Butter chicken

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Butter chicken
Chicken makhani.jpg
Alternative namesMurgh makhani
Place of originIndian subcontinent
Region or stateDelhi[1][2][3][4][5][6]
Created byKundan Lal Gujral
Main ingredientsButter, tomatoes, chicken

Butter chicken or Makhan murg (Hindi: मुर्ग़ मक्खनी) (pronounced [mʊrg ˈmək.kʰə.niː]) is a dish, originating in the Indian subcontinent, of chicken in a mildly spiced tomato sauce.

History and cuisine[edit]

The dish was developed in the 1950s by three Punjabi restaurateurs: Kundan Lal Gujral, Kundan Lal Jaggi and Thakur Dass, [1][7][8][9] who were the founders of Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi, India.[10][11] The dish was made "by chance" by mixing the leftover chicken in a tomato gravy, rich in butter and cream.[12][13] In Australia and New Zealand, it is also eaten as a pie filling.[14][15][16]

The dish is India's most popular curry, not only domestically but also globally.[17][18]


Chicken is marinated for several hours in a lemon juice, dahi (yogurt) and a mixture of Kashmiri red chilli, salt, garam masala and ginger garlic paste.

The chicken is usually cooked in a tandoor (traditional clay oven), but may be grilled, roasted, or pan-fried. It is served in a mild curry sauce that includes butter. The sauce is a tomato- and onion-based sauce that is simmered until smooth and much of the water has evaporated. There are many variations on the composition and spicing of the sauce, which is sieved so that it is finally velvety smooth. Spices may include cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, garam masala and fenugreek (Punjabi/Hindi: kasuri methi). Cream may be used in the sauce or as a garnish. Cashew paste may be used as a thickener and is finally garnished with cilantro.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Partition brought Moti Mahal, a landmark in India's culinary history, to central Delhi". www.sunday-guardian.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Delhi's original butter chicken – The Hindustan Times". Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  3. ^ Laura Siciliano-Rosen. "Delhi Food and Travel Guide: The inside scoop on the best North Indian foods".
  4. ^ Gujral, Monish (7 March 2013). On the Butter Chicken Trail: A Dehli Darbar Cookbook (1.0 ed.). Delhi, India: Penguin India. ISBN 9780143419860.
  5. ^ Hosking, Richard (8 August 2006). Authenticity in the kitchen : proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on food and cookery 2005 (1 ed.). Blackawton: Prospect Books. p. 393. ISBN 9781903018477.
  6. ^ "Origin of Butter Chicken – Indian or English?". Indian Street Food Co. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Punjab on a platter". 31 March 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  8. ^ Singh, Shivani (August 14, 2017). "‘Vadiya Khao’: Refugees taught Delhi how to eat out in style". Hindustan Times.
  9. ^ Laura Siciliano-Rosen. "Delhi Food and Travel Guide: The inside scoop on the best North Indian foods".
  10. ^ Gujral, Monish (20 Mar 2013). The Moti Mahal Cookbook. Penguin Books India. ISBN 9780143419860.
  11. ^ Akhtar, Nazia (3 November 2009). "Moti Mahal brings Mughalia cuisines to Kashmir". Greater Kashmir Srinagar. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Hospitality Biz India :: ICC 2017 by IFCA - Showcasing the culinary spirit of IndiaKundan". www.hospitalitybizindia.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  13. ^ "What If Kundan Lal Hadn't Hit Upon Butter Chicken?". Outlook India. August 14, 2004. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  14. ^ Angela Saurine (2015-05-26). "The best pies in Sydney and regional NSW revealed". The Daily Telegraph.
  15. ^ Rob Broadfield (2017-11-18). "Rob Broadfield: Taste testing Mrs Mac's new Perth Stadium range of pies". The West Australian.
  16. ^ "New vegan pie awards and the changing taste of a Kiwi classic". New Zealand Herald. 2018-09-28.
  17. ^ "India's most popular curry: Butter chicken". Food. 22 August 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  18. ^ "How Did Butter Chicken Become Synonymous With Delhi?". HuffPost India. 30 May 2017. Retrieved 2019-04-15.