Butter Chicken Recipe (Murgh Makhani) – How to make butter chicken?
The Butter Chicken conspiracy happened a few weeks back. As I sat on the dining table quietly eating my breakfast one morning, my parents were in an animated discussion about their impending kitty party on the weekend. They were supposed to contribute a non-vegetarian dish to the kitty potluck.
Dad stated that though butter chicken is preferred, his preparation never came out good. To this mom added that some members of their kitty flock may not prefer a mutton dish. The discussion was pointed at me and yielded its desired result.
I finally made the matters simpler for them by saying I will solve this issue by making Butter Chicken (or Murgh Makhani). To this, the instant reply from Dad was, “I will get you two chickens first thing on Saturday morning. How many pieces do want them to be cut into?”
This entire exercise was preplanned so that it led to an affirmative from my end. Not that I would have said “No” otherwise if asked directly. 🙂
Butter Chicken – The Story
The dish, which is also called Murgh Makhani in Hindi, is without question the most popular dish to emerge from India; it may even be one of the most popular dishes in the world. If you are just going to an Indian restaurant for the first time, your friends will likely recommend it as a starting place.
Its mildly spicy, creamy, savoury flavour makes it more than just delicious, but accessible to almost every palate.
Butter chicken originated in Delhi, the capital territory of India, sometime during the 1950s. During this time, a man named Kundan Lal Gujral operated a restaurant called Moti Mahal in the city. Mr Gujaral had settled here and started his business after fleeing from the political upheaval that arose during the partition of 1947.
Moti Mahal located in Darya Ganj, Delhi was a runaway success, serving many delightful tandoori dishes (a tandoor is a circular clay oven, and can be found in any Indian restaurant worth its salt).
So the story goes, the cooks of Moti Mahal would mix leftover marinade juices with butter and tomato, and then stew the tandoor-cooked chicken in it. It’s unlikely that they had even the faintest idea of what they had stumbled upon – that is, an internationally-loved delicacy.
But it is an irrefutable truth of the world that often the best things in life are discovered by quite an accident.
Coming back to the story brewing at home
As Sidhant came back from school, I told him about our plan to make “Butter Chicken”. We were to cook for 10-12 people and that too with the rigour of marinade involved.
Butter chicken is our all-time favourite, especially when eaten at Mughal Mahal. But by now I have also perfected the art of making it at home.
The chicken roast is done in a microwave using the Grill Combi settings while the creamy, buttery gravy is prepared in parallel. The mission was to cook over the weekend. Come Saturday, we started with cleaning the chicken and lined up the rest of the ingredients to be utilised in the decadent dish. How we went about it follows below.
While we had our setbacks on the butter chicken cooking day. Sidhant fell off the stool while stirring the gravy, the milk got spilt, the microwave didn’t work, and there was no cream available in the whole of Gurgaon. But we cooked. We were told that the butter chicken that got served was appreciated by all and polished off totally.
The butter chicken recipe below is for 10 odd people if you want it to make for less adjust the ingredients proportionately.
- Preparation Time: 3 hours
- Cooking time: 40 minutes
- Cooking Gizmos: Microwave and a Copper Patila (Deep Vessel)
- Serves: 10 (Ten) People Easily
Stuff you need to make butter chicken recipe?
|what goes in?||what kinds?||how much?|
|Ingredients for the marinade|
|Chicken without skin||Cut into a total of 24 pieces||2 No.|
|Lime Juice||4 tablespoons|
|Salt||Table salt||1 teaspoon|
|Red Chilli Powder||Kashmiri||2 tablespoon|
|Garam Masala||Powdered||1 tablespoon|
|Ginger Paste||2 tablespoons|
|Garlic Paste||1 tablespoons|
|Olive Oil||Pomace or Extra Virgin||4 tablespoons|
|Ingredients for the gravy|
|Olive Oil||5 tablespoons|
|Cinnamon||2 long sticks|
|Cardamom||Green||6 – 7|
|Pepper Corns||Black||10 – 12|
|Cloves||Pods||6 – 7|
|Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)||2 whole leaves|
|Ginger Paste||1 tablespoon|
|Garlic Paste||1 tablespoon|
|Tomato Puree||Homemade will do||400 grams|
|Fresh Tomatoes||Blended||6 medium sized|
|Fresh Green Chillies||Whole and split into two||4 long ones|
|Red Chilli Powder||Kashmiri||2 tablespoons|
|Garam Masala||Powdered||1 tablespoon|
|Crushed Kasoori Methi||Dried fenugreek leaves||1 tablespoon|
|Honey or Sugar||Brown Sugar||2 tablespoons|
|Fresh Cream||1 Cup|
How to make the butter chicken recipe?
- Start with cleaning the chicken and then make small incisions on the chicken pieces.
- Mix salt, 2 tablespoons of Kashmiri Red chilli powder and 4 tablespoons of lime juice into a paste and smear it nicely on the cleaned chicken. Let it rest for 30 minutes or so.
- Prepare a mixture with ginger, garlic paste, hung curd, Garam masala powder, olive oil and add the chicken pieces to it. Refrigerate for around 2 hours or so.
- Remove the chicken and Combi Grill on a high rack on medium settings for 12 minutes and your chicken is done. Preserve the remaining marinade.
- Baste the chicken with butter once after 7 minutes or so. Recover the juices collected in the browning dish below and keep aside.
- Debone the chicken, cut it into small strips and keep aside.
- Add olive oil and butter to the pan. As the butter melts add cinnamon, cardamom, pepper corns, cloves and bay leaves. Fry till they start giving out their aroma. Add ginger and garlic paste to it and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato puree, freshly blended tomatoes, fresh green chillies, Kashmiri chilli powder, Garam Masala powder, salt, preserved marinade and the juices recovered from the browning dish. Add two cups of water to this and bring it to boil.
- Let the mixture simmer till the oil separates from the gravy. Add honey (or brown sugar if preferred) and kasoori methi.
- Add the chicken pieces and simmer for about 10 minutes till the gravy thickens and the chicken has absorbed the flavours.
- Add the fresh cream. In case fresh cream is not available as was the case with us, we reduced two cups of full cream milk to half the quantity and added the same while the gravy was still simmering.
- Check and correct the salt as desired.
- Smack your lips and enjoy your butter chicken with naans or paranthas.
Some pictures of the made butter chicken (or murgh makhani)