Butter Chicken

It never ceased to amaze me how almost difficult it is to cheat our senses. Let me explain, when I eat a curry house, I am always torn between two dishes which on the surface, look really different: Chicken Murgh Makhani -also called Butter Chicken- and Tandoori Chicken. Invariably, I pick the tandoori dish only because it is lower in fat.

Are you ready for the wow moment, in the course of researching this post, I  found that in fact, they are closely related. Take a look at this snippet from Wikipedia:

'It is thought that Butter Chicken was hastily prepared by a Delhi Eatery chef post dinner time for a harried VIP customer who wanted "some" Chicken dish. The chef had only half of a Tandoori Chicken which he tossed with liberal amounts of butter, tomato and garam masalas to come up with the earliest version of "Butter Chicken". He later improvised to make this a regular feature of the menu.'

Conclusion, Once more senses could not be cheated.

This dish is one of the most popular Indian dish outside India. To do it justice, I have used the set of spices which I lucky to win on Fabulicious Food, Ren Behan's fresh and seasonal blog. Butter Chicken needs to marinate in the fridge overnight which in my books makes it perfect for week-ends.

Chicken Murgh Makhani
Ingredients:
Ground spices
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fennel
whole spices
2 bay leaves
2  cloves

1/4 pint/150ml natural yogurt
2 ounces/50g ground almonds
2cm ginger 
2 garlic cloves
14 ounce/400g can tomatoes
1 pounds/500 g chicken, skinned, boned and cubed
2 1/2 ounces/60g of ghee or 2 ounces/50g butter
1 tbsp corn oil
1 medium onions, sliced
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
4 tbsp cream or 150 ml milk
salt and pepper

Method
  1. Make a paste in the blender with  yogurt, ground almonds, all the ground spices, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and salt pepper
  2. Put the chicken into a large mixing bowl and pour over the mixture.
  3. Cover and leave it in the fridge over night
  4. Melt together the butter and oil in a  wok or frying pan. Add the onion, fry for about 5 minutes. Add the marinated chicken with all the mixture and cook for a further 20 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat and cook for a further 20 minutes  stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour over the cream or the milk and stir in well. Bring to the boil.
Could be garnished with fresh coriander.

6 comments:

Corina said...

I've never made or eaten a butter chicken dish before - I think it's the fact that it has 'butter' in the name. I imagine it to be really greasy. Yours sounds gorgeous though so I'm thinking I should try it.

Solange said...

Oh I so agree, if anything reduce the almond content. It is so delicious, it is worth the "risk"

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

It does sound delicious.

I frequently freeze in the marinade, but suspect it would not work here with the yogurt - although you could probably use buttermilk?

Solange said...

Hi Helen, thanks for dropping by. I think you are right I would not attempt to freeze, it might keep long enough in the fridge though like what pesto does.

Amanda said...

I'm quite chilli-phobic, which makes butter chicken perfect for me. A lovely recipe, thanks.

Solange said...

Hi Amanda,

I picked this recipe in previous of friends' visit. I wanted to find a Indian recipe that we could all enjoy. She doesn't use chilli powder unless it has been opened for minimum 3 years and most of the hoomph gone.
See you soon on Pebble Soup

si

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