This recipe is from Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape: 100 of My Favourite Indian Recipes.


Gordon: “Butter chicken, or murgh makhani, was one of the first dishes I tasted when I went to India. Its origins can be traced back to Mogul times, but the dish and its history is most closely associated with Delhi’s famous Moti Mahal restaurant, where I had the pleasure of eating this fantastic dish. Over time, numerous chefs have attempted to emulate the rich buttery sauce, and flavours vary slightly between restaurants. This is my version of the classic dish.”


800g boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3-4cm pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
2cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
½t  fine sea salt
½t  hot chilli powder
1½T  lemon juice
75ml natural yoghurt
½t  garam masala
½t  ground turmeric
1t  ground cumin
1-2T  vegetable oil, for brushing

For the sauce:

1½T  ghee or melted unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2cm ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 cardamom pod, seeds lightly crushed
2 cloves
1t  ground coriander
1t  garam masala
1t  ground turmeric
1t  hot chilli powder, or to taste
275ml tomato puree
1T  lemon juice
40g unsalted butter
100ml double cream
1T  chopped coriander, to garnish

  1. Place the chicken in a bowl with the garlic, ginger, salt, chilli powder and lemon juice. Mix, cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Mix together the yoghurt, garam masala, turmeric and cumin and add to the chicken, making sure that each piece is well coated with the mixture. Cover again and chill for 3-4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the marinated chicken pieces on a grill rack set on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes. Brush the chicken pieces with a little oil and turn them over. Bake for another 10-12 minutes until just cooked through (or grill over very hot coals on the braai – ±5 minutes on each side).

For the sauce:

  1. Heat the ghee or butter in a pan and add the garlic and ginger.
  2. Fry for a minute or so then add the cardamom, cloves, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir well and fry for 1-2 minutes until they give off a lovely aroma.
  3. Stir in the tomato puree and lemon juice and cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. Add the cooked chicken pieces to the sauce and stir well to coat. Finally, add the butter and cream and stir continuously until the butter has melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a warm bowl and serve hot, garnished with chopped coriander.

Serves 4

More Indian cuisine from Ramsay:

Gordon’s tandoori spiced halibut
Gordon’s vegetable curry
Shami lamb kebabs
Gordon’s chicken tikka masala
Gordon’s samoosas

For other Gordon Ramsay recipes, click here

Other Gordon Ramsay books reviewed by Wickedfood:

Gordon Ramsay’s Great British Pub Food

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