Butter chicken is not just a plate of food. It’s a classic, it’s the centre piece sitting proudly at any Indian family food table and definitely one of the most celebrated dishes of Indian Cuisine.
As I am told it was the owner and chef at Moti Mahal who moved to Delhi during the partition years that perfected this Murgh Makhni recipe giving the nation and Indian food lovers world over, their beloved Butter Chicken. And here is how I make my butter chicken, with a little more heat and a little less sweet.
What you will NEED: Marinade for Chicken
-450 Gms skinless boneless chicken thighs or breast
-2 Tbsp Yogurt
-2 Tsp chickpea flour/ gram flour/ Besan
– 4 cloves of garlic
– 1 inch piece of ginger
– 1 green chilli
– 1 tsp paprika or kashmiri chilli powder
– 1 tsp chilli powder (or a little more if you’d like it spicy)
– ½ tsp garam masala
– 1 tsp coriander powder
– Salt to season with
What you will NEED: Butter Chicken Curry
– 1 ½ Tbsp salted butter
-4 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
– 1 cinnamon stick or 1 Tsp Cinnamon powder
– 4 cloves
– 1 small onion finely chopped (I prefer the red onions in HK as the brown/ white have a high water content and are not intense)
– 1 heaped Tbsp grated ginger
– 2 green chillies slit
– 2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
– ½ Tsp garam masala powder
– 5 Tbsp tomato puree
– 150 Ml double cream
– 2 tbsp honey
– 1 tbsp Kasoori methi/ fenugreek leaf powder
– Salt to season
– Chopped coriander for garnish
HOW TO CURRY:
1. Combine ginger, garlic and chillies with a little oil in a blender and blend to form a smooth paste. Add this paste to pieces of chicken along with yogurt, chickpea flour and all the spices mentioned above for the marinade. Mix well and leave this to marinate for at least an hour to 90 mins. If possible, marinating this overnight intensifies the flavour and gives you a really succulent, melt in your mouth feel to the chicken.
2. Post marination, put the chicken pieces onto a oven safe tray and cook under the grill for upto 20 minutes, turning and basting the chicken every 5 minutes or so.
3. What you should end up with is a tandoori chicken thats cooked, slightly charred and has a lovely smoked flavour from the grilling. Set this aside to add to the curry.
4. For the SAUCE:
Heat the butter on a heavy bottom skillet (add a dash of vegetable oil to stop the butter from burning) and cook the Cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Then add the chopped onions and sauté these until golden (around 7 mins if you’re cooking on a medium to low flame).
5. Add the grated ginger, green chillies, chilli powder and garam masala and continue to sauté for a 2 – 3 mins. The spice mix should be very fragrant now. Then add the tomato paste and mix well and let the tomato paste/ puree cook through for a few mins.
6. Now add the cream to the mixture while stirring continuously and leave it to simmer on a low heat. If the sauce is too thick at this point or you feel is too little add half a cup of water. Lastly, add the pre cooked/ grilled Tandoori chicken to the sauce and leave it to simmer for atleast 20 mins.
7. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and serve with Rice, Roti or Naan.
Happy Eating 🙂