Butter Chicken / Murg Makhani
Every Sunday I like to treat my family to a special meal. Since I have been under the weather last few days, I didn't have the energy for an extensive preparation but had the enthusiasm to try a new recipe. When the request for butter chicken was made, I just wondered how such an elaborate dish could be quick fixed. I browsed the internet for solutions but recipes involving overnight marination threw me off. I decided to create my own shortcuts. To my own surprise, the outcome was delicious restaurant quality butter chicken!
For marinating the chicken:
1 pound of boneless chicken cut into small pieces
1 tsp. Kashmiri chili pdr
1/2 cup thick yogurt
1/2 tsp. Kashmiri chili pdr
2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. grated garlic
1/2 tsp. garam masala pdr
salt (half of the required salt)
21/2 cups of tomato puree (fresh or canned)
3 tbsp. butter
6 green cardamoms
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. grated garlic
salt (other half)
1 tsp. Kashmiri chili pdr
1/2 tsp kasuri methi
1 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. half and half cream
This may seems like a long list of things to do but I usually multitask making it easier and faster to work.
There are 2 stages of marinating the chicken. First marinate the chicken with marinate 1 for 10-15 mins.
Then in another bowl, mix together all the ingredients of marinate 2 and apply to the chicken. Set aside for 30 mins. Ideally this should be kept overnight or atleast for 4-5 hrs. But 30 mins was good enough for me.
As the chicken is marinating, start to prepare the makhani gravy-
Melt 2 tbsp. of butter in a heated pan. Add the cardamoms and mace. These are the primary two spices responsible for the flavor of this dish. Don't substitute it with anything else. I don't use mace very often but had to go to the grocery store to purchase it specially for this dish.
Add the grated ginger and garlic and sauté well. Add the tomato puree, red chili pdr and salt. Cook this mixture down for a good 15-20 mins. The color of the makhani gravy depends on the tomatoes and the Kashmiri chili pdr. This time around I used canned tomatoes and got a beautiful red hue.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Layer the marinated chicken in a single file on a sheet. Cook the chicken for about 25-30 mins.
Coming back to the gravy, add the kasuri methi pdr, remaining 1 tbsp. of butter and honey and cook for additional 5-7 mins. If the mixture is bubbling too much, reduce heat to low and continue cooking. Once the chicken is ready, add it to the gravy. Add the half and half and cook for another 5 mins. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of garam masala pdr and garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with naan or bread of your choice.