Homemade restaurant style creamy Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani), one of the most famous Indian dishes around the World, loved for its mildly spicy tandoori marinade with a tomato and a cream base. Well suited for any occasions and served everywhere, right from roadside dhabas all the way up to 5 star restaurants…!!!
Butter chicken is one among the favorite dishes of my mom, and it being a high-end restaurant quality North Indian dish and not so common in my hometown (until recently), we were under the impression that it was fairly difficult to cook. And once we tried to cook this at home only did we realize how super-fast-n-easy it is to prepare. As the cooking neared completion we tasted it and the first reaction we had was…OMG Perfect…!!!!!
The preparation is basically a slow cooking process, with the marination of the chicken needing at least an hour (traditional style recommends 2 hours or more, preferably overnight) and then roasting it first in a pan to make the chicken tender, and later cooking it with a tomato puree and a milk cream to create the final dish. The roasted chicken is so yummy that you just cannot control your cravings and end up eating it then and there……
The two key ingredients in this recipe which enhance the flavour and aroma of this dish are, dried fenugreek leaves and garam masala. As the name deceives, butter chicken is not all about butter. If you are more health conscious, you can omit the butter totally and trust me, it still will taste delicious.
Prep time: 45 minutes + 1 hour of marination
Serves: 4 – 5 servings
Preparation of marinade
- 1.5 lb chicken breast (Cut into small cubes)
- 2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
- 2 tbsp Chili powder
- ½ tbsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Garam masala
- 2 tbsp Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- Salt (as required)
Preparation of curry
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 cardamoms
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 clove
- 1 Star anise
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 big Onion (sliced into cubes)
- 1 can (10.75 oz) Tomato puree
- 1 tbsp fenugreek leaves (dried, crushed between palm)
- 1 tbsp Cilantro leaves (garnish)
- ¼ cup Milk cream
- Salt as required
- Oil as required
- Clean and cut chicken pieces into small cubes.
- Prepare the marinade with chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, yogurt and salt, and marinate the chicken. Keep it aside for at least 1 hour (preferably 2) for the chicken to absorb the marinade.
- Meanwhile slice the onions into small cubes and keep aside.
- Heat a little oil in a pan and cook chicken on a low flame with the lid on. Take off the lid once the chicken drains out water and cook all the way until the water dries, and then pan roast if for a minute. Move the cooked chicken to a separate bowl and keep aside.
- Add a little oil/butter to the same pan and heat on a low flame. Add the spices; cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and star anise, bay leaf and saute till its raw smell disappears. Now add the sliced onions and saute until it turns translucent.
- Add the tomato puree to the pan and cook. Later add fenugreek leaves and mix well.
- Now add the cooked chicken into the pan and mix well with the masala. Add the cream, mix well and cook on a low flame for about 5 minutes with the lid on.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
Serve with Rice or Naan.
- Tomato Puree is a key ingredient. You can use either a store bought one (I used Hunts Tomato puree) or prepare at home.
- Make sure that you do not overcrowd the pan while cooking the chicken, you can instead cook in batches.