The unsaid and unheard story of Butter Chicken or Chicken Makhni [Pakistan & Indian Foods]



Butter Chicken or Chicken Makhni has a remarkable history. From where it started and the journey from an accidental dish to becoming cuisine of the subcontinent. We can say Butter Chicken has come a long way and the beginning has been so humble.

Butter Chicken or Chicken Makhni [Food]
Butter Chicken Chicken makhni]

Ask a Food Lover about their dire Love for this Chicken Makhni or Chicken Butter, you will get to know the Love for this dish in the eyes. The Love for the dish can be seen in the eyes but when you ask about the history and origin of the dish from the same guy, they go blank. People in Pakistan and other countries Like India, many people are not aware of the fascinating story behind the origin of the dish that is famous among the food lover community.

Butter Chicken or Chicken Makhni Origin

The history goes back to Pre-partition when the owner of Mukhey da Dhaba in Peshawar sold the outlet to Kundan Lal Gujral, who was working in a Dhaba, and Later he named it as Moti Mahal. 

The history goes back to Pre-partition when the owner of Mukhey da Dhaba in Peshawar sold the outlet to Kundan Lal Gujral, who was working in a Dhaba, and Later he named it as Moti Mahal. Tandoori Chicken was famous in this outlet and it was said that lot of unsold chicken pieces were going to waste, which gave Kundan Lal a scope to play around the pieces with thick gravy made with butter, fresh cream tomatoes, and grounded spices and ultimately the CHICKEN MAKHNI OR BUTTER CHICKEN came into existence. 

Butter Makhni [Indo-Pak food]
Butter Makhni

Gujral Family moved to Delhi India after Partition and they opened the very first outlet of Moti Mahal in Daryaganj and the rest is history. 

The magnificent aroma from Chicken Makhni is due to the balance between the Velvety texture and tanginess of the dish. Fenugreek Seeds and garlic is added to control acidity and balance the richness of butter and cream, and this is the uniqueness of this dish. 

Innovation is always part of the food process, and it is an inevitable part. Even in modern restaurants, new packaging of Butter Chicken in form of tacos, pizza, biryani, roll, and even pie can be seen and that’s surprising to see such variation in such fusion cuisine restaurants. This is true that Butter Chicken has gone through a lot of amendments over the last 10 decades. Chefs have experimented with this dish according to their creativity and taste. Some of the experts say that innovation should not hamper the authenticity of the dish and flavors to be specific. 

Chicken Makhni [Indo-Pak Food]
Butter Makhni 

Exploration and innovation is encouraged in every field but authenticity can not be ignored and especially in the food industry. Let us know how to make Butter Chicken or Chicken Makhni.


There are different names of the dish in different restaurants. In some restaurants you have to call Butter Chicken, in some you need to call Chicken Makhni and in other Murgh Makhni is also named. The dish consists of boneless chicken cubes marinated in cream and spices. The chicken pieces are simmered in creamy gravy mixed with tomatoes to make this dish and best served with Tandoori Naan. 

Butter Chicken [Chicken Makhni]
Butter Chicken [Chicken Makhni]

First of all, start with marinating the chicken with ginger garlic paste and spices, and flavor. Add yogurt and lemon juice which will tenderize the chicken. Let this mixture marinate overnight. Once the chicken is marinated now it’s time to grill till golden brown and well-cooked. Do it on stovetop, oven, air fryer, or on a BBQ Grill. Once the chicken is grilled set it aside. Now it’s time to make the chicken gravy. Start off with heating butter and add spices, followed by onion and tomato crush. Add cream in the end with garam masala and Fenugreek leaves (Methi Seeds). this way of grilling the chicken in two separate ways is what gives the butter chicken a smoky flavor. This whole process is time-consuming but the results are worth it. You will love it once Infront of you with Garam Naam.  

Butter Chicken [chicken Makhni]
Butter Chicken [chicken Makhni]


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