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Authentic Indian Butter Chicken

by Angela Gast


July 1, 2013

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 recipes coming 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 is a modern, working mom who never dreamed she would find joy in the kitchen. Sometimes she 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 blog is about capturing successes. It keeps her motivated and feels good to share her vetted recipes with others who may be in the same shoes.

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Share your thoughts

This article is really fantastic and thanks for sharing the valuable post.,,,


Looks tasty! Did you mean to write cumin and cumin seed or cumin and fennel seed? The former combination is in the ingredient list and the latter is in the instructions. Looking forward to trying this out!


You want to use cumin seed. Not fennel. Sorry for the confusion and very late reply!


I would love suggestions for what to serve with this!


Hi Melissa, I'm working on adding some additional Indian recipes to my new site. I just added one that would go well with this butter chicken. It's called Aloo Gobi and it's a semi-mashed, Indian-style potato side dish. You can get the recipe here:


Just saw this :) Thanks!