December 25, 2013

Murg Makhani / Butter Chicken

Call the dish Murg Makhhanwala, Butter chicken or Murg Makhani , this creamy , rich, colorful chicken recipe is always a favorite Indian dish.

 Many versions of the recipe exist, typically dressed chicken (with or without bones) is marinated overnight in a usually including garam masala, ginger, garlic paste, lemon or lime, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili. The chicken is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, but can also be grilled, roasted or pan fried. The sauce is made by heating and mixing butter, tomato puree, Khoa ( I don’t use it) and various spices, often including cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, fenugreek and fresh cream. Cashew paste can also be added, and will make the gravy thicker. Of all the spices added to the dish it is dried fenugreek leaves (Qasuri Methi) that makes the greatest contribution to the characteristic flavour of the dish. Once the sauce is prepared, the prepared chicken is chopped and cooked until the gravy and chicken have blended. The dish may be garnished with white butter, fresh cream, sliced green chillies and Qasuri Methi. Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas, roomali roti or steamed rice.

Info courtesy: Wiki

Recipe :

Chicken , washed, patted dry and cut into small pieces 1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
oil/butter/ghee to baste while grilling
For marinade:
3/4 cup plain yogurt, strained/hung 1.5 teaspoons kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves
1 teaspoon garam masala
1.5 tablespoon cooking oil 
1.5 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 tablespoon garlic paste

For the sauce/Makhani Masala:

2.5 inch fresh ginger, made into a paste
8-10 cloves of garlic, made into a paste
4/5 onions finely chopped
2-4 fresh green chili pepper, slit
4 tablespoon melted butter
4 green cardamoms
1.5 – 2 inch cinnamon sticks
2 cloves
1 black cardamom
1 teaspoon kasuri methi crushed
3-3.5 cups tomato puree (fresh tomatoes)
1 tablespoon red chili powder /paprika or to taste
Cashew nuts, soaked, and made into a paste (optional)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon heavy cream


Apply red chili powder, lemon juice and salt to the chicken and set aside for 20 minutes. This is the first marination.

Combine all ingredients of the second marinade (see list). Apply this marinade to the chicken and refrigerate for three to four hours; overnight works better.
Put the chicken on  skewers and cook on a grill or a preheated oven  at 400°F,  for about 10 minutes while turning them over mid way. Cook until done. Do not overcook, as the chicken will dry out and get fibrous. Baste it with butter/ghee/oil a couple of times while cooking.

Heat butter/ghee or oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add green cardamoms, black cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Sauté for a couple of minutes or till they start to sizzle and get fragrant; add chopped onion. When the onion turns light brown, add ginger paste and garlic paste, and the slit green chillies. Cook for five  to eight minutes; the water from the paste would have evaporated and the ginger garlic paste would have reduced in quantity.

Add tomato puree, red chili powder, and salt. Cook at medium heat for about 15 – 20 minutes. The puree will reduce to a thick paste and the oil/ghee will separate from the sides of the pan.

Add beaten hang curd and one teaspoon of lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes; add sugar and crushed kasuri methi.

Add cooked grilled chicken pieces. Stir well to combine – the chicken will be well coated with the sauce. Cover and simmer for eight to ten minutes; Lower the heat and add garam masala and the heavy cream. Stir in the cream and simmer at low heat for about five more minutes.

Add a splash of cream before serving.

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