Butter chicken or murgh makhani is an Indian dish popular in countries all over the world where Indian restaurants are found. The dish was invented by accident at Moti Mahal Restaurant in Daryaganj, New Delhi. While the dish's general recipe is well known, the actual flavor can vary from restaurant to restaurant even within Delhi.
A sauce is made from butter, tomatoes, almonds and various spices, usually including the famous tandoori masala spice mix, and sometimes cream. Once the sauce is prepared, the marinated and roasted chicken is chopped and added to it.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 large onion
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
- 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons of grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
- 2-3 teaspoons of chilli powder
- 50g tandoori masala powder
- 400-500 grams of skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts (chicken on the bone, this will probably be 800 g)
- 100-200g tomato paste
- 100g full cream
- 1 small lemon or lime
- ½ cup of unsweetened yoghurt
- Trim and cut the chicken into small cubes. (Cooks who prefer chicken on the bone, put long thin slices laterally into the chicken)
- In a big bowl add Tandoori powder, yogurt and squeeze in lemon juice. Massage this well with your hands so that all the chicken is evenly covered in the Tandoori powder. Cover and put aside for at least ½ an hour.
- With a clean knife or electric chopper slice the onions very finely.
- Heat a large saucepan or frying pan for 5 minutes or until evenly hot (whichever is first).
- In the pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter until it is frothy. Add the onions and the cinnamon to the pan and fry lightly. When the onions are soft and starting to brown, stir in the crushed garlic and ginger. Then add the turmeric, chili and coriander, and sauté over a medium heat.
- Add the cubed chicken and sauté, stirring constantly until the chicken has turned white. This doesn't take long so make sure you don't overcook the chicken.
- Pour in the tomato paste. Mix thoroughly. Add the cream and heat through. After adding the cream and stirring, you may add additional tandoori masala. About 3-5 tablespoons full is generally sufficient.
- Cover and simmer for just over 10 minutes.
Butter Chicken video demonstration