Butter chicken

Butter chicken
Alternative names Murgh makhani
Place of origin India
Region or state Delhi[1][2][3][4][5][6]
Created by Kundan Lal Jaggi, Kundan Lal Gujral and Thakur Dass[4][5]
Main ingredients Butter, tomatoes, chicken
Cookbook: Butter chicken  Media: Butter chicken

Butter chicken or murgh makhani (Hindi: मुर्ग़ मक्खनी) (pronounced [mʊrg məkʰniː]) is a dish, originating from the Indian subcontinent, of chicken in a mildly spiced curry sauce. It is commonly eaten in the capital of India, Delhi.

History and cuisine

The dish has its roots in Moti Mahal Daryaganj. It was developed by three Indians, Kundan Lal Jaggi, Kundan Lal Gujral and Thakur Dass all Punjabi Hindu restaurateurs[7][1][8][9] who were the founders of Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi, India.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

The dish was created by the three partners at their restaurant in Delhi in the 1950s.[1][2] The dish was made "By Chance" by mixing the leftover chicken in a tomato gravy, rich in butter and cream.[16][17][8]

In Australia and New Zealand, it is also a common pie filling.[18][19][20]


Chicken is marinated for several hours in a lemon juice, dahi (yogurt) and spice mixture. The spices may include garam masala, ginger, garlic, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili.

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. There are many variations on the composition and spicing of the sauce. Spices may include cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper 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.

Garnishes can include butter, cream, green chillies, coriander, and fenugreek.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Partition brought Moti Mahal, a landmark in India's culinary history, to central Delhi". www.sunday-guardian.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  2. 1 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. 1 2 Gujral, Monish (7 March 2013). On the Butter Chicken Trail: A Dehli Darbar Cookbook (1.0 ed.). Delhi, India: Penguin India. ISBN 9780143419860.
  5. 1 2 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. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  7. "Punjab on a platter". 31 March 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  8. 1 2 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. "On a journey's trail". The Hindu. 28 November 2009.
  12. Bararia, Anu. "Had I not re-invented the brand, Moti Mahal would have become a thing of the past than a legacy to the future". India Hospitality Review. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  13. "Restaurant chain Moti Mahal Deluxe opens outlet in Shimla". Himachal Live News. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  14. Akhtar, Nazia (3 November 2009). "Moti Mahal brings Mughalia cuisines to Kashmir". Greater Kashmir Srinagar. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  15. "Famous Indian Restaurant Moti Mahal Tandoori Franchise Open in Oman". Franchise Mart.
  16. "Hospitality Biz India :: ICC 2017 by IFCA - Showcasing the culinary spirit of IndiaKundan". www.hospitalitybizindia.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  17. "What If Kundan Lal Hadn't Hit Upon Butter Chicken?". Outlook India. August 14, 2004. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  18. Angela Saurine (2015-05-26). "The best pies in Sydney and regional NSW revealed". The Daily Telegraph.
  19. Rob Broadfield (2017-11-18). "Rob Broadfield: Taste testing Mrs Mac's new Perth Stadium range of pies". The West Australian.
  20. "An eye for the perfect pie". New Zealand Herald. 2015-06-28.


  • Curry Club Tandoori and Tikka Dishes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 0-7499-1283-9 (1993)
  • Curry Club 100 Favourite Tandoori Recipes, Piatkus, London — ISBN 0-7499-1491-2 & ISBN 0-7499-1741-5 (1995)
  • India: Food & Cooking, New Holland, London — ISBN 978-1-84537-619-2 (2007)
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