On Quick Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken)

There is a place in Chicago near my office called India House…now, I absolutely LOVE this place beyond words because they have a Chicken Makhani (aka. Creamy Butter Chicken) that is to die for. It is my absolute FAVORITE thing they make, and it’s become the only thing I order (along with maybe some samosa’s…garlic naan…and peas pulao), and it is worth every penny, and the 10-minute walk in winter weather. But since I’ve been working from home, and haven’t been downtown since…oh gosh, I think May was the last time I ventured that far south to simply just pick something up from my office…I was craving some Chicken Mahkani, and so my mom and I made it together! This recipe, it comes pretty darn close to India House’s Mahkani, and it was wicked easy to whip up, so I HIGHLY recommend making this dish to warm up the soul during, what I’m sure most of you or enduring, this very cold winter.

Hoping all of you reading this are staying safe and well!

— Cooking Maggie

Quick Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken)

Ingredients – Serves 6


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp oil


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in one skillet over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and bay leaf. Mix well and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cream and yogurt, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and cook chicken till no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with garam masala. Add in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer for about 2-3 minutes until liquid has reduced.
  3. Add chicken to the sauce, stir to combine, and serve! Great with saffron rice, peas pulao, and naan bread! ENJOY!

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