Butter Chicken – Home Style

BUTTER CHICKEN

Kids love Murgh Makhani; and of course, adults adore it too – me included! The amazing blend of a slightly sweet and tangy creamy gravy with tandoori morsels of succulent chicken is a delicious combination that haunts me. The erstwhile butter chicken was made in White butter but for the sake of convenience I use regular vegetable oil. Often, my cooking has substitutes to allow for what’s available in my kitchen or to save time but this does not compromise on the taste at all. I use the chicken breast as kids find it easier to eat the boneless versions though I prefer cooking the thighs and legs. I marinate the chicken overnight for it absorb the flavor well and next day I make the curry while simultaneously grilling the chicken. The grilling of the chicken is an important step and should not be omitted, it adds a smoky dimension to the taste that makes is finger-licking good (cannot be attained other wise). 

Prep Time: 30 Mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins
Recipe Level: Easy
Spice Level: Low 

Serves: 4 People
Shelf Life: Can be refrigerated for 2-3 days
Serving Suggestion: With steamed rice or naan

UTENSILS: 

A bowl, wooden spoon, saucepan with lid and spatula.

INGREDIENTS:

Marinade

  • 1 kg chicken boneless (I use organic chicken breast)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 C plain greek yogurt (or labneh but reduce amount of salt)
  • 1 tsp organic turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp tandoori powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)

Curry

  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 cinnamon 2 inch (or dalchini)
  • 2 green cardamoms (or elaichi)
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 200ml strained tomato paste 
  • 120 ml heavy cream
  • 1 Green chili, sliced in half (optional)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp kasuri methi – dry dehydrated fenugreek leaves, toasted and crushed by hand
  • 1/4 tbsp sugar
  • salt, as per taste
  • coriander leaves for garnishing

METHOD:

  1. Marinate the cut chicken breasts preferably overnight or at least two hours.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add the whole spices – cinnamon, green cardamom, fenugreek seeds in hot oil and let them sizzle.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste and green chili and fry a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  4. Next add in the tomato paste and blend it well. Fry this for a few minutes to cook the puree well. Add a splash of water if the mixture sticks to the bottom. This is the spice paste or as we call it “Masala”. You will be able to see oil on the sides of the masala. This should take 8-10 minutes minutes of medium heat.
  5. Now add in the dry masalas – turmeric, coriander powder, red chilli, garam masala, lemon juice and sugar. Add a splash of water so that the spices don’t burn. Give this a good stir and add the cream and hot water, stir well. Lower the heat.
  6. Add the grilled chicken and kasoori methi and mix it well with the curry, cover with lid to let it simmer for 10 mins for the flavors to come together
  7. Serve with a sprinkling of coriander leaves.

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