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Makhani sauce

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

Makhani sauce, best known in butter chicken, is packed with flavor. Most dishes I have had are bland, overly creamy and just blah. This recipe from Benares, a spectacular cookbook, is perfect in every way, tart from the tomatoes, rich from cream and butter, and pungent from chiles. It does take some time, but this sauce is well worth the effort. You can freeze this sauce well.

This sauce is good with just about anything. Do not limit yourself to chicken makhani, use it with paneer, mixed vegetables or as a drizzle for any appetizer.

This restaurant is so on my bucket list.

For more recipes from this book click here.


1 tablespoon oil

1 green chili, or to taste, diced fine

1 teaspoon ginger paste

800 grams, about 2-3 small tomatoes, chopped finely. You can substitute the same volume of good canned tomatoes instead.

1 cup water

Handful coriander leaves and stems

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon, or to taste, red chili powder

1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves, dried (kasuri methi leaves)

1 teaspoon Garam Masala

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt to taste

Heat oil, add ginger and green chili and sauté till cooked and light brown. Add tomatoes and coriander and cook on medium heat till the tomatoes are pulpy and dry and the oil begins to separate, about 15-20 minutes. Purée the mix in a small blender or with a hand blender till smooth. 

Add honey, red chili, dried methi, and Garam Masala and cook for 5 minutes till thickened. Add butter, cream and sal and simmer on low heat till a thick sauce forms. Must stir continuously to prevent the sauce from splitting. 

Cool and set aside to serve.

To heat up for serving, heat on medium to low heat , stir often. 

Enjoy on anything. 

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