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Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken/Mushroom)



  • 800g Chicken, thighs are recommended but you can use whatever. (For a vegetarian option, use large mushrooms and only cook in the oven for 10 minutes and add to the sauce when you add the butter.)
  • 80g/3oz full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1½ tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp garam masala


  • 1kg fresh tomatoes
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled, half grated and half finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 80g butter
  • 2 green chillies
  • 75ml single cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed in your fingers
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Fresh coriander


  1. Preheat oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
  2. Make small cuts all over the chicken pieces with a sharp knife to help the marinade penetrate.
  3. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a deep dish. Cover the chicken with the marinade, and set aside in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  4. Cook the chicken in the marinade in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the pieces halfway through cooking to ensure they brown evenly.
  5. For the sauce, place the tomatoes in a pan with 125ml/4fl oz water, the grated ginger, garlic, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf. Simmer for about 10 minutes over medium heat until the tomatoes have broken down.
  6. Pick out the larger spices, then blend the sauce until smooth. If you can be bothered, pass it through a sieve to obtain a really smooth purée, this does help. Put the purée in a sauce pan, add the chilli powder and simmer for 12-15 minutes. It should slowly begin to thicken.
  7. Cut the cooked chicken into small pieces (the chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this point as it will continue to cook in the sauce). When the sauce is thick and glossy, add the chicken pieces and sieve in any roasting juices.
  8. Add about 200ml water (depending on how thick you prefer your sauce) and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the butter, piece by piece, and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce turns glossy.
  9. To finish the curry, add the finely chopped ginger, chillies and cream and simmer for a minute or two longer, take care to keep the heat low so the sauce doesn’t split.
  10. Add the salt, crushed fenugreek leaves and garam masala. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the sugar. Serve the curry topped with a bit of fresh coriander and rice and/or naan bread, add a small knob of butter to each dish if you like.


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