Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Deliciously tender lightly spiced chicken in a lusciously rich creamy tomato sauce that is almost velvet like as a result of its signature ingredient, butter. The richness of this delicious curry is further enhanced with subtle notes of cashew and finished off with a sprinkling of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek). The deliciousness does not end there as  to give this curry an added tandoor touch it is smoked using the dhungar method with coal & ghee. Best of all it is so straightforward and quick and so much more flavourful than your average takeaway.

This is my hubbie’s favourite curry and is one of the most popular chicken curries out there. This dish is believed to have originated in India and created  by 3 chefs who were the founders of the hugely popular Moti Mahal in Delhi, and where my husband first tasted and fell in love with butter chicken. Since then he compares each and every butter chicken to the original, and of course no other butter chicken ever comes close in his eyes or is even good enough!

So, for a while I have been trying to create a version of butter chicken that would make my dear hubbie happy, as the poor man has stopped ordering butter chicken from restaurants here in the UK, due to them not being anywhere as good as the original. But I am also an extremely busy mama and unlike professional chefs can not spend hours making one curry and so I have been on a quest to create a fast and easy butter chicken that may not be the best my hubbie has ever had but still delicious. After several fairly ordinary and “good” butter chickens, I finally made the “second most delicious” butter chicken according to my hubbie, which is very high praise indeed if you knew the man and his love for Moti Mahal’s butter chicken!

Having never been to Delhi and having the privilege of tasting butter chicken from where it was created, I can say that this really is the best butter chicken I have ever had, and hopefully one of  the best you have had (as long as you have not eaten it at Moti Mahal)!

 

BUTTER CHICKEN (MURGH MAKHANI)

February 13, 2019
: 6 - 8
: 10 min
: 30 min

Deliciously tender lightly spiced chicken in a lusciously rich creamy tomato sauce that is almost velvet like as a result of its signature ingredient, butter. The richness of this delicious curry is further enhanced with subtle notes of cashew and finished off with a sprinkling of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek). The deliciousness does not end there as to give this curry an added tandoor touch it is smoked using the dhungar method with coal & ghee. Best of all it is so straightforward and quick and so much more flavourful than your average takeaway.

By:

Ingredients
  • Marinade:
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (60ml) double cream
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 ½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 kg chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 2 – 4 tbsp oil for pan frying chicken
  • Sauce:
  • ¼ cup (60ml) ghee or oil
  • 1 cup (1 large) onion, roughly blitzed so that is very finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 2 dried Kashmiri red chillies
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1 ½ cups passata / tomatoes blitzed into a puree
  • ½ cup (60g) cashew nuts blitzed with ¼ cup (60ml) water into a puree
  • 1 – 2 green chillies, slit
  • 1 ½ cups double cream
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp kasuri mehti (dried fenugreek)
  • Smoking (dhungar):
  • 1 piece of coal
  • ¼ tsp ghee
Directions
  • Step 1 Make marinade: Thoroughly combine all the marinade ingredients except for the chicken and oil. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, and leave for at least 1 hour, the longer you leave the chicken to marinate the more flavourful it will be.
  • Step 2 Once chicken has marinated add oil in a pan and on very high heat pan fry the chicken pieces in batches to get some char on the chicken. Do not worry about fully cooking the chicken pieces though, at this stage you just want to get some colour and char. Alternatively you can either barbeque, grill or cook the chicken pieces in the oven. Set chicken pieces aside until needed.
  • Step 3 Make sauce: In a large pan heat the oil and on medium high heat cook the onion until it turns slightly browny golden.
  • Step 4 Add the garlic ginger paste and cook until raw smell has gone.
  • Step 5 Add the Kashmiri chillies and chilli powder, coriander, cumin and turmeric powders as well as the tandoori masala. Keep stirring the spices with the onion mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium.
  • Step 6 Pour in the tomato and cashew puree and mix until full combined. Add the slit green chillies. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Step 7 Stir in the cream, honey and salt and mix thoroughly. Cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Step 8 Add in the butter and keep mixing till fully melted and thoroughly combined. Cook on medium low for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Step 9 Add the charred chicken pieces into the sauce and cook on medium until chicken has fully cooked through and tender.
  • Step 10 Add the garam masala and kasuri methi and thoroughly mix.
  • Step 11 Smoking (dhungar): In a small heat proof pot add a lit coal and place the pot in the centre of the curry. Drizzle the ghee on the lit coal which should start to immediately smoke. Cover the curry with a lid so that the smoke does not escape. After 3 – 5 minutes, remove the lid and the coal.
  • Step 12 Enjoy x

 



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