Butter chicken or Murgh Makhani is an Indian dish from Punjab, they say this dish is among the best known Indian foods all over the world. The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to Delhi, during the period of Mughal Empire. While the dish's general recipe is well known, the actual flavor can vary from restaurant to restaurant even within India. Its gravy can be made as hot or mild as you like so it suits most palates. Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice.
The recipe i have used here is again from Camellia Panjabi's 50 Great Curries of India. This dish is really creamy and so tasty. What really surprised me was how rich this curry is, i have loved having Butter Chicken in restaurants but only when i got down to preparing it did i realise how rich it is...hence i'm against the idea of making this an every week chicken dish at home....So i'm bookmarking this recipe for guests.;)
1. Chicken : 900g (use small pieces on the bone or boneless pieces)
2. Oil: 4-5 tbsp
For the marinade:
1. Yoghurt: 2 cups (full-fat or a carton of plain yoghurt)
2. Garlic Cloves: 6nos
3. Fresh Ginger: ½” piece
4. Red Chili Powder/ Paprika: 3/4 tsp
5. Coriander Powder: ¼ tsp
6. Cumin Powder: ½ tsp
7. Garam Masala Powder:
8. Salt: ½ tsp
9. Lime Juice:
For the makhani sauce:
1. Tomatoes: 700g
2. Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves): ½ tsp
3. Chilled Butter: 75g
4. Paprika: ½ tsp
5. Vinegar: few drops
6. Garam Masala Powder: ¼ tsp
8. Single Cream: 40g
First prepare the marinade
Step 1: Place the yoghurt in a piece of muslin and leave to hang to allow the whey to drip away ( I have read this is how you make “hung curd” but I didn’t do this as I thought the yogurt I’m using is thick enough).
Step 2: Purée the garlic and ginger in a blender (I just crushed them into a coarse paste using a good mortar and pestle) Add this and the marinade spices, salt and lime juice to the yoghurt and mix well.
Step 3: Make gashes in the chicken if using pieces on the bone. Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt mixture for at least 1 hour, preferably 2; for best results leave overnight.
Once this is done and you are ready to cook
Step 1: Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed skillet and put in the chicken with the marinade. Cover and cook over a low heat until done. Turn the chicken over during cooking.
Step 2: While the above is going on scald the tomatoes for the makhani sauce and peel off the skin. Reduce to a semi-pulp with a fork or potato masher.
Step 3: Put the tomato pulp into a frying pan and cook for 5 minutes or so until the liquid has evaporated slightly.
Step 4: Add the chilled butter and paprika; after the butter has melted, let it cook for just 1 minute. Taste… if it has no sourness; add a few drops of vinegar.
Step 5: Add the kasuri methi and garam masala powder and salt to taste.
Step 6: After 30 seconds, add the cream and stir. The sauce is now ready. Add in the chicken pieces and mix well. Serve immediately.
p.s. my snap for this dish has also gotten accepted on foodgawker....yeah yeah yippee yippee....;)