Murgh Makhani


In Scranton’s Wegmans supermarket I found some packaged garlic naan, rare fresh okra and some “organic” chicken thighs.  Sounded Indian to me.  But boy howdy!  I also saw one single, “organic” veal chop for $19.95!  The American consumer purchases are apparently conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs; whether it’s for hormoned, over-sugared, GMO foods or what is considered “healthy” food that only the rich can afford.


I thought of making butter chicken masala but I was feeling a little lazy and pivoted to butter chicken makhani; easier and as delicious.  You can marinate the chicken overnight or for 2-4 hours and, while the chicken is marinating, make the gravy.


If you don’t have ghee, you can substitute butter but I think the ghee gives it the Indian flavor.


Butter Chicken Makhani


4 chicken thighs, skinned, boned and cut into chunks

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

2 tsp ginger paste

2 tsp garlic paste

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp Indian chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sesame or mustard oil

2 tbsp ghee for browning the chicken after marinating


2 tbsp ghee

1 large onion, chopped

2 green cardamom pods

2 cloves

4 red peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 can dice tomatoes

1 tsp Indian chilli powder

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp ground fenugreek leaves

Heavy cream

Mix all the marinade ingredients together (not the ghee), add the chicken pieces, cover and marinate for 2-4 hours or overnight.  Melt the 2 tbsp of ghee in a frying pan and brown the chicken.  Remove the chicken and set aside.

Melt 2 tbsp ghee in a stove top casserole, add the onion and cook until it begins to brown. Add the cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick, sauteing for a few minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic pastes, the tomatoes, the chilli powder, salt, sugar and fenugreek leaves, bring to a boil, then simmer slow for about 30 minutes.  Add the chicken and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.  Before serving, swirl the top with the cream.








About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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10 Responses to Murgh Makhani

  1. Mad Dog says:

    I know an Indian restaurant in Montparnasse that’d give you a job cooking dishes like that – but it’s a bit of a commute from Sens, let alone Scranton 😉

  2. Ooh I’m always on the lookout for new curry recipes and this sounds like a good one. Very lucky in Bexhill to have at least 4 excellent Indian restaurants…each slightly different!

  3. Conor Bofin says:

    We have one or two outstanding Indian restaurants in Dublin. Sadly, most are as MD suggests above.

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