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Butter Chicken (Murgh Makani)   Go to last post Go to last unread
#1 Posted : Saturday, July 16, 2022 3:48:47 PM(UTC)

This is really two questions.  My whole family loves Murgh Makhani.  We have some excellent Indian restaurants near us due to having a large Indian population and it is our go to order for take out but it is getting rather expensive for takeout.  I have tried several recipes to make it at home but they are never quite right.    I have a few Indian Cookbooks, including the Instant Pot Indian Cookbook.  I am thinking of trying this one next. It seems to me that the instant pot would achieve that almost melt in your mouth texture on the chicken.   I have also made the one from Taste.au which is pretty good.  


I have read up on the history of the dish, apparently it was developed in Delhi to use up tandori chicken, so starting with already cooked and seasoned chicken.  Most recipes, other than the Curry Guy, don't really seem to take that approach.  I have also read other people's notes here on Eat Your Books.  A big difference in the recipes seem to be cashew nut butter/milk or not,  cream or not,  marinating the chicken vs. just starting to cook with all the ingredients vs. starting with tandori chicken.  



  1. Anyone have a preferred Butter Chicken recipe or thoughts on cashews or no cashews (are they necessary)?

  2. Is there a way to reply or send a message to someone who left a note on a recipe?


Thanks in advance for any help/advice/ideas.

#2 Posted : Saturday, July 16, 2022 5:29:51 PM(UTC)

I can't answer your questions on Murgh Makhani (I love it in restaurants but have never made it) but I can tell you that you cannot currently message other members. You could email us with the message/member username and we can forward it on.

#4 Posted : Saturday, July 16, 2022 5:57:26 PM(UTC)

I've made the America's Test Kitchen recipe (Indian butter chicken (Murgh makhani)) and it was quite good. The sauce freezes well and it takes little additional time to make a double or triple batch, so that's what I do when I make it. It does call for heavy cream, but does not use cashews. Making it with cashew milk and some pureéd cashews is an interesting idea and would replace the saturated fats with healthy fats. I think I will try that the next time I make it.


The only real reason to start with tandoori chicken that I can see is that the char from the broiling of the yogurt coated chicken imparts some smokiness and sweetness from caramelization of the yogurt. The ATK recipe is only kind of tandoori chicken; the chicken is merely coated in a yogurt and salt combination with no additional spices. You might be able to get the smokiness with a dash of liquid smoke.


One trick to melt in your mouth chicken is to not cook it at too high a temperature, or for too long. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt in The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science recommends cooking breast meat to 140ºF. The USDA recommends 165ºF, but this is because the chicken is instantly sterilized upon reaching that temperature, while at 140ºF, it takes about 35 minutes to be sterilized. This is easily accomplished with slow simmering.


Their Saag Paneer recipe is also quite good: Indian-style spinach with fresh cheese (Saag paneer)

#7 Posted : Saturday, July 16, 2022 9:25:31 PM(UTC)

Ruby Chicken in Dishoom is great and another great one is Little India. I have worked in an Indian restaurant but I think Dishoom recipe is better.

#3 Posted : Sunday, July 17, 2022 7:48:01 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Jane Go to Quoted Post
I can't answer your questions on Murgh Makhani (I love it in restaurants but have never made it) but I can tell you that you cannot currently message other members. You could email us with the message/member username and we can forward it on.


Okay thanks, it is not a big deal I just thought there was something I was missing.  I was just going to ask a question on someone's not on a recipe.  

#5 Posted : Sunday, July 17, 2022 8:52:52 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Fyretigger Go to Quoted Post
I've made the America's Test Kitchen recipe (Indian butter chicken (Murgh makhani)) and it was quite good. The sauce freezes well and it takes little additional time to make a double or triple batch, so that's what I do when I make it. It does call for heavy cream, but does not use cashews. Making it with cashew milk and some pureéd cashews is an interesting idea and would replace the saturated fats with healthy fats. I think I will try that the next time I make it.


The only real reason to start with tandoori chicken that I can see is that the char from the broiling of the yogurt coated chicken imparts some smokiness and sweetness from caramelization of the yogurt. The ATK recipe is only kind of tandoori chicken; the chicken is merely coated in a yogurt and salt combination with no additional spices. You might be able to get the smokiness with a dash of liquid smoke.


One trick to melt in your mouth chicken is to not cook it at too high a temperature, or for too long. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt in The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science recommends cooking breast meat to 140ºF. The USDA recommends 165ºF, but this is because the chicken is instantly sterilized upon reaching that temperature, while at 140ºF, it takes about 35 minutes to be sterilized. This is easily accomplished with slow simmering.


Their Saag Paneer recipe is also quite good: Indian-style spinach with fresh cheese (Saag paneer)


Thanks for information.

#9 Posted : Sunday, July 17, 2022 9:29:35 AM(UTC)

We love butter chicken, too. When my husband asked if I could make it at home, I actually used a couple of recipes for the very closely related dish of chicken tikka masala from America's Test Kitchen (delicious) and 660 Curries (even more delicious).  If butter chicken recipes aren't hitting the spot, perhaps chicken tikka masala recipes would provide some additional opportunities for exploration.  The ATK recipe I tried calls for cream but no milk or nuts in the sauce.  The 660 Curries recipe calls for both cream and nuts (either almonds or cashews - I slightly prefer the almonds).  Good luck!

#11 Posted : Sunday, July 17, 2022 7:09:01 PM(UTC)

I love butter chicken also. I have only made it at home in the instantpot. The recipe is on Food52:


Archana Mundhe's Instant Pot Butter Chicken. I think I pasted the link correctly...


It calls for coconut cream, but I used dairy. No cashews in it.


https://www.google.com/u...aw1uuqxRsYlMS52NZGxrM0iz

#12 Posted : Monday, July 18, 2022 12:10:35 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Barb_N Go to Quoted Post
I love butter chicken also. I have only made it at home in the instantpot. The recipe is on Food52:


Archana Mundhe's Instant Pot Butter Chicken. I think I pasted the link correctly...


It calls for coconut cream, but I used dairy. No cashews in it.


https://www.google.com/u...aw1uuqxRsYlMS52NZGxrM0iz


Thanks - I will put this one on the list to try.  I think I have seen a couple that use coconut cream and I can see how that would replace cashew butter or milk. 

#10 Posted : Monday, July 18, 2022 12:11:44 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: ashallen Go to Quoted Post
We love butter chicken, too. When my husband asked if I could make it at home, I actually used a couple of recipes for the very closely related dish of chicken tikka masala from America's Test Kitchen (delicious) and 660 Curries (even more delicious).  If butter chicken recipes aren't hitting the spot, perhaps chicken tikka masala recipes would provide some additional opportunities for exploration.  The ATK recipe I tried calls for cream but no milk or nuts in the sauce.  The 660 Curries recipe calls for both cream and nuts (either almonds or cashews - I slightly prefer the almonds).  Good luck!


Thanks for the ideas.  I will definitely take a look at these recipes.  

#6 Posted : Monday, July 18, 2022 12:13:09 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Fyretigger Go to Quoted Post
I've made the America's Test Kitchen recipe (Indian butter chicken (Murgh makhani)) and it was quite good. The sauce freezes well and it takes little additional time to make a double or triple batch, so that's what I do when I make it. It does call for heavy cream, but does not use cashews. Making it with cashew milk and some pureéd cashews is an interesting idea and would replace the saturated fats with healthy fats. I think I will try that the next time I make it.


The only real reason to start with tandoori chicken that I can see is that the char from the broiling of the yogurt coated chicken imparts some smokiness and sweetness from caramelization of the yogurt. The ATK recipe is only kind of tandoori chicken; the chicken is merely coated in a yogurt and salt combination with no additional spices. You might be able to get the smokiness with a dash of liquid smoke.


One trick to melt in your mouth chicken is to not cook it at too high a temperature, or for too long. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt in The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science recommends cooking breast meat to 140ºF. The USDA recommends 165ºF, but this is because the chicken is instantly sterilized upon reaching that temperature, while at 140ºF, it takes about 35 minutes to be sterilized. This is easily accomplished with slow simmering.


Their Saag Paneer recipe is also quite good: Indian-style spinach with fresh cheese (Saag paneer)


The freezing is a good idea.  I used to make my curry base from the Curry Guy's book and freeze it in batches.  

#8 Posted : Monday, July 18, 2022 12:17:03 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Locallyforeign Go to Quoted Post
Ruby Chicken in Dishoom is great and another great one is Little India. I have worked in an Indian restaurant but I think Dishoom recipe is better.


I definitely like the look of this from the picture.  I am going to try a few of these recipes people are recommending to see what my family likes best.

#13 Posted : Monday, July 18, 2022 1:05:35 PM(UTC)

I too love Dishoom's ruby chicken and I always make double of the makhani sauce recipe and pop some in the freezer so that I have it on hand.

#14 Posted : Monday, July 18, 2022 6:06:02 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: FJT Go to Quoted Post
I too love Dishoom's ruby chicken and I always make double of the makhani sauce recipe and pop some in the freezer so that I have it on hand.


Thanks, good to know.  I don't have Dishoom but the recipe is online in the Guardian so that is great!

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