Make this Easy Restaurant Style Butter Chicken Masala (Murgh Makhani) in under an hour when you crave restaurant food on a week night! The luscious orange gravy is seasoned with kasuri methi to bring about a smoky flavor! Serve it with butter naan and rice!
Would you believe me if I told you that you don’t need hours to make butter chicken masala? And that I made this restaurant style butter chicken in less than an hour? Because when you come back home at 7 after a long day at work, you don’t have more than an hour to make dinner!
I have a confession to make. Before I moved to Bangalore, I wasn’t good at making Indian food. Yes I could do regular every dishes (like chatpate aloo and dal) but I had never tried my hand at the more complex, restaurant style food (read: Butter Chicken).
A month in Bangalore and I realised that if you want good Butter Chicken, you gotta learn how to make it. Apart from a few, restaurants in Bangalore just don’t do good North Indian food. Bangalore peeps, don’t beat me up on this, but it’s true.
When I started craving Butter Chicken I figured that I had to learn how to make it myself.
But like everything else on this blog, this is a cheats version. And nobody will be able to tell. The experts will scoff and laugh. But they won’t be able to tell it apart from the stuff you get at the restaurant!
I didn’t spend hours marinating the chicken, nor did I add oodles of butter or cream and there was no sauteing the masala slowly either. All of it took me an hour + an extra ten minutes for butter naan and rice.
And that’s what we want, don’t we? Quick, delicious and creamy butter chicken but without all the hard work!
And if you have my Makhani gravy ready in the freezer, you can even do this in under 30 minutes! But I didn’t have any left, and you probably don’t either, so I went the whole hog.
Before you go away to try this out, let’s just get into a few details:
– I’ve added quite a few cashews to the gravy, which is not super traditional but I think it adds some major creaminess to the sauce, which also eliminates the need to dump cups of cream into it!
– I also recommend bone-in chicken because we are only marinating it for 15-20 minutes, and boneless chicken may become dry and rubbery. If you do insist on using boneless chicken, make sure you use ‘chicken thighs’ ONLY! They will remain juicy and flavorful!
– Try not to skip the Kasuri Methi because in my opinion, that is what sort of gives the chicken that restaurant style taste and adds a bit of smokiness to it which I loooooooove! A little goes a long way! If you absolutely don’t have access to it, you can substitute it with 2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro.
– This chicken will be orange-ish in color which is the real color of Butter Chicken. Anybody who is passing off a red gravy as butter chicken is just adding artificial colouing, stuff that you should stay away from.
This restaurant style butter chicken masala (murgh makhani) recipe is easy and takes under an hour! It’s authentic, no fuss and perfect when you want Indian curry in a hurry.
- 1 kg Chicken (Bone – In , cut into small or medium pieces)
- 1 tablespoon Oil
For the Marinade
- 1/2 cup Hung Curd (or Greek Yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1 tablespoon Coriander (Powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
For the Gravy
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- 1 cinnamon (stick)
- 2 Pods Cardamom
- 3 Cloves
- 5 Chilies (Whole Kashmiri Red)
- 6 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Onions (roughly chopped)
- 7 – 8 Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup Cashewnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Powder
- 2 tablespoons Ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Kasuri Methi (Dry)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Cream
- Start by mixing all the ingredients under marinade and adding the chicken to it. Mix well, cover and set aside for 15-20 minutes while you make the gravy.
- For the gravy, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 3 tablespoons butter to a large kadhai or dutch oven. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, whole red chilies and garlic. Saute for a minute or so till fragrant. Add onions and saute on high heat for 2-3 minutes till pink and translucent. Add tomatoes and cashew nuts. Mix once, reduce the flame to a simmer and cover and cook for 15 minutes till the tomatoes start breaking down and becoming slightly pulpy.
- Switch off the flame. Fish out the cinnamon pieces and using an immersion blender, puree the gravy till smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the gravy to a liquidiser and blend. The trick to blending hot foods is to cover the lid with a thick towel and pulsing instead of blending at one go. This ensures that the lid doesn’t explode. Check out this tutorial for more deets!
- In another pan, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken pieces and sear them on both sides for 2-3 minutes on high heat.
- Switch the flame back on under the puree. Add the chicken pieces, chilli powder, ketchup, salt and 1/2 cup water. Bring this to a boil. Reduce the flame to low, and cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked, stir in the dry kasuri methi and fresh cream. Serve hot with butter naan and rice.