Shan Butter Chicken

Shan Butter Chicken Recipe

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, you’ve probably heard of butter chicken, also known as “murgh makhani.” This mouthwatering dish is a beloved staple in Indian restaurants around the world. Its rich and creamy tomato-based sauce, combined with tender pieces of marinated chicken, makes it a favorite among food enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the art of making the best butter chicken at home, from creating the perfect spice mix to marinating the chicken to perfection. So, if you’re ready to embark on a flavorful journey, keep reading!

The Origin of Butter Chicken

Let’s start our journey with a brief look at the origins of butter chicken. This iconic dish has a fascinating history that dates back to the 1950s in Delhi, India. It was reportedly created by the famous Kundan Lal Gujral, who transformed leftover tandoori chicken into a delectable gravy dish. The creamy tomato-based sauce we associate with butter chicken today was born out of this innovation. Since then, it has become a beloved classic and a symbol of Indian cuisine worldwide.

Shan Butter Chicken Recipe
Shan Butter Chicken Recipe

Variations and Regional Differences

Like many traditional dishes, butter chicken has regional variations. For instance, in North India, it’s known as “murgh makhani,” while in the South, it’s often referred to as “butter chicken masala.” Each region adds its unique twist to the recipe, but the core flavors remain the same.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Butter Chicken

– For the best results, use boneless chicken thighs or breasts, as they are tender and absorb flavors well.

– Adjust the level of chili powder to your preferred spiciness.

– Don’t skip the fenugreek leaves (methi) – they add a distinct aroma to the dish.

– Use high-quality butter for a rich and creamy texture.

– If you’re short on time, you can use store-bought butter chicken mix or seasoning.

Shan Butter Chicken Recipe

Recipe by Heather Smith


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 500g boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 packet of Shan Butter Chicken Mix (readily available in most grocery stores)

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the plain yogurt and the entire packet of Shan Butter Chicken Mix. Add the chicken pieces and ensure they are well-coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, allowing the flavors to infuse.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it turns golden brown. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the marinated chicken along with its marinade to the skillet. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the oil starts to separate from the sauce (about 15-20 minutes).
  • Add the tomato paste to the chicken and mix well. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, allowing the tomato paste to blend with the chicken.
  • Reduce the heat to low and pour in the heavy cream, stirring gently. Let the dish simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once the Butter Chicken has reached your desired consistency, remove it from heat. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if desired.

Nutritional Content

– Calories: Approximately 420 kcal

– Protein: 24g

– Carbohydrates: 10g

– Fat: 32g

– Fiber: 2g

– Sugar: 6g


1. Can I use bone-in chicken for this recipe?

   – Yes, you can use bone-in chicken if you prefer. Adjust the cooking time to ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

2. What can I substitute for heavy cream?

   – You can use coconut cream or Greek yogurt as a substitute for heavy cream if you’re looking for a lighter option.

3. Is Shan Butter Chicken Mix necessary, or can I make my own spice blend?

   – While you can make your own spice blend, Shan Butter Chicken Mix simplifies the process by providing the perfect combination of spices for this dish. It’s a convenient option for achieving authentic flavors.

4. How spicy is this dish?

   – The spiciness level depends on your preference. If you like it milder, you can reduce the amount of Shan Butter Chicken Mix used or add more cream to balance the heat.

5. Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

   – Yes, you can substitute the chicken with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or tofu for a vegetarian version. Follow the same marination and cooking process for a delicious vegetarian Butter Paneer or Butter Tofu dish.

Shan Butter Chicken Recipe
Shan Butter Chicken Recipe

How Does the Shan Butter Chicken Recipe Compare to the Sticky Chicken Recipe by Cajun Ninja?

The Shan Butter Chicken recipe offers a rich, creamy flavor with a blend of aromatic spices. On the other hand, the sticky chicken cajun ninja recipe takes a savory twist with Cajun spices, creating a delectable sticky glaze for the chicken. While both recipes are flavorful, they provide distinct taste profiles that cater to different palates and culinary preferences.


In this culinary journey, we’ve explored the origins, ingredients, and cooking techniques that go into making the best butter chicken. From creating the perfect spice mix to marinating the chicken to perfection, you now have the knowledge and skills to whip up this iconic Indian dish in your own kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner, butter chicken is a delightful recipe that anyone can master. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your inner chef, and savor the rich, creamy goodness of homemade butter chicken. 

The Shan Butter Chicken recipe simplifies the preparation of this beloved Indian dish without sacrificing its authentic taste. With just a handful of ingredients and straightforward steps, you can create a creamy, flavorful Butter Chicken that will delight your taste buds. Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned chef, this recipe is a winner for a satisfying meal at home. Enjoy the rich, aromatic flavors of Butter Chicken with ease!

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