient to make this recipe.
Preparation for chicken butter masala
1. Marinate chicken with 1 to 2 tbsp yogurt, red chilli powder, turmeric, ginger garlic paste, garam masala and salt. If you have time you can also leave it overnight in refrigerator, this is what I do.
2. Heat a pan with butter or oil. Saute onions until they turn pink. Just for the raw smell to go off.
3. Add tomatoes, sprinkle salt. Cook until they turn soft and mushy.
4. Add red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and cashews. If you do not want to use cream to this recipe then i suggest using a bit more of cashews.
5. Fry until the raw smell of the masala goes off.
6. Cool it and add to a blender with 3/4 to 1 cup water.
7. Blend to a smooth puree. This is the onion tomato base for the chicken butter masala.
How to make chicken butter masala recipe
8. Heat the same pan with butter. Saute 1 bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom.
9. Add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes off completely.
10. Add the marinated chicken and a deseeded slit green chili if desired. On a medium high flame, fry until the chicken turns pale and white in color. Make sure the yogurt masala dries up now. Saute until the masala dries up. Usually chicken oozes out lot of moisture, that’s just normal . Continue to cook.
11. Add the puree now. You can also add more red chili powder and garam masala now if needed. Also adjust water as needed to bring the gravy to a consistency. I use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water.
Take care not to add too much otherwise the gravy turns very thin. Simmer until the chicken is cooked completely, soft and tender. When you see the chicken is soft cooked, then add crushed kasuri methi. By the end of this step you must have a thick creamy and smooth gravy.
12. This step is optional. If you like you can use cream to suit your liking. For health reasons if you like to skip cream, you can just add a bit more of cashews at step 4.
Serve chicken butter masala hot with rice or paratha and a dollop of butter or cream topped over the curry.
Tips to make chicken butter masala
- Chicken butter masala can be made with boneless or bone-in chicken. However the restaurant style dish is made with boneless cubes.
- Marination is the key step to make flavorful, juicy, tender & succulent chicken. So do not skip the marination. You can rest the chicken for at least 45 mins. But over night is recommended for the best flavors & juicy chicken.
- To make the dish creamy & restaurant like, do use 3 tbsps of cream. If you do not have cream then just add in 6 to 8 more cashews. This sure will improve the texture of the gravy but will not give the same creamy texture as cream does.
- You can use any cream like whipping cream, cooking cream, heavy cream.
- Kasuri methi is another ingredient that lends a authentic Indian flavor to the chicken butter masala. If you do not have it just skip but you will surely miss out that unique aroma. Kasuri methi are dried fenugreek leaves and are easily available in the Indian stores.
- You can also make the onion tomato puree ahead & refrigerate. Just saute the chicken well and pour the puree. Cook the same following the instructions below when you are ready to consume.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
ingredients for gravy
- 1 tbsp butter or Oil
- 1 cups onions cubed , 3 medium
- 1½ cups tomatoes (3 large), finely chopped deseeded
- salt as needed
- 10 to 12 cashew nuts (or kaju)
- ½ to ¾ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ to ¾ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp sugar (optional)
- 1 ½ tbsp Butter
- 1 bay leaf (or tej patta)
- 3 green cardamom (or elaichi)
- 2 to 3 cloves (or laung)
- 1 cinnamon stick (or dalchini) , small
- 1½ tsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ tsp kasuri methi (or dried fenugreek leaves)
- 3 tbsp cream ( for restaurant style)
- coriander leaves few , for garnish
How to make the recipe
- To a large mixing bowl add chicken, red chilli powder, salt, turmeric, yogurt, garam masala & ginger garlic paste. Rub the spices well into the chicken and marinate well.
- Set aside until needed. To get juicy tender chicken you will need to rest this marinade in the fridge for atleast 45 minutes. For best results over night marination is needed.
How to make chicken butter masala
- Heat 1 tbsp butter or in a pan, fry onions till the raw smell goes away
- Saute tomatoes with salt until mushy.
- Add chili powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder along with cashews. Saute until the raw smell goes away.
- Cool and blend together with ¾ to 1 cup water.
- Heat the pan with more butter. Saute cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and cardamom for a minute.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.
- Next add marinated chicken. Saute on a medium high flame until the masala dries up.
- Pour the onion tomato puree. Adjust as needed chili powder and masala powder. Also adjust the consistency of gravy by adding more water if needed.
- Cook until the chicken turns tender & soft.
- Add kasuri methi, cream and stir well. You can skip cream by increasing the amount of cashews. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve Indian chicken butter masala with roti, butter naan or jeera rice.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips.