Murgh Makhani (butter chicken curry)

This dish is popular with everyone. In the UK, we love our Asian food and this dish is no exception. It is a tasty, creamy dish and one of my favourites. This is done in 2 stages, which are marination and making the sauce. Marination of the chicken needs to be done for at least 8 hours, and ensure you have made the garlic and ginger paste too.


Making the Garlic and Ginger paste

  • 2 bulbs of garlic, with all clove skins removed
  • 25-50g  of ginger root, peeled. (Or about half the amount of garlic in volume)



1 part ginger and 2 parts garlic as a general rule. Put it all in a blender with a little sunflower or vegetable oil and in the blender mix it all up until it is smooth. Add a small amount of water to help it along. Keep in a clean sealed jar for up to 3-4 weeks. I usually make about 5 tablespoons full.


  • 600-800g of chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 green chilli
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala

The marination consists of chicken, chillies, garlic and ginger paste, lemon juice, and garam masala. You can purchase or make your own garam masala which I will discuss on another post.


Chop a chilli into fine pieces, chop up the chicken into chunks like above (about 600-800g,) get a few spoons of natural yogurt, a teaspoon of the garam masala, and finally a juice of 1 lemon. Put it all in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. You can add small amounts of other herbs such as smoked paprika, or cloves to give extra flavour if required, but try not to overdo it.


Making the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of feungreek leaves
  • 25g of butter
  • 1 large onion
  • A glug of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic and ginger paste
  • 150g of tomato puree
  • 150ml of double cream
  • 1 green chilli
  • 150ml water
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • (optional extra) chilli powder for extra heat
  • Boiled rice to serve

After 8 hours or the next day, we can start the sauce. Take the chicken out of the fridge, put it in the oven on about 180, or gas 4-5 and cook the chicken for about 20 mins.


We need to chop up an onion or two (depends on the size of them), chop up a chilli or 2 (depends on how hot you want it),  and obtain a sprinkle of feungreek leaves (kasoori methi).  Add about 2 tablespoons (25g) of butter (salted or not is OK, but remember salt can burn) with some vegetable oil in a wok on a medium to high heat. Add the onions, cook for a few minutes. Add the chilli, feungreek, a teaspoon of the garlic and ginger paste and keep stirring.


When the onions have started to soften turn down the heat, get 150g of tomato puree and squeeze this in and cook for a minute. Put in a teaspoon of garam masala, some honey, and if you want it hotter you can add a teaspoon of chilli powder.


At this point you can add salt and pepper to season if needed. Once everything is in and its sizzling away, its time to add about 150ml of double cream.


Add about a cup of cold water to the mix, enough so it is just about right for pouring. Leave this on a medium heat. While this is cooking, get the chicken out of the oven transfer it to the wok.


Mix it all through and leave this to simmer.


While this is cooking, it is time to put on some rice. I boil my rice in a pan using basmati rice. I will create a post on how I do this because the rice comes out perfect every time. Some people use a rice cooker, other people put it in the microwave. Either method which works for you is fine.

Serve it up on a warm plate and remember to turn off the oven if you have not done so already. You can serve with naan breads or chapatti if you like. I will do a recipe on how to make these too.

The final result


If you have any left over you can pack it in a plastic container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.




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