Butter chicken, or "murgh makhani", is one of the most internationally popular Indian dishes. It has been recreated around the world, with each region adding its own touches and variations, adapting to the culture of the land.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
25 mins
1 hr 5 mins
1 hr 45 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Butter Chicken Sauce:


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, red chile, turmeric, cumin, and garam masala together in a container. Mix in chicken until coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  • Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) and select Saute function. Heat oil and add onion, green chiles, garlic, and ginger. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato. Stir cardamom, red chile, cumin, coriander, and turmeric in one at a time. Saute until onion is soft and well coated in spices, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cashews. Turn off pressure cooker if pot gets too hot. Let mixture cool.

  • Grind onion mixture in a blender, pouring half-and-half in gradually, until a smooth paste is achieved.

  • Clean the inside of the pot and return it to Saute mode. Melt butter and add the chicken and marinade. Saute until marinade dries up, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn pressure cooker off if it becomes too hot. Add the onion paste and water as needed. Stir well. Taste and season with salt.

  • Close and lock lid. Switch to Meat mode over high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

  • Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 5 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid. Garnish with cilantro and kasoori methi.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute chicken thighs for the breasts if desired.

Use any type of low-fat cream you prefer.

Nutrition Facts

350 calories; protein 28.2g; carbohydrates 19.1g; fat 17.6g; cholesterol 90.4mg; sodium 887.4mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
My, oh my, this is delicious! The layers of flavor were interesting, and they turned ordinary chicken into something exotic. There are a lot of ingredients, and a lot of steps, so this probably wasn't the best recipe for a weeknight, but I will make it again! I was worried about the amount of heat, but it was mellowed out by the cooking and by the steamed white rice I served with it. This is not a dish for people with sensitive palates or tummies. Since we are in Texas, I could not find any fenugreek leaves, so I had to omit them. Also, I used two jalapenos and one Anaheim pepper, and cayenne for the ground red pepper. There was enough marinade for more chicken, and I used 1 1/2 pounds, but I think I could have used two pounds of chicken. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Read More