Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

This quick curry features chicken coated in a rich, spiced tomato sauce.


  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 4 teaspoons red chili powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • Water, if needed
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Heat ghee in a medium Dutch oven or pot over medium until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add onion and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, ginger, 3 teaspoons red chili powder, garam masala, and turmeric; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, tomatoes (with juices), and chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. Stir to coat chicken in sauce, adding about 1/2 cup water if canned tomatoes didn’t have much liquid; you want about 1 cup liquid total. Cover and simmer over medium-low until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a small skillet over medium, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes; transfer to a medium bowl. Add remaining 1 teaspoon red chili powder to cashews and toss to coat; set aside.
  3. Uncover Dutch oven. If the sauce is watery, increase heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Transfer chicken and sauce to a serving dish and garnish with cashews. Serve hot.

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