Butter Chicken also known as Murgh Makhani is a delicious north Indian dish… actually just calling it delicious is not enough it’s rather DIVINE. It’s a world famous North Indian dish and I was amazed to see how almost everyone in Australia when asked about Indian curries knew about butter chicken. May be because of its sweet and tangy taste, I believe it is liked by everyone. I myself am such a big fan of the dish that I have tried butter chicken in India from North to South, at home or restaurants in India and Australia. Even though the taste varies everywhere but still tastes just amazing. Trust me I have tried the dish at so many places that I have lost the count on different takes/tastes and the recipe I am sharing is the one I find is the closest to the best Indian restaurants back home…
- 1 Kg Chicken Thigh Fillets (You can use Thigh Fillets on Curry pieces i.e. with bone)
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder (lal mirch)
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- ¾ cup plain yogurt (dahi)
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
- ½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 ½ tsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 5 green cardamoms (elaichi)
- 2 black cardamoms (kali elaichi)
- 2 cloves (lavang)
- 2 inch cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 10-12 fenugreek seeds (methi daana)
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 10 – 12 almonds
- 1 ½ tsp garam masala
- 4 tbsp soft butter
- 1 tsp red chilli powder (lal mirchi)
- 2 – 3 green chilli slit (optional)
- 1 onion medium size
- 3 cups tomato puree
- 1 tbsp tomato sauce
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ¾ cup thicken cream
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro(dhaniya) for garnish
Preparation for the main cooking:
- Take green cardamoms, black cardamoms in a mortar pestle and crush them. Remove the husk.
- Soak almonds in hot water, peel off the skin and grind them to a paste.
- Roughly chop the onions.
- Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes (if using boneless) and combine with the marinade ingredients and mix well. Cover and keep it aside for half an hour or can be kept in fridge over night for better results.
- Pre heat oven on 200°C. Grease an oven tray and spread the chicken on it. Make sure the chicken is not overlapping. Put the chicken in the oven on grill setting for 15 minutes and turning them over in between or till the chicken is grilled. Please make sure you do not overcook the chicken as it will cook in the sauce too.
- Let’s get started with the sauce/gravy: Take a thick bottomed pan, wide mouth preferred as it will be easy to mix chicken in it.
- Add butter to the pan then add cloves, cinnamon stick and the crushed cardamoms, sauté them till they become fragrant. Then add fenugreek seeds followed by garlic and ginger paste and slit green chilli (optional). Mix well till they completely release their fragrance and change colour.
- Add onion and sauté till it become pink in colour then add the tomato puree to it. Cover the pan for about 5 to 8 minutes or till the sauce leaves oil. Add red chilli powder and salt, let it cook for 10 minutes covering the pan partially till the sauce reduces and leaves more oil.
- Turn off the gas.
- Once the sauce has cooled down transfer it to your mixer to puree it down to a smooth textured sauce. This step is important if you are looking for a smooth texture, and then return the sauce back to the pan on medium flame.
- Add almond paste, sugar, tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add water around 2 cups or depending on the consistency of sauce/gravy you are looking for. Please remember water can be added later so it’s best to add less, increasing it gradually. Let the sauce come to a boil then add grilled chicken pieces to it mixing well in the sauce. Cover and simmer the chicken for 10-12 minutes.
- Now is the right time to check for the sauce consistency you are looking for, if you think gravy is too thick then add more water and give it another boil.
- Add garam masala and ½ cup of cream. Stir them in and simmer for further 5 minutes.
- You dish is ready to be served, garnish with cilantro and rest of the cream.
- Served best with Naan / Roti or Basamti Rice.
- If you are using garlic ginger premix then add 1 tbsp for marinate and 2 tbsp for sauce.
- Add red chilli powder according to your taste palette.
- Its okay not to marinate and keep the chicken in case you are hard pressed on time.