Sunday, May 31, 2015

Murgh Makhani - Butter Chicken

Today, I am sharing a famous and everyone's favourite tasty chicken curry,Butter Chicken..'Murgh' in Hindi means Chicken and 'Makhani' means Butter..This dish origin is in Punjab,India..According to Wikipedia, this dish is first cooked in restaurant chain , 'Moti Mahal Delux' which is introduced by Kundan Lal Gujral and Kundan Lal Jaggi..It also said that this curry is cooked to serve foreign guests who don't like to eat spicy curry..Gravy which is combined with spices is pureed in order to form thick consistancy..It has a final garnishing of cream and butter is added in order to reduce the spiciness..Hence it is called Butter Chicken..
In Butter Chicken,Boneless or Bone in chicken is marinated with yogurt and spices,which is kept for hours or overnight..Traditionally,Chicken is cooked in Tandoor ( Clay oven)..Most of the household don't have tandoor, so grill is used..I heard from other sources that butter chicken is made with left over tandoor or grilled chicken..The grilled chicken is cooked in gravy which consists of whole spices, onions,tomatoes and spice powders which are sauted in butter and pureed into thick paste..Some may add cashew paste for thick gravy..Finally it is garnished with cream and a dollops of butter for richer gravy..That makes the curry taste and it is not much spicy..It may be the reason butter chicken is favourite among foreigners too..
Infact,butter chicken is tasty and rich curry too..It might not be good for cholesterol patients and those who are health freaks ;)..But doesn't matter, if you prepare once in a while or if you have guests..Its not very difficult to make..Everyone has their own method for making this curry,but the basis of preparation will be same..I read the recipes from various sources and finally I have my own idea of making it..I had made it many times and it is hit among my family..Do make this curry and impress your family..Ok,Lets go to the recipe :)

Cute paper flower gifted by son's nursery at Mother's day 


       For Marination;
  • Boneless Chicken/ Bone-In - 500 to 700 gm, cut into medium-small pieces
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tsp
  • Yogurt - 2 tbsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli pdr - 2 tsp heaped
  • Turmeric pdr - 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala pdr - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin pdr - 1 tsp
  • Coriander pdr - 1 tsp
  • Kasoori methi  ( dry fenugreek leaves) - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - as required
  • Lime juice/Vinegar - 1 tsp
       For Gravy
  • Butter - 2 tsp + a dollop for garnishing
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cardamom - 2 no.s
  • Bay leaf - 1 no. broken into pieces
  • Cinnamon - a small pc
  • Cloves - 3 no.s
  • Onions, roughly chopped - 3 medium
  • Red Tomatoes,roughly chopped - 2 large
  • Garlic,roughly chopped - 4 large no.s
  • Kashmiri Chilli  pdr - 1 tbsp
  • Coriander pdr - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric pdr -  a pinch
  • Kasoori methi - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cashew nut paste - made from 5 to 6 cashew nut ( optional )
  • Cooking Cream - 1/4 to 1/2 cup + few drops for garnishing.
  • Chopped coriander leaves - required for garnishing
  • Marinate the chicken as mentioned in 'For marination'  for 6 hours in a refrigerator or overnight for best results..This step is a must as it makes this dish tastier..
  • Grill the chicken in a grill pan or oven till 80 percent cooked..Remaining it will cook on gravy..If you don't have grill never mind..You can shallow fry chicken pieces in a fry pan by adding little oil or butter..Take out the chicken pieces and keep aside..
  • In a wide pan or kadai, heat butter in a low flame till melted..Add all the whole spices from ' cumin seeds' till 'cloves' and let it splutter..
  • Add onions and saute till it changes colour..Add garlic and tomatoes and saute well for few seconds..
  • Add mentioned spice powders and kasoori methi and saute well..
  • Off the flame and set aside to cool completely..
  • Blend the cooled mixture into thick paste..
  • Switch on the flame again, add pureed thick paste in a kadai and saute for few seconds..Add 1/4 cup of water to loosen the gravy..
  • Add grilled or shallow fried 80 percent cooked chicken pieces.. Cover and cook the chicken in a medium flame for 5 mins..
  • Add cashew nut paste ( if using) and cook for few seconds..Add salt of your taste..
  • Add cooking cream and cook in a low flame for 1 second..After adding cream,do not cook for more time otherwise cream will curdle..switch off the flame
  • Finally add chopped coriander leaves and a dollop of butter..Cover it for few minutes to infuse flavour..
  • At the time of serving drizzle few drops of cream to look attractive..
  • You can add it with a combination of poori,battoora,appam,plain rice,ghee rice,chappati etc..
  • I strongly recommend to use kashmiri chilli powder to make this curry..It is not spicy and it gives nice red colour to this curry..I normally use homemade kashmiri powder which is made by my MIL in Kerala..I don't buy readymade kashmiri pdr..Ready made kashmiri pdr may be mixed with ordinary red chilli pdr and they do add preservatives..
  • Most of the restaurant will add red colour to the curry to look attractive..I don't use any artificial colour in my cooking..Colour of K.chilli pdr gives nice colour to the gravy which is enough for me..Colour of the butter chicken gravy will be orange or orange red in colour..
  • Some may blanch the tomatoes and make tomato puree seperately..I don't use this step..I saute the onions and tomatoes and spice powders together and puree it..It not only saves times it tastes delicious too..
  • If you don't like to cashew nut paste and cream, substitute it with almond paste and little milk..