Authentic Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) Recipe

July 10, 2012 by

Authentic Indian Murgh Mahkani

Like most Westerners, Butter Chicken is my favourite Indian curry. Although they vary from bad to good to exceptional, I rate the best butter chicken dishes as the ones that are a bright, sunset orange, and creamy. I can’t stand butter chicken that doesn’t have cream or yoghurt in it, and is more like a tomato sauce. To me that’s not authentic butter chicken.

I always see recipes for butter chicken with reviews that say “Oh my god! So amazing!! Just like the butter chicken from my local takeaway!!”. Those people are either lying, or they have a terrible local Indian takeaway run by people who must not be Indian.

The essential ingredient in an authentic butter chicken is kasoori methi, or fenugreek leaves.

If you see a recipe that doesn’t have fenugreek leaves, don’t cook it. It also shouldn’t contain ingredients like paprika, and no Indian chef I have ever seen uses it. I once cooked a slow cooked butter chicken that smelt DIVINE – exactly like the best Indian takeaway I’ve ever had. I was bitterly disappointed upon eating it though, because it just tasted like a nice tomato simmer sauce made by Continental.

I think with this recipe I have finally cracked it. It’s a combination of 3 recipes, and I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible for a home cook. This is a very mild recipe so if you want it hotter, add more chillis or chilli powder (just be careful because if you add a lot of raw spice it won’t taste very good).

Serves 4

  • 1 quantity of tandoori chicken (it can be cooked the day before)
  • 1kg ripe tomatoes, roughly diced (if you can’t get sweet tomatoes, use 500g tomatoes and approx 400g can tomato puree)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6-8 green cardamoms
  • 2 blades of mace (use 1 tsp ground if you can’t find the blades)
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic*
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger*
  • 50g raw unsalted cashew nuts, chopped (soaked overnight if possible)
  • 60g butter + 1 tablespoon for cooking
  • 3 green chillis, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbs dried fenugreek leaves, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp tandoori colouring
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 cup cream
*You can also use 2 tablespoons of pre-blended ginger-garlic paste which you can buy at most Indian supermarkets.

Heat some oil and a tablespoon of butter (or use a big tablespoon of ghee) in a pan. Add the cardomom and mace and saute for 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic and tomatoes with a pinch of salt and saute over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the cashew nuts, ginger and green chillis, and continue to cook until the tomatoes break down and become pulpy. Stir it occasionally and make sure it doesn’t stick.

Authentic butter chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Cool the mixture slightly, then put it in a blender and blend until it resembles a loose, smooth puree.

**NEW Tip: Blog reader Emily noted that the final texture can be a little grainy. She tested a few things and recommends straining the mixture twice. It is probably easiest if you strain it once into a bowl straight out of the blender, discard what is left in the sieve, then strain it again directly into the pan. If you only want to strain it once, use either a muslin cloth or drum/fine sieve to strain it. Thanks Emily for helping to improve the recipe!!

Add the 60g of butter to your pan, then strain the tomato mixture into the pan and discard what is left in the sieve. Add in the kashmiri chilli powder, fenugreek leaves, and salt (you can season it to taste), and cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat.

If your gravy is too thick, add water to thin it – you can keep adding water until you get your desired consistency without affecting the flavour. It should be silky and loose.

Authentic butter chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Place your tandoori colouring powder in a small bowl with a tablespoon of water. Mix until the powder dissolves and you have a nice red water. Add the mixture, a teaspoon at a time, to your butter chicken gravy until you reach your desired colour. Remember that it will lighten again when you add the cream, so if you want it nice and orange, make it just a bit too red at this stage.

Authentic butter chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Authentic butter chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Add the garam masala and honey and stir well to combine. At this point I found it won’t taste very nice – the flavours need time to develop. After 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings, especially the sweetness – you can add more honey if you like. Simmer gently for 30 minutes and taste again. If you don’t want the texture of the fenugreek leaves in there, simply blend it again at this point.

Like most Indian and Asian dishes, balance is key. Don’t be put off if your butter chicken doesn’t taste perfect the first time, as it’s not as simple as just adding specific amounts of ingredients and getting a result that’s as good as the chef makes at your local takeaway. Things like the sweetness or sourness of your tomatoes play a big role, as well as how much chilli powder you put in, how much fenugreek, etc. The only thing you need to remember is that the flavours must have time to develop – either by simmering or by sitting overnight in the fridge. Raw spices like chilli powder and garam masala need time to cook on the heat, so don’t take it off the stove until you’re happy with the flavour.

Add the cream to finish, then add the tandoori chicken pieces and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until it’s heated through.

Authentic Indian Murgh Mahkani

If you’re making the sauce in advance, you can always add the cream when you reheat the sauce (on the stovetop, not the microwave!).

Serve with garlic naan and rice sprinkled with black cumin (they go really well with the sauce). We also had some delicious cumin popadums that were amazing!

Rice with black cumin




  1. Tim

    I’ve only just finished eating this and I already can’t wait to have it again! And that’s impressive because I hate home made Indian food. This recipe tastes so authentic, it’s just PACKED with flavour; and the colour is so vibrant and beautiful!

  2. CJ

    You must have read my mind as I was looking at making a (vego) version of this yesterday but failed miserably and ended up buying one from Coles (which was made to an ‘Indian’ recipe but made in England)… it was mediocre to say the least. Back on topic..this looks great and a real weekend treat by the looks of it. Juanita is grinding spices as I type.

  3. Cat

    If you need any of the special ingredients let me know, I can share mine!

  4. I agree with you, fenugreek leaves gives the charactistic flavour of butter chicken. You can’t have butter chicken without this! It’s kinda hard to find though. :p

  5. Cat

    I’ve been to… 15? 20? different Indian/ethnic spice shops and I have only found fenugreek leaves in one. I see fenugreek powder, crushed, seeds all over the place, but you’re right, the leaves can be difficult to find. But – it’s SO worth it!! :p

  6. Izzy

    Call me when you next cook this curry it looks fantastic!

  7. cookingkitten

    Wow, you have totally done it!!! This recipe was just like my local Indian takeaway and is definitely the best one I have tried. Thank you for ending my butter chicken recipe search!!!

  8. emily

    this really, actually DOES taste just like the makhani i get from the (amazing) indian restaurant down the street from me. incredible; thank you!!!

  9. Cat

    Thanks Emily! I am so glad you tried it and thank you for letting me know how it went. So happy to hear someone else say it is comparable to their local!

  10. I made this the other day and I have to say THANK YOU! It was the best and now the only recipe I need. I LOVE IT!! Making it again tonight for an indian feast!!

    Thank you again

  11. Cat

    Awesome Jazz!! I’m so glad you thought it was good! If you make any improvements please let me know so I can give them a go too.

  12. Cat

    Thanks cookingkitten! :D

  13. Rachel

    Hi — I love butter chicken but the closest Indian restaurant to me is 2.5 hours away! I’ve tried other recipes in the past that were not even close…this recipe and the comments suggest I should give it a try. Problem is, I live is a small rural town so will have to buy many of the spices online. I’ve found many but am confused by tandoori paste and tandoori coloring? I’ve found a tandoori seasoning on one spice site but unsure if that is equivalent to the paste? And have found nothing regarding tandoori coloring (though I do know some recipes call for red food coloring which may be somewhat equivalent? Please advise!Thanks!

  14. Cat

    Hi Rachel! Tandoori paste you should be able to get in any supermarket. It’s usually where the Indian simmer/ready made sauces are but it’s the pure ground up spices. Something like this: You could probably make up a paste from spices plus oil, but it SHOULD be pretty relatively available. What country are you in?? Tandoori colouring is a deep red powder colouring that should be specifically called Tandoori Colour. You could substitute that with red gel food colouring paste but it won’t be QUITE the same colour – the tandoori colouring gives that very unique orange-red-sunset colour. In truth, it’s not necessary at all so if you don’t have it don’t worry as it doesn’t affect the flavour.

  15. your absolutely right, kasoori methi aka fenugreek is the key ingredient to butter chicken, 5th attempt before i found this article.
    i found it changed not only the texture, but the look of it, i didn’t have to put red dye/tandoori to make it look darker.

  16. amy

    had the same trials and disasters looking for a great recipe…finally found a cook book with the right advice…and have had it packed for shipping to iraq where i am lucky enough to now reside.
    i did a short trip abroad and picked up some ingredients but couldnt find methi leaves and instead picked up some fenugreek seeds.
    now that i have your recipe in hand i am going to take the leap and enjoy as i know the recipe is spot on just from reading it.
    but i need some advice about the fenugreek seeds…will it give it the same flavour im looking for? have you ever tried it.?

  17. Cat

    Hi Amy,

    I’m not sure about the fenugreek seeds.. I am sure it would give a comparable flavour and from other recipes I have seen they add 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds and use no methi leaves. The leaves are used like a herb in this dish, much like you might use coriander or parsley towards the end of a dish. I have had butter chicken from Indian restaurants that both had the leaves in it, as well as without it, so perhaps they do use different types of fenugreek? I would add the 1/4 teaspoon when you fry the other spices and proceed with the recipe from there. You’ll just have to try it and let us know how it goes!! :)

  18. FoodManiac

    Oh my goodness! I am so excited i found this. I am dying to try it out. I went to this local Indian cuisine shop in Auckland, New Zealand while on Holiday and it was the absolute best butter chicken i have ever tried. This looks just like it. Thanks so much!

  19. nish

    I am Indian, and Ive been struggling to find a true authentic recipe that really brings out the flavour. Tried it tonight and it was unbelievable – just like a dish being served at the Indian Delicious Dhabas! The methi is magical – thank you for a beautiful recipe! In most Indian cooking we add most spices in the beginning and cardamom at the end, this was a great order I would have never thought. The final garam masala addition with Methi tied everything together! Now onto trying your other recipes :)

  20. Cat

    Thank you nish that is an amazing compliment! I am so glad you found the recipe to be truly authentic and that it works first time!! Please do try other recipes, and thank you for visiting :)

  21. emily

    hi cat,

    i’ve made this recipe a number of times now and i love it– nothing beats it! however, i have noticed that the texture is still a little grainy when i make it despite straining the concoction after blending. i want to make it tomorrow but was hoping to figure out a solution to this issue first. any insight you could provide regarding this step would be so appreciated. do you soak the cashews before? use peeled tomatoes? both? what do you strain the mixture with? many thanks!!

  22. Cat

    Hey Emily! I’m glad you love the recipe, that makes me so happy. :) I know what you mean, the ones you get from the takeaway place have the texture I could best describe as like paint and this can have a slight graininess to it. I think it comes down to the blending – if you make smoothies regularly, you probably know that if you don’t let it blend long enough it can have a really grainy texture. Try blending it for a couple of minutes instead of just until it looks smooth/combined (if that’s what you’re doing). I haven’t soaked the cashews before but that’s an excellent idea. Try a finer sieve too, like a drum sieve or even some muslin cloth if the blending trick doesn’t work. I use regular tomatoes, but you could try peeled. I think that the sieve could be the key though – it’s cheaper to get muslin so try that if you don’t already have a drum sieve. You’ll stain it a nice orange but not to worry :p Indian blenders also tend to be MUCH stronger than the rest of the world (they’re not fancy but they grind spices and tough things like ginger to a pulp in seconds), which is possibly why authentic sauces are so smooth. Let me know how you go as I will update the post with your tips!! :)

  23. emily

    it’s all simmering right now so i thought i’d type up a trip report because the consistency is MUCH closer to what i was hoping for. the thing i did that mainly helped, i think, was straining the mixture twice. i did do all of the other things, like soaking the cashews overnight and peeling the tomatoes but i don’t know how much those really helped. i also used ginger-garlic paste from my local halal market, which is a much smoother consistency than chopped garlic and ginger, but i also live in a big city where such ingredients are easily accessible so that might not be possible for everyone. anyway, it smells delicious in here and i can’t wait for it to finish so i can EAT! :)

  24. Cat

    Excellent, that’s good to know, I will add that to the post. I agree that the ginger garlic paste is a good option as well, especially for the ginger as sometimes the fibres don’t break down properly. You should take a photo of yours and email it to me at cat (at) so I can post it up as well! :)

  25. Nikki

    I LOVE butter chicken and I recently tried this recipe – I’m so glad I found it, it’s AMAZING! To anyone thinking of making it, it’s most definitely worth the effort. I had to scurry around Brisbane to source many of the ingredients, but boy, I am glad I did. Now I’ve got them in my pantry I can make it whenever I want. The flavour is so full bodied and it just smoulders on your palate with a sweet slow burn. I’m making it again in a week or so and am already salivating thinking about it. I also made a really easy cardamom/pistachio/rosewater ice-cream for dessert which matched it perfectly. I will be very reluctant to go to an Indian restaurant again!

    Notes to fellow sweet tooths: I used a lot more honey than I expected to, but I do like my curries on the sweet side.

    If you’re in Brisbane and looking for all the ingredients: don’t do what I did, and spend half the day in the car driving around to all the Indian grocery stores you could find on google, trying to source everything! I probably had the most trouble finding the mace and tandoori colouring, but finally located them at an Indian Grocery store called All India Foods at 31 Balacava St, Woolloongabba. This was by far the best Indian Grocery store I visited and I will go directly there next time.

  26. Cat

    Thanks so much for your comments Nikki! And thanks for the hot tips on where to buy ingredients, my family lives in Brisbane so I’ll get my mum to check out All India Foods. It’s weird how something like tandoori colouring or kasoori methi leaves seem to be common in Indian cookery, yet not available at every store? Oh well, at least with a bit of searching you can eventually get everything! And they usually come in such large packages you don’t need to go back for awhile.

    I just bought an ice cream maker so I would looooove your recipe for cardamom/pistachio/rosewater ice cream, that sounds absolutely amazing!!! Cardamom is one of my favourite spices.

  27. Amy

    Just tried this recipe and it is fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Definitely much more authentic than most of the other ones floating around (I’m looking at you, taste!). My Thermomix made pretty neat work of blending the sauce so I didn’t have to strain :)Also, I managed to get mace and fenugreek powder (not leaves) from my local grocer Toscano’s, FYI for any other Melburnians reading this.

  28. Cat

    Thank you so much Amy!! I am so glad you liked it.

  29. Jennie

    I made this tonight a meat and fake meat version and both were superb. It was quite time consuming using a fine sieve but well worth the effort, and I ended up having to add an extra 1/2 tablespoon of honey for my taste but otherwise it was absolutely wonderful. Praises from all who ate it tonight (‘insane’ as my brother’s friend put it). Thank you for the recipe.

  30. Cat

    That’s awesome I am so happy! It’s the first recipe I have really created myself and not just ‘tweaked’ so I am so glad that everyone loves it.

  31. Gavin

    I think I’m doing something wrong. I’ve blended it for about 20 minutes trying to get it thin enough to sieve. Yet it still won’t seem to make it through the sieve. Any thoughts?

  32. Cat

    Hi Gavin! Thanks for trying the recipe. It could be a couple of things: 1) sometimes blenders aren’t great – are you getting a smooth sauce but just not being able to sieve it? if so… 2) Is your sieve too fine? You may also need to use a spoon or flexible spatula to stir it in the sieve and push it through, like you might with a gravy. Regardless of your blender, even if the ingredients were raw it would still blend so I am going to assume the problem is with the sieve. I would try tip 2 and let me know how you go – if you could give me more detail on what your mixture looks like and what kind of sieve you’re using that would help.

  33. RW

    Which brand of cream do you use for the butter chicken and which isle do I find this in?

  34. Cat

    I’m not sure where you are so I won’t go into brands, but I use any brand of thickened or cooking cream. You can always find it in the dairy aisle, near the milk and yoghurt.

  35. Leonard

    Hi Cat,

    I’ve tried your recipe a few times but I still can’t get the same taste as in the restaurant. It’s certainly close but I wouldn’t call that butter chicken. Don’t get me wrong, your recipe is the closest I could find on the net and it certainly very good! But there must be something missing … Any ideas?

    I’ve tried using ghee, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, honey, thickened crean, creme fraiche, milk, but nothing seems to reach that special taste :(

    Happy new year :)

  36. Cat

    Hi Leonard! I think butter chicken is one of the hardest dishes to get right, despite all the restaurants that make it and all the recipes that are available! I asked my Indian friend once how to make it and he said “I don’t know, I make it out of a packet!” so, no help there. The key could be in more of the spices – if you have ever watched Indian people cook, they take a lot of liberty with measurements, so half a teaspoon always looks like about two teaspoons. Butter chicken is flavoured with fenugreek, that’s the ‘secret ingredient’ so you could try adding a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds when you add the mace, etc at the start. Indians definitely use ghee, also use a red onion instead of brown/yellow… how long did you leave it on the stove for? That could also be it – I found when I made it the first time, after so much effort I thought it tasted really ordinary, but I left it on the stove for 15 more minutes and the flavour transformed. My last resort would be to try asking your local Indian place how they cook it.. :p

    Happy new year to you too, I hope you try the recipe again and if you do get it how you want it, let me know what you added and I can try it too.

  37. alpha1

    I won’t comment about the receipe here … because in India alone there is a huge diversity in preparation as well as ingredients.

    What is important in India style cooking is ONE MAJOR thing. (Which most people from Western – or perhaps eastern word don’t get):

    YOU need to FRY all the ingredients.
    eg. if a recipe asks you to palce a dollop of butter and add onion slices – usually it means fry till onion slices caramalizes till yellow-brown.

    if a recipe asks you to add tomato paste / puree / choppped tomatoes – it simple means that you need to fry tomato till the tomatoes are totally mashed like a puree, till you see oil separating (especially on the edge of the vessel) AND till you stop getting the raw taste of the gravy base.

    Keep this in mind, and forget about spices. Spices are just add-ons. Till you get the frying aspect right, you won’t GET the indian recipe.

  38. Cat

    Having thought more about what I have seen on both Indian cooking shows as well as shows with British people learning how to cook Indian food, you are absolutely right. They do fry their ingredients almost to a stage that we would think is burnt/overcooked, but apparently it is what adds the depth of flavour. The key thing though is controlling the heat – onions take a good 30-40 minutes to sweat and fry down to a nice caramelised stage that isn’t burnt, so you have to have a lot of patience.

    Thank you for the tips alpha1 – by no means am I claiming to be an Indian cookery expert, I just like this dish and this was the simplest but seemingly most authentic recipe I could come up with from blending recipes from Indian chefs together. Mostly, I was looking for a recipe that used a variety of spices as would be expected, instead of just making basically an Italian tomato sauce and throwing garam masala in at the end which a lot of recipes do. When I have time, I will cook the recipe again and devote the time to really frying the ingredients and seeing what the result is.

  39. Hana

    I would suggest serving with Basmati rice. It’s the traditional Indian curry rice, and has a far lower GI than Jasmine rice. Many people prefer the texture of Basmati, too, as it isn’t as sticky so it doesn’t gather in small chunks. This allows the sauce to envelope the rice much more efficiently.

  40. Cat

    Hi Hana, yes that’s true, however whatever rice is your personal preference is fine. Tim prefers Jasmine so that is what we usually have. I also sometimes like the texture of stickier rice, as I am gluten intolerant and can’t have the naan bread, so it gives it a little bit more texture. You are right about the GI level, but this isn’t of concern to all people. I have updated the post to simply say ‘serve with rice’ so people can make their own decision.

  41. Chris

    I have tried on several occasions to make this recipe. I didn’t use fenugreek leaves at all but realize now that many people are using it in the recipes. I seen this on a lot of them but was like I can’t find this so I’m gonna skip it – big mistake! I’m going to try this with fenugreek leaves and see how it works out. I don’t have green/black cardamoms but have cardamom powder – this was expensive so please tell me I can use this in place of the pods. I’m not sure what mace is either. I also use regular chill powder. Can you give me tips? I don’t live near an Indian store must order the things online. I also have coriander, and turmeric powder to add that I got from different versions of butter chicken.

  42. Cat

    Hi Chris! Sorry for the late reply, my blog was not letting me post anything. When you’re having a go at a recipe I don’t think there is anything wrong with substituting where you have to. Cardamom powder should be fine, I would use 2 teaspoons. Mace is the outer membrane of a nutmeg, so you can substitute it with grated fresh nutmeg but I would add it when you add the fenugreek. Kashmiri chili powder does have a different flavour, but is essentially adding heat so any chili powder will be good, but don’t use the American style chili powder that is a blend of spices though, it should be pure ground chillies. Good luck! I hope it goes well, let me know how you think it turns out with your substitutions.

  43. Chris McDonald

    I use regular chili ( not the stuff in the pack that has the spice mix but in the spice bottles). Does the fenugreek leaves add the main authentic flavor? Thanks for the help I’ll sure to let you know how it goes with the substitutions.

  44. Cat

    Yes, unfortunately the fenugreek leaves are a must as it is the authentic flavour. You can use fenugreek powder but I imagine it would need to be added earlier (though perhaps not toasted with the other spices as it might burn?).

  45. Chris

    I ordered the dried fenugreek leaves (peacock brand) online. Hopefully those will give the recipe the awesome flavor its badly needed when I tried to skip it and add in everything else. This is why I specifically asked on the chili powder, cardamom powder, and those specific substitutions. You quickly figure out with any recipe there is a definite reason why its put in the mix. But I really appreciate your time and giving me the tips.

    I also marinated the chicken breasts for an entire day, since the spices are coming a little late (thought they’d be in by now but I didn’t count for weekend tim). Anyway, in that marinate, I used 2 cups yogurt, chili powder, cardamom powder, turmeric, garam masala spice, a little oil, lemon juice and freshly chopped garlic/ginger that I made into a paste. I threw all this into a blender and mixed it all together well. Is it fine to use a little of this marinade sauce thats be in the refrigerator with the chicken when making the other sauce? Or should I just use tomato, rechop the garlic/ginger and make a new paste, use tomato paste/puree, and only use those ingredients and NONE of the marinade sauce? I feel its a shame to not use a little of it since its been marinating and spices really come together during that time. (An entire day)!! probably won’t use a lot because it is yogurt and that tends to loosen the overall spice level, right? It deludes the spices in a way. Cream I don’t think does this. I’m not completely sure.

    Really appreciate the help! I’ll be making it soon and will post the results! Wish me luck!

  46. Cat

    Hi Chris. I probably wouldn’t use any of the marinade, because firstly you would have to put it in near the start in order to remove the possibility of cross-contamination/food poisoning, but if you did that it would probably split the yoghurt. If you added it at the end, you would probably be sick. I agree it is a shame to waste it. You could possibly try boiling it up separately with some water added but I am not sure if that would work either (again, I think it would split). Yoghurt or cream definitely dilutes a strong flavour (think of it like white paint diluting colour!)

  47. Arjun

    I liked the emphasis on adding fenugreek leaves or seeds. A great build up story of having a good butter chicken but i was disheartened to read in the recipe ’1/2 tsp tanddori colouring’ and when i read the first step ‘ heat some OLIVE OIL…..’. i felt that there was something wrong.

  48. Cat

    Since tandoori colouring is sold widely in Indian stores, I don’t at all feel bad about using this ingredient and in many recipes I have seen from Indian chefs they use it too. It gives the most gorgeous colour so why wouldn’t you use it? Without it, the tomatoes and chili powder just give a pale red colour. Regarding olive oil… if you are comfortable using ghee, then use ghee. I have olive oil in my house regularly, so that is what I use. In all honesty, I don’t think it matters what oil/fat you use unless you really want to use ghee (the ‘authentic’ fat). I will amend the recipe, but I think its important to be flexible in those kinds of things as not everyone will have ghee at home that they would use regularly.

  49. Barbara

    I’m finally ready to try to make this and I was reading through the ingredients and I was wondering what you mean by green chilis; I’m on the East Coast of the United States, so to me it would be jalapenos but it could poblano so I want to make sure before I start. Thank you, I’ve been threatening to make this for an Indian friend for years and yours is the best recipe I’ve found.

  50. Barbara

    Me again, sorry. I was reading the tandoori chicken recipe and was wondering; can I use ground cumin or do I need to get the seeds and grind them myself? Also, can I use plain nonfat yogurt for the natural yogurt or should I use plain greek yogurt? Sorry for so many questions. Thank you again.

  51. Cat

    Hi Barbara! Green chilies refer to long green chilies, which is pretty much one of only 3 types we see here in Australian supermarkets! I believe they are typically an Asian chili, and are not jalapenos or poblanos. In saying that, I think you should use whatever chilis are available to you that you like. Just make sure you watch the heat level as obviously 2 chilis of one type may be far hotter than 2 of another!!

    For the tandoori chicken you can definitely use ground cumin. Plain non fat yoghurt is fine too. Typically greek yoghurt is better because it’s thicker and thus coats the chicken better, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s the acidity in all yoghurt that helps to tenderise the chicken. No worries at all about the questions, I am happy to help where I can! :) Good luck, I hope it turns out great.

  52. Misty

    Wow, this looks amazing! I was just wondering however if it would still work without the cashews as my son is allergic. Thank you

  53. geri

    THANK YOU THANK YOU! Loved the recipe! I’m am not the world’s best cook, but even this was simple and concise enough to follow. I shall be using it to entertain my family on Sunday again; today was a trial run.

    A trick is just to follow all the ingredients on the list very closely, and try not to skip out anything. Even then, I made some substitutions – cashews weren’t soaked, used butter instead of ghee, used garlic and ginger paste etc. And you’re absolutely right – the sauce needs to simmer for a few minutes and it will be transformed.

    I didn’t even sieve it, I’m embarrased to say. Skipped that step because I didn’t have a sieve. And it still looked silky and smooth enough – especially after the cream is added.

    I bought Roti pratha to eat with mine instead~!

  54. Cat

    I’m so happy you liked it Geri! I agree about sieving – if you don’t have one then who cares, just give it an extra good blend! ;) I hope your family enjoys it too.

  55. Jane

    Just wondering if I was to make this ahead of time how long it would last in the fridge? Can’t wait to try it out :D

  56. Cat

    Hi Jane! If you left the cream out until you reheated it, I would say up to a week. But I’m not a food scientist so go with your nose! :)

  57. DAve

    Hi Cat well read the rave reviews having a dinner party with new gf and her son got to impress now dont I – plenty of wine to go with it too

    OK I will cook tomorrow for Saturday fingers crossed Ill get back to you

  58. ewa

    OMG OMG!! this is THE BEST curry i ever had!! my partner LOVES butter chicken and he was just in heaven.
    I am making again today.
    Love you page.

  59. Cat

    Good luck Dave, I hope it goes/went well (sorry for the delayed reply, I dropped my laptop and have been out of action for a month).

  60. Cat

    That’s awesome Ewa, I am so happy for you :)

  61. Casey

    Great recipe Cat. I had a butter chicken recipe that I’d been working on over the years (I secretly took pride in it), but wanted to try something new. This recipe of yours blows mine out of the water. Thanks for the writeup. This is my new go-to butter chicken recipe.

  62. DAve

    Hi CAt well I did promise to reply it was cooked with a couple of modifications not so many tomatoes but added some paste and only had the fenugreek powder but it was without a doubt my best butter chicken and certainly better than the local pubs too.

    I will be doing this again I feel the tandoori chicken was a good thing and the nuts give it a lovely texture even not punished to a dust – Well done CAt and thank you

  63. Cat

    Wow Casey that is a HUGE compliment. Thank you so much!! Hopefully all your knowledge of butter chicken can make this one even better too.

  64. Cat

    That’s awesome Dave. It’s good to know the recipe can be tweaked with available ingredients and still be great. That’s very helpful info for others. I personally love the tandoori chicken – I don’t always have time to make the butter chicken but I make the tandoori chicken often and we have used it in wraps, on pizza, by itself with salad/sides and of course just over rice. Such a versatile recipe.

  65. helen huish

    arHi Cat
    wanted to add my voice of appreciation for your Butter Chicken and Tandoori Chicken recipes. i live in the west of Melbourne so was able to get all ingredients including Mace blades and Fenegreek Leaves (though only under the name of iah kasuri methi) easily. i made heaps and am looking forward to sharing with friends and family and freezing for a rainy or not so rainy day. I suspect i am now going to be most critical of any restaurant that is unable to match this. Regards Helen

  66. Bruce Dickinson

    This recipe looks good and I plan on trying it, however I have one question. Do you use the whole cardoman pod or just the seeds?

  67. Cat

    Hi Bruce, I use whole pods but you could probably just use the seeds if that was all you had. There’s maybe about 6-8 seeds in each pod I think (but don’t quote me!!).

  68. Cat

    Hi Helen! Sorry for the late reply, work has been insane. Your comments are greatly appreciated, I feel really pleased that you are going to use it as a benchmark! Thank you so much. :) :)

  69. Brendan

    I’ve been thinking about trying this recipe for a while and have just bought all of the spices from a local Indian food store. I was on the Butter Chicken Wiki page yesterday and noticed a spice I hadn’t heard of and can’t see in your recipe.
    “Of all the spices added to the dish it is dried fenugreek leaves and seeds (Urdu/Hindi: Qasuri Methi), and asafoetida make the greatest contribution to the characteristic flavour of the dish.” Butter Chicken

    Have you heard of or used this spice? I’m wondering whether it’s worth adding when I give your recipe a try but I’d have no idea how much to add!

  70. Cat

    Hi Brendan! In the recipe I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of dried fenugreek leaves (qasuri or kasuri methi). If you wanted to up the flavour, you could also add a teaspoon of seeds in the first stage. Asafoetida is much harder to get than fenugreek, and I haven’t seen it available where I live so I haven’t included it. It usually comes in a powder, so I would probably add it at the same time as the chili powder, perhaps 1/2 teaspoon (you can always add more to taste). I haven’t used it so I am not sure how it tastes, but I know it is used in many dishes such as dahl, so it must be nice! :) If you do try it let us know what you think!!

  71. Brendan

    Thanks for replying.
    There’s a fantastic Indian store near me in Mitcham called Truspice. They’ve had everything from your recipe so I imagine they’ll have asafoetida, though I’ll probably have to ask them again to find it for me! I’ll try your recipe without it first but I’m planning to make this somewhat regularly if it’s as good as it sounds so I’ll try with asafoetida later and get back to you.

  72. Bruce Dickinson

    I made this today for the first time and it was simply awesome. It was definitely restaurant quality. I’m glad I stumbled upon your recipe!


  73. Matthew

    Like many others I’ve tried for many years to find an authentic butter chicken recipe and never had any luck getting it to taste like the local takeaway…..thanks to this recipe, I can safely say that it taxes EXACTLY like my local Indian restaurant makes it….the flavour is amazing and I’m soo happy with how it turned out….thanks Cat!!!

  74. Cat

    Thanks for the tip Brendan, I’ll have to visit Truspice when I am in Melbourne next.

  75. Cat

    You’re welcome Matthew, thank you for commenting. You have all made me feel so very glad I shared this recipe, and I am truly glad that it is solving many a butter chicken mystery! :)

    Just yesterday I was at the markets (Gepps Cross in Adelaide) and my favourite carrot grower had piles upon piles of FRESH methi! I had never seen the plant before. Sadly I was literally down to my last 60c so I didn’t get any, but I am sure he will have it next week. I would love to dry my own leaves, I bet the flavour would be intense!!

  76. Bridgette

    I have been making your recipe for 2 years now! And just wanted to tell you that it is seriously amazing :D my family and friends love it, and i have passed your website on to many people!! so thank you very much!

  77. Cat

    Aww Bridgette thank you so much!!!! I am so, so happy you and your family/friends love it. xo

  78. Stacey harris

    Fantastic recipe. It’s still simmering and I can’t stop tasting it. The mace is genius. We used an optimum blender from Froothie. It has the power of a vitamix and was able to blend everything until silky smoothe. So we didn’t need to strain!!

  79. Ash

    The only Indian dish my girlfriend will eat is Butter chicken and it is very hard to find a recipe that actually lives up to reviews but I have to admit this recipe exceeds all expectations. It tasted just like the shop we used to go to for lunch and am so suprised at the result. Now I didn’t have two days to follow the recipe exactly so I did it all in about 3 hours and the end result was great. But I just got home and had some left overs and honestly that night of flavours melding overnight made all the difference. It was literally perfect!!!!! Will never make another recipe again. Thank you so very much for sharing this and now I’m gonna have to check out your thee recipes.

    Keep up the good work

  80. Cat

    Thank you, that’s really awesome. I’m so pleased. :)

  81. Cat

    That’s great Stacey, so glad you liked it. Thank you for visiting :)

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