Butter Chicken commonly known as Murg Makhni needs no introduction. This rich,buttery and creamy chicken made with tomato paste is said to have originated in a restaurant called Moti Mahal in New Delhi, India. The origin of Butter Chicken can be traced back to a man called Kundan Lal Gujral, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal Delux in Peshawar before the partition of India. After the partition, Moti Mahal moved to New Delhi.
You are assured to be served this plate of goodness along with soft roomali rotis, naan or flaky parathas, whenever you step into a Punjabi restaurants,dhabas or street vendors.Butter Chicken originated from using leftover dry tandoori chicken and giving it moisture with a creamy spiced tomato sauce. The spice of the dish combines perfectly with the rich tomato gravy and slight sweetness from the fresh cream that make it very hard to resist.
This dish is cooked in two parts.First the chicken is cooked in a tandoor which is a traditional clay oven or Grill .It’s all about that sauce when it comes to authentic butter chicken. The chicken is marinated & grilled before adding it to the makhani sauce which enhance the flavour of the dish. Butter Chicken is no doubt a very rich dish as the gravy for this is made with pureed juicy tomatoes cooked in butter and finished with fresh cream.
FOR THE MARINATION
- 500 gms Chicken breast cut into cubes
- 2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp hung curd
- 1tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2tbsp mustard oil
FOR MAKHNI GRAVY:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee
- 1/2 tsp black cumin seeds or shah jeera
- 2 to 3 green chillies
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 1tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 500 gms tomatoes
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp sugar or honey
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves
- 100 ml fresh cream
- salt to taste
Method to prepare Butter Chicken:
- Wash and clean the chicken pieces.In a medium bowl, combine the items listed under marinade and whisk until smooth, adjust seasonings to preference. Add the chicken pieces and allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight for best result or at least 2 to 3 hours .
- Soak wooden skewers in water. Preheat the grill on medium. Shake off the excess marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and place them on a wire rack. Cook under the grill for 15-20 minutes. Turn the skewers every 5 minutes & baste with melted butter until the juices run clear and they are cooked through slightly charred around the edges.
- Boil the tomatoes and discard the outer skin . Now carefully puree it in a blender and keep aside. You can use canned tomatoes also.
- For the Makhni gravy, Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Add the black cumin seeds and once it starts to splutter, add the onions ,slit green chillies and sauté until they turn translucent for about 5-7 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic paste and let cook for 30 seconds, stirring so it doesn’t burn.
- Add the pureed tomatoes along with the chili powder, cumin powder and continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add the mixture to a blender and blend to a smooth puree. Make sure to hold the lid of the blender with a kitchen towel when blending, to avoid spilling of hot liquid.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of ghee in the same pan over medium heat. Transfer the puree to it and fry for a further minutes and Stir in the honey/sugar ,the garam masala powder and the fenugreek leaves. Season to taste. Now gradually add the cream stirring continuously to mix all the spices with the cream. Simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.Now add the cooked chicken pieces and simmer the curry on a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Serve over basmati rice or with naan.