Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a beloved Indian dish that has gained popularity worldwide for its rich flavours and creamy texture.
It’s a culinary masterpiece that showcases the vibrant flavours of Indian cuisine. Whether you’re a fan of spicy dishes or enjoy creamy delights, butter chicken is sure to satisfy your cravings and transport you to the heart of India’s rich culinary heritage.
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Whether you prefer a mild or spicy version of the dish, buttery chicken can be customized to suit your taste.
The Story of Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani
Butter chicken has a fascinating origin story. It was invented in the 1950s by Kundan Lal Gujral, who wanted to repurpose leftover tandoori chicken. He marinated the chicken in a rich blend of spices, cooked it in a tomato-based sauce with butter and cream, and created a dish that captured the essence of Indian cuisine.
How to make Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani
Marinating the chicken is a crucial step to infuse it with flavours and ensure tenderness.
- Cut boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast into bite sized pieces.
- In a bowl, combine yogurt, grated ginger, pressed garlic, garam masala*, coriander, turmeric powder, cumin, chili powder, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
- Add the chopped chicken pieces and mix it with the marinade. Then cover the bowl and let it marinate for at least 1 hours in the refrigerator, or preferably overnight for maximum flavour.
- Chop or slice the onion.
- Heat oil in a pan, then add the marinated chicken and cook until lightly browned. Set aside.
- In the same pan add butter and the chopped/sliced onions. Sauté until soft and translucent.
- Then add pressed garlic, grated ginger and cook for a minute, until they become fragrant.
- Next add the spices : garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, chili powder and chiliflakes. Sauté for about a minute to bring out all the flavours.
- Add canned tomatoes (diced, crushed, puree or sauce) and 2 tsp sugar or honey.
- Bring to a quick boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Transfer the sauce to a blender or use a hand blender mix* and process until smooth.
- Then strain the sauce back into the pan with the help of a mesh strainer (You want the sauce to be very smooth.)
- Stir in the cream and add 1 tbsp butter.
- Place the chicken in the sauce. And then let it simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened a bit.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Finally it’s time for the grand finale! Sprinkle a pinch of chili flakes, drizzle with a creamy swirl, and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. As you take your first bite, let the explosion of flavours transport you to a world of culinary bliss. Enjoy this finger-lickin’ delight with fluffy naan bread and fragrant basmati rice.
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