Murgh Makhani – Butter Chicken


A well-loved Indian restaurant dish that is easy to make at home.

Serves 6-8 (recipe halves easily)


200ml plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped finely
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red food colouring (optional)
1500g skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon peanut oil
50g butter
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
4 green cardamoms
1 bay leaf
200ml sour cream
1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
200ml cream
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoons ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoons water
Fresh herbs to garnish


1. Mix the yoghurt, ginger, salt and red colouring together and rub into the chicken (wear plastic gloves so your hands don’t get stained). Let it marinate overnight or a minimum of 2 hours.

2. Place in an ovenproof dish and brush with oil. Bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken is nearly cooked. Save the liquid, if there is any.

3. In a saucepan, melt the butter and fry the cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms and bayleaf for 1 minute. Add the sour cream and chicken liquid. Add the crushed saffron and cream.Cover and simmer gently for 5-6 minutes. Add chicken pieces and adjust the seasoning. Add the ground almonds.

4. Dissolve the cornstarch in water and add to the chicken. Let it thicken. Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve in bowls, garnished with fresh herbs. Serve with naan bread or basmati rice.

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