Indian food is delicious. Intriguing ingredients make for dishes that are perfectly balanced — not too spicy, not too sweet, just the right amount of cream.

Butter chicken (murgh makhani) is easy to make and all the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. Here is my favorite version of this iconic dish. It may just become a staple meal in your home before you know it.

Butter chicken

Blender/food processor
Large mixing bowl
Large frying pan

1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
Cooked basmati rice
Store-bought naan or pita bread

Marinade for chicken:
½ cup plain full-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon chili powder or cayenne powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or 2 tablespoons regular butter or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup tomato purée
1 cup heavy cream (for a lighter version, use ¾ cup light cream and ¼ cup low-fat milk)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt


  1. In a blender or food processor (or using your very, very strong arms), combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Blend until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, pour out your marinade and add the cut-up chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight (for best results), up to 24 hours.
  3. In your large frying pan, heat the ghee over high heat. Remove chicken pieces from the bowl with a slotted spoon and, in batches, place pieces in pan and cook for about three to four minutes.
  4. After cooking, place all the pieces back into the pan and add the tomato purée, cream, sugar and salt.
  5. Simmer at a low heat for 20 minutes. Salt to taste.
  6. Serve the chicken over basmati rice (I add saffron to mine for that beautiful yellow color) and garnish with herbs of your choosing. Use the naan or pita bread to scoop up your chicken!