Butter Chicken Murgh Makhani
By :Urvashi Pitre
Votes: 162
Rating: 4.88
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Poultry
Duration 15-30 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook
Main Ingredient Chicken, Garam Masala, Heavy Cream
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
4 servings + additional sauce
  • 14.5 ounces tomatoes diced, 1 can
  • 5-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 teaspoon Ginger chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 pound chicken thighs boneless, skinless (or use breast, bone-in, or whatever works for you. If frozen, add 1-2 minutes to total time)
To finish
  • 4 ounces butter cut into cubes, use coconut oil if dairy free
  • 4 ounces heavy cream use full-fat coconut milk if dairy free
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cilantro chopped
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Poultry
Duration 15-30 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook
Main Ingredient Chicken, Garam Masala, Heavy Cream
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
4 servings + additional sauce
  • 14.5 ounces tomatoes diced, 1 can
  • 5-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 teaspoon Ginger chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 pound chicken thighs boneless, skinless (or use breast, bone-in, or whatever works for you. If frozen, add 1-2 minutes to total time)
To finish
  • 4 ounces butter cut into cubes, use coconut oil if dairy free
  • 4 ounces heavy cream use full-fat coconut milk if dairy free
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cilantro chopped
Votes: 162
Rating: 4.88
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
  1. Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot in the order listed, excuding the butter, cream and 1 teaspoon of the garam masala, mixing the sauce well.
  2. Place the chicken on top of the sauce. If it's frozen, push it into the sauce a bit so it defrosts better.
  3. Close the cooker and Select Manual and adjust to high pressure, cooking for ten minutes. When time is up, allow for natural pressure release.
  4. Remove the chicken carefully from the Instant Pot and set aside. Blend together all the ingredients, preferably using an immersion blender.
  5. Add the cut up butter, cream, cilantro, and garam masala and stir until well incorporated. It's best to let the sauce cool just a little before adding the butter and the cream. Adding it into the boiling sauce will make your sauce very thin. If that happens, just put it in the fridge for a little and let it thicken up. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Take out half the sauce and freeze for later or store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  7. Add the chicken back in and heat through. Break it up into smaller pieces if you need but don't shred it.
  8. Serve over rice, or zucchini noodles. Enjoy!
116 replies
  1. Steven Teaff
    Steven Teaff says:

    This was my first homemade Indian recipe and my first IP dish as well. It came out superbly. Now a favorite in regular meal rotation.

  2. emmyleone
    emmyleone says:

    One of the best dishes I have ever made! Every person I have made it for absolutely loves it. There are so many amazing flavors all packed in to each bite. This is a regular for us and it should be for you too!!

  3. Unibev
    Unibev says:

    One of the best and easiest Instant Pot recipes ever. My number one go-to recipe and one that i share with new IP users.

  4. KiwiNana
    KiwiNana says:

    My husband and I love this butter chicken. Due to having a dairy allergy, i substitute vegan becel for the butter & use coconut cream. A fave recipe.

  5. Rosiekitty
    Rosiekitty says:

    This is the recipe I use when trying to recruit people into the Instant Pot cult. The flavor-to-effort ratio is off the charts.

  6. abcusc
    abcusc says:

    Easy and delicious! Whole family loved it! Even my 3 young picky eaters. I cut the amount of cayenne in half so it wouldn’t be spicy for them and it was perfect.

  7. Lindsd12
    Lindsd12 says:

    Everyone gave it a thumbs up! Will make again. I doubled the recipe but used just a single amount of the cayenne.

  8. MagicPot
    MagicPot says:

    excellent flavor everybody loves it!! I highly recommend using tomato sauce or tomato paste instead of whole tomatoes chopped up that way you can forgo the stick blending which is a pain.

  9. Jennybee
    Jennybee says:

    Simple and delicious. Got to use some spices I don’t use too often from the back of my spice cabinet. And my husband loved it.

    I typically go light on cayenne on first try since I have a fairly low hot chile tolerance. This time I did 1 1/2 teaspoons instead of the full two. Not only did it taste great like that, I thought it could use even more. I think the two teaspoons in recipe is just right.

  10. Heh_ther
    Heh_ther says:

    Incredible! Perfect the very first time and even my 5th grade daughter loved it. Probably the easiest instant pot recipe I’ve made and one of the tastiest. Doubled the recipe and served it over basmati rice that I made in my 3qt. Left out the cilantro because we hate cilantro. Used the coconut milk (only the thick fatty part) instead of heavy cream, due to lactose intolerance. Incredibly creamy and delicious. Thank you so much!

  11. HFPFrank
    HFPFrank says:

    Outstanding flavor! When my husband got the Instant Pot, I was excited to make the recipe I had read in The New Yorker. I had to add a little more liquid at the start (I got the “burn” alert), but otherwise it was very easy.
    Our whole family loved it.

  12. FossilLinday
    FossilLinday says:

    Making your own garam masala with as many fresh spices as you have on hand will go a long way in making this recioe come alive. A very delicious dish that gets better the longer it sits, which means leftovers (if there are any) are better Next day.

  13. KT1416
    KT1416 says:

    Loved this recipe! Easy to make and so tasty. I added green peas and cooked potatoes at the end which we really liked.

  14. KarenLynch94010
    KarenLynch94010 says:

    Scrumptious!!! So easy to make! I didn’t make any changed to the recipe and it was perfect!!!!

  15. Mark Herman
    Mark Herman says:

    My first instant pot meal. It was terrific. I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, and I had to triple the recipe. It takes longer than it says to make, but it’s worth the wait. Delicious!

  16. Shauna825
    Shauna825 says:

    I made this last night and it was so good. Id definitely make it again but add more chicken.

  17. Snowy wolf
    Snowy wolf says:

    Tasteless and took longer than 25 minutes to get ready.
    At the end I had to multiply some of the ingredients & add other ingredients (cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, lemon, yogurt) to fix the taste.

  18. S
    S says:

    With a few tweaks to up the spices, now the family regular sunday dinner, unamous up vote. Leftover sauce creates family ‘horse trading’ for other dishes including leftover burger. Go figure…

  19. ameliaprotiva
    ameliaprotiva says:

    So good! We cut the cayenne in half (1/4 t.) and it was the perfect amount of spicyness for us.

  20. Flaneur
    Flaneur says:

    This was only my third time using the Instant Pot and this is a very tasty meal. I think next time instead of saving half the sauce, I think that I would just double the chicken and save it all as ready to go left overs. This is definitely a keeper.

  21. SuzyQ76
    SuzyQ76 says:

    Ok, so not sure why people are saying this recipe takes longer than noted, you throw everything into the pot and turn it on…maybe getting your spices out of the pantry took some time, Or having to blend the sauce? – the whole 2 mins that took really messed me up…Other than that this recipe was FAST and OH SO GOOD! I used chicken breasts and doubled the amount of chicken and sauce. I have 2 large mason jars full to freeze – amazing! I didn’t double the butter, and the thinkness is perfect!

  22. NormPowell
    NormPowell says:

    Love love love it. Works well, really easy. I tweaked the seasoning a bit and added a tablespoon of sugar

  23. mmarques
    mmarques says:

    Easy prep. But after cooking, it took a while to remove the chicken and finish the sauce. Delicious with coconut milk and Earth Balance instead of dairy.

  24. savinggrc
    savinggrc says:

    Most of my friends are South Indian, and I eat Indian food several times a week.

    This recipe is actually easy (trust me, compared to traditional, it’s easy!) and it’s delicious!

  25. Cheeckychicken
    Cheeckychicken says:

    This was my first Recipe i made with the instant pot, turned out just perfect. My husband wont stop talking about how great it was. I used 1/2 a can of coconut milk and only 1/2 the Cayanne pepper

  26. Paige5779
    Paige5779 says:

    It’s delicious! I use ghee and coconut cream to make it totally dairy free. Super easy too!!

  27. MrsRockett
    MrsRockett says:

    This really was absolutely delicious.

    We like things kind of bold so I added 1/4 to 1/2 tsp more of basically every ingredient on there. It was wonderful. A

  28. srpdxor
    srpdxor says:

    Warmed the freshly ground spices in a bare pan on low heat first. This takes out bitterness and blooms the flavors. Browned the garlic in a little oil on low heat in the same frying pan. Used full fat coconut milk. Made it in the 3 qt. Less cayanne. Was back in Singapore.

  29. kagoodfellow
    kagoodfellow says:

    The chicken cooked up nice and tender and full of flavour.

    The spice proportions were a little off for my tastes, so I added quite a bit more masala, as well as some chilli for a touch of heat.

    The recipe yields much more sauce than needed for chicken alone, so make a lot of rice! It’s delicious even on its own.

  30. Livelingandjam
    Livelingandjam says:

    I am doing something wrong because after I add the 4 oz. butter and heavy cream, tge entire dish is overpowered by the taste of butter and not very good. 4 oz. is 1 stick of butter am I adding too much??? Anyone else have this issue? Thanks!

  31. HANandCOURT
    HANandCOURT says:

    Good to make once with 1tsp of each spice, then make another time and change ratio to suit your personal preference!

  32. janeNmick
    janeNmick says:

    Fantastic. Doubled the recipe and cooked 2 lbs of chicken from frozen. Freezing the leftovers and I’m sure it will taste better after letting the spices meld together. My first time cooking may from frozen

  33. CoolCook67
    CoolCook67 says:

    Quite delicious and very easy. We used 1.5 lbs chicken thighs and the sauce was just about perfect, still a bit too much but hey, better too much than not enough sauce!

  34. coco33s
    coco33s says:

    Really good recipe.
    We doubled it, didn’t store half of the sauce as we wanted a creamy dish, and it was really good.
    Small change, we cooked the chicken for 15 minutes on manual pressure before adding butter and coconut milk. I

  35. luongo
    luongo says:

    I have made this recipe many times now exactly as directed and it comes out great every time and always gets rave reviews! Yummy!

  36. Miss Selina
    Miss Selina says:

    Delicious! First time cooking from frozen. Very flavorable, my new favorite receipe and my family loved it as well. Two thumbs up!

  37. S
    S says:

    Family would riot if this was not on the supper menu every 2 weeks… makes them savor the extra sauce… they do whine if we run low… months of success, same recipe. Excellent!

  38. Sleepyhollow
    Sleepyhollow says:

    Oh my goodness!! I made butter chicken a couple weeks ago. Don’t remember where I found the recipe. It was before I knew this app existed. I made THIS recipe tonight. Blows the other one away hands down!! That sauce!! I could put it in a mug drink it! It’s amazing! I would give this recipe 10 stars if I could. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  39. kgogia
    kgogia says:

    This was my first dish I made in my new Instant Pot and it was insanely delicious!! It was so easy to make; the instructions were so easy to follow. Highly recommended!

  40. AAHICE
    AAHICE says:

    Absolutely delicious! Like eyes popping out of our heads delicious – and so simple to make. I prefer using whole San Marzano tomatoes, but diced is fine. Next time I may use fresh tomatoes just for comparison.

  41. Elatedelephant
    Elatedelephant says:

    Delicious! Recipe says to use only 1lb of chicken, I used 2 but there’s enough sauce that I recommend using more and having leftovers. While there’s plenty of flavor, if your a spice junkie like me then I suggest adding a little more cayenne pepper and garam masala. I served this over cauliflower rice, would be good with any rice (to absorb sauce) or Naan/flatbread.

  42. S
    S says:

    And again perfection. Every 2 weeks or so, on the table, going on for months now. Amazing recipe. Family addicted to this recipe. Love frozen chicken brick directions!

  43. Damyan
    Damyan says:

    Loved it! My sauce came out a bit runny because i added the butter while it was too hot. But it was still really tasty!

  44. Blakethompson7
    Blakethompson7 says:

    This recipe is amazifng! Its so simple, and it comes out delicious every single time! I add just a tad bit of flur to thicken the sauce at the end, but rhats all i do differently! My family and i love this recipe!

  45. Nicole46
    Nicole46 says:

    Very happy with this recipe, even my picky teens loved it. Did not set aside any of the sauce, as there are 4 of us and it really did a lovely job of flavorong all the rice(or in my case, riced cauliflower). Will be making often.

  46. Zo.mamma
    Zo.mamma says:

    Excellent taste and so easy. Triple the amount of chicken, though, if you want leftovers. My family is mad that there’s none left!

  47. Ironweaver
    Ironweaver says:

    So flavorful! Very simple and quick to make. I doubled the chicken, and added time (15 min total) since frozen, and it’s perfect. I might use maybe an ounce less butter, 4 seems a bit strong, but the dish is very smooth, very flavorful.

  48. Joezaino
    Joezaino says:

    This was great. Easy to make, had some left over sauce that I will freeze and reuse with more chicken or even just rice.
    Followed directions, but skipped the cilantro; didn’t have any on hand.

  49. ChefBT
    ChefBT says:

    It’s a forgiving recipe! I’ve made it with a freezer bag (unknown weight/ about 3 cups volume) of frozen leftover cooked turkey. They needed about 10 minutes at high pressure. Another time, I made it with two extra large, uncooked lump of frozen solid chicken breasts, that came straight from the freezer. They needed about 28 minutes at high pressure to reach an internal temperature of 165 F. Both times, I used two tablespoons butter and about 7 oz (half can) of coconut milk. Excellent both times

  50. Hopeless
    Hopeless says:

    Made this and doubled revipe. Omitted cilantro and reduced cayenne to 1 and a 1/2 (insread of two for doubled recipe). Put sauce in fridge for ten minures after adding butter and cream to thicken. Reheated on saute with chixken. We love indian food (my dad grew up there) and we all loved it! Definitely going to make it again!

  51. Kcburrows
    Kcburrows says:

    Definite keeper! Great flavor! Easy recipe! I used crushed tomatoes rather than diced and it came out great.

  52. Debac
    Debac says:

    Flavor is great! I put a rack in pot over chicken and put 3 whole potatoes on the rack to also cook with the chicken. When recipe was done I peeled and sliced the potatoes and then put chicken on top. I want to put this sauce on everything!!

  53. Jillianmd
    Jillianmd says:

    Wow…so good. Family loved it. And the left over sauce was eaten for days by everyone using everything from cheese to bread, from veggies to fingers. Real hit and worthy

  54. Brenda_S
    Brenda_S says:

    Absolutely loved this recipe that is almost on par with my local Indian restaurant. Though there are some tweaks needed.

    – skip the salt if using store bought stock. Only add the salt if you are going with the white wine or a home made low salt stock.

    – only use about 2/3 of the butter and cream. The sauce was ready before all of it was added.

    – Personal preference: Sauce was a little too liquidy. Recommend thickening it with either tapioca starch or corn starch.

  55. JensandI
    JensandI says:

    Amazing flavor. I used evaporated milk instead of cream as that’s what I had on hand. This would make amazing soup for whatever you chose to use for ingredients.

  56. Lyssayounan
    Lyssayounan says:

    My husband and i really loved this recipe. We made it with chicken things which more or less held together. I added peppers right once i opened it up which kept them crunchy and just left them aside with the chicken. Flavour is perfect! Seemed a bit spicy at first but once we added the cream and butter it was perfect!! Thank you! Will definitely make again.

  57. Hi
    Hi says:

    My recommendations:

    Use two pounds chicken thighs versus only;
    Recommend only three oz of butter versus four;
    Add one large yellow onion at the beginning of recipe.

  58. Arnolfini
    Arnolfini says:

    First recipe i tried with my new instant pot – bit of a disaster. Didn’t reach pressure so chicken was raw, then had to re-cook which resulted in the chicken being tough to the point of being pretty much inedible. Not sure what happened, but was extremely disappointing.

  59. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Arnolfini,

    There are several reasons that could have caused your unit to not reach pressure. The first could be that there wasn’t enough liquid. The unit uses the steam from the liquid to reach pressure. So if there isn’t enough, it won’t pressurize. The second reason could be that the Steam Release Handle isn’t on properly. IF there is any gap between, steam could be escaping, meaning no pressure. The third possible reason could be the Steam Release Valve placement has shifted. Again, this causes steam to escape, making the unit unable to reach pressure. We recommend trying the Initial Water Test (which can be found in your manual) to test that your Instant Pot is working properly. If there are any problems with the test, please reach out to customer service and create a new ticket. Click the link in case of issues.

  60. Sammy218
    Sammy218 says:

    Great flavor, but have a lot of sauce left over. What is the best way to use the sauce? Just toss it in the pot with more chicken?

  61. Tracyprince
    Tracyprince says:

    Love this recipe! This was my first recipe using the instant pot. Love the spices! Easy and delicious!

  62. S
    S says:

    After about 8+ months, every 2nd Sunday, family still begs for more. Reliable and replicable amazing recipe every time. Now family, get your grubby hands out of the frig to dip leftover naan in cold leftover sauce.
    Tired of wiping down sauce drips!

  63. Lovecraft
    Lovecraft says:

    This is absolutely delicious, omg. We made the recipe exactly as written; next time we’re adding an extra chicken thigh or two because we can. Thank you!

  64. E Lewis
    E Lewis says:

    This is one of the best butter chicken recipies that I have made. It can be a little on the liquidy side but that is my preference. I make it with chicken breast. Freezes well. I freeze each serving with 1/2 cup brown basmalti rice. Doubles well.

  65. christina_hilary
    christina_hilary says:

    This was my very first thing to make in my Instant Pot. It was easy ans delicious! It pairs really well with jasmine rice. The recipe suggests only using half of the sauce after making it ans freezing the rest – I used all of it because I like to pour it over the rice and dip naan into it if I have some.

  66. stew1020@gmail.com
    stew1020@gmail.com says:

    Yum, really enjoyed making, and eatting. I used coconut oil and cream instead of butter and milk. I totally enjoy the added flavor of the coconut. Thanks for suggesting the option. Also the portions were great for me… i use a 3quart size IP and it fit just fine.

  67. dhars
    dhars says:

    Great and convenient recipe.

    Did use a suggestion from one of the reviews left and sauted 1 chopped onion for double recipe first and then proceeded with the rest of the steps as is.

  68. emulley
    emulley says:

    This was incredible! I’ve always loved the heat of Indian food but wasn’t crazy about the flavor. I recently received an email from a popular “southern cooking” site that said “if you think you don’t like Indian food, you haven’t tried Butter Chicken.” SO, I went to my local fresh spice shop and bought the smallest quantity if garam masala thinking I’d be throwing the rest away. BOY WAS I WRONG!! Urvashi Pitre’s recipe is absolutely delicious..I’m cooking it again tomorrow, w/more rice!

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