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Perhaps one of the more popular meals at any Indian restaurant is murgh makhani, or butter chicken. It’s sweet, not spicy, and the sauce has almost a velvety texture. It has a great, complex flavor, and of course the gravy is delicious when paired with some naan or rice. While many might prefer chicken tikka masala, that’s actually a dish that originated in the UK. Butter chicken, on the other hand, has its true Indian roots in Delhi, India.

When working on the recipe, we were surprised that the ingredients were easy to track down. You might recall with our pad Thaior ichigo daifuku recipes, with ingredients that required a little hunting– but the ingredients for this butter chicken recipe were mostly in our pantry already. Some recipes call for a mix of spices that sounds unusual: garam masala. In reality, that’s actually just a blend of common spices. To simplify the search, we provided a recipe that uses those spices explicitly instead of using garam masala. Keep reading below for this great recipe…

Simple Butter Chicken

(makes 4 servings)


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cups butter
  • 1 14.5oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro


    1. Combine the chicken, garlic, ginger, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, paprika, ground cloves, cumin, and lime juice and marinate overnight.
    2. Saute the onion in the butter until soft. Add the marinated chicken and cook about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
    3. Add the whipping cream and cilantro just before serving. Serve over Basmati rice and with naan.
    4. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted fromTasty Kitchen