Healthy Butter Chicken (MURGH MAKHANI) by Mani

Healthy Butter Chicken (MURGH MAKHANI) by Mani

Here is a recipe for butter chicken (murgh makhani) which is a popular curry featuring an authentic sauce and spicy chicken.



Chicken Breasts or Thighs: You can opt for boneless chicken breasts or thighs with this recipe. Personally I do prefer boneless chicken thighs as they taste better and brings the best out of this dish. However, you can cut chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks which is more macro-friendly.

Chicken Marinade: For the chicken marinade you will need to combine these ingredients in your mixing bowl.

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Garlic and Ginger Paste
  • Red Chili Powder
  • Garam Masala
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Black Pepper

Butter Paste/Sauce: The key to this dish is the butter sauce which needs to be blended into a paste. The good news is that you can easily buy these ingredients from your supermarket. You will need.

  • Butter
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic and Ginger Paste
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Cashew Nuts (optional)
  • Red Chilli Powder
  • Garam Masala
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Water

Finishing touches: Once you combine the chicken and butter sauce, traditionally you will need to use fenugreek leaves to complement to taste.


Allow the chicken to marinate: Combine all the ingredients for the chicken in a mixing bowl and I suggest allowing this to marinate overnight or at least 4 hours – however 1 hour should be okay if you have no time.

Blend the butter paste: You will need to cook the ingredients in one-pot first. I suggest using either a high speed blender or hand blender to turn this into a smooth paste. This is now your main curry sauce which also can be used for other recipes!

Add the chicken and butter paste: Technically, this is a one-pot recipe because now you can add the chicken and butter paste to allow your butter chicken curry to cook on low heat. However, before you add the chicken and butter paste, add more butter and red chilli to complete this signature dish! And of course, fenugreek leaves and coriander leaves to garnish.


How to keep it low-carb: I use basmati rice for this recipe but if you want to keep it low-carb I would suggest using cauliflower rice or keto naan.

How to make it less spicy: Reduce the red chilli powder if the chicken marinade and butter paste if you feel this recipe is too spicy.


The butter chicken can be reheated: I would recommend up to four days in the fridge if you are referring to the butter chicken and it will still taste amazing because the spices have fully settled in. However, be cautious if you are going to store and reheat the rice which I explain in this post.

The butter chicken sauce can be frozen: You can make the paste separately and this is handy to use for other recipes, in case you do not want to cook chicken.


Preparation time: 20 minutes 

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves 4  

Chicken Marinade

  • 500g Boneless Chicken Breasts (cut into small pieces) or Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 125g Greek Yogurt
  • Garlic Paste
  • Ginger Paste
  • 2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 Lemon (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)


  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Red Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 4 Fresh Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 25g Cashew Nuts
  • 1 tbsp Red Chill Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 cup of Water

For the Chicken + Paste:

  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kasuri Methi/Fenugreek Leaves (optional)
  • Chopped Coriander (to garnish)


This all can be made in one-pot but follow these steps below for an easier process:

Chicken Marinade

  1. Add to your mixing bowl: chicken, yogurt, garlic paste, ginger paste, red chilli powder, garam masala, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and allow it to marinate in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours – however 1 hour should be okay if you have no time.
  2. Add olive oil to your pan, and shallow the chicken pieces until they are cooked on the outside, which should take 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Keep the cooked chicken aside and cover while you prepare the paste.

Paste – note: you will need a blender

  1. In the same pan, add olive oil again, and add butter too.
  2. Add the red onions, garlic paste and ginger paste, and sauté until golden.
  3. Add the red chilli powder, garam masala, ground cumin and ground coriander.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cashew nuts, and stir to combine.
  5. Allow the simmer by adding water.
  6. Once it has been cooked and cooled down, place it into a blender and blend until it forms into smooth paste.

Combine Chicken and Paste

  1. To the same pan, add the butter and red chilli powder.
  2. Add the paste to the pan, followed by the chicken pieces.
  3. Cover and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the kasuri methi and garnish with chopped coriander.
  4. Serve with rice, naan or a flatbread.


Recipe kindly provided by the AWESOME Mani at Spicy Meal Prep.

Tag @spicymealprep on Instagram and hashtag it #SpicyMealPrep

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