Thursday, September 1, 2005

Butter Chicken - Makkhani Murghi

Butter Chicken – Makkhani Murghi Chicken

From Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery

Prep time: 10 minutes (sauce can be made the day before)
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 4-6

Boneless, tandoori chicken cut up into 1-2” cubes (any cooked chicken will do in a pinch, but tandoori really does add the right flavor)
4 tbsp tomato paste
Water to make 1 cup when mixed with tomato paste
1” fresh ginger, peeled and grated
10oz/300ml cream
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
1 fresh green chili, seeded & finely chopped
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds, ground
4 oz/100g unsalted butter or ghee (Indian clarified butter)
1. In a large measuring cup, add tomato paste and add enough water to make 1 cup, mixing as you go. Add everything except the chicken to blend the sauce well.

2. In a large sauté pan or skillet, melt the ghee/butter and add the sauce. Bring to a simmer and stir until butter is well incorporated in the sauce. Heat for one minute or so.

3. Add the chicken and stir until they chicken is heated through – just a few minutes. It’s ready to serve

This is my all-time favorite Indian dish and I love it with lots of nan bread to soak up all that gorgeous sauce.

Related links:


Mahek said...

as i have said butter chicken is sweetish preparation and many a times only tomatoes are used , but whenever i make butter chicken i make it like this which is similar to chicken tikka masala and its not sweet plus it does not have cream and other fattening agents so its healthy too.
thanks for visiting pls do try it out
nice to see your daughters photo
keep in touch and keep reading my blogs.

Anonymous said...

A friend tried this and raved about it.

Upon recommendation I used about half of the amount of cream when trying myself.

I must say that this was fantastic and recommend this recipe to anyone who will listen.

Unknown said...

This recipe is amazing. I used a combination of boneless skinless breast and thighs when making the chicken tandoori chicken in order to get a better flavor. I recommend marinating the chicken overnight and BBQing them skewer style if you don't have a tandoori oven. I used a pre mixed garam masala for both the chicken tandoori and butter chicken sauce, which yielded great results. However, next time I am going to try making my own, out of interest.

Katie said...

Unfortunately, Jaffrey's recipe has problems, and it doesn't compare very favourable to other recipes.

Some points to help others:

1) Use chicken thighs only when you make the tandoori-style chicken recip.. They are more succulent, tender and juicier. They are also more forgiving when you summer the final dish and won't dry up like chicken breasts will

2) Add 2 tablespoons of chick pea flour, and 1 teaspoon of paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in the marinade - this is much better than using the food colouring. A little bit of cinnamon is also a good addition to the marinade.

3) 300ml of cream is WAY TOO MUCH. 150ml of heavy/whipping cream is what you want to use.

4) Adding so much water to the sauce dilutes it big time, and I wouldn't recommend it unless you want flavourless, thin cream sauce that you will feel compelled to boil down (and when you do, you will destroy the dish since cream shouldn't cook for long).

5) 100g of butter is unnecessary. 2 tablespoons is all you need.

6) You need to build the sauce in steps - not just pour a mixture into butter. For example, you should first fry cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick and cloves in butter. Then, fry the onions for 4-5 minutes. Then add green chilis and ginger and mix for 1 minute. Then add the spices (cayenne, paprika, garam masala, etc.) and tomato puree and mix. Then add 1/4 cup of water if the paste is sticking too much to the pan only. Then slowly add 150ml of heavy cream while stirring. Then add honey and lemon juice. Then add the chicken and simmer for a few minutes on low heat.

See? Same ingredients, but this cooking method is far superior. And you will not only have a great orange-red colour, but it will actually have the same rich, thick gravy texture that you wanted from this dish - not a thin, watery cream sauce.

I love Madhur Jaffrey, but her butter sauce recipe is wrong. I just wanted to point this out to help others.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for your insights and sharing alternatives.

Katie said...

You're welcome.

Here's a picture of the same dish, but cooked differently as described above:

Unknown said...

For "Unknown" who left the different directions. How much honey is used? I don't see it in the Jaffrey recipes. I will follow your directions.

Many Thanks