Butter Chicken/chicken Makhani

This must be a dish which is the most popular embodiment of indian cuisine outside of india and so poorly made in most places thats its almost an abomination.

There are many stories of how it came to be and the most common one seems to be the one about how the owners of a Delhi restaurant wanted to use up their left over Tandoori chicken( which btw is another post altogether)

Heres my take on it, without adding loads of food coloring or enough sugar to make it a dessert.

Chicken marinade

  • Plain natural yoghurt/Greek  -50 gms / 2T
  • Red chilli powder- to your taste..get kashmiri , because has nice colour aand wont burn you as much
  • Ginger and garlic paste- 20 gms
  • garam masala powder- pinch ( this is home made blend of spices)
  • kasoori methi leaves- pinch( dried fenugreek leaves)-i toast these in the microwave and crumble or blend and store
  • Salt
  • lemon – if yoghurt isnt sour/tart  enough
  • mustard oil-1T/ 20 ml

Mix all the above with some boneless skinless chicken breast or leg, ideally for atleast 12 hours. You could do it for less time, but then have lesser flavour of spices penetrating the meat and less tender meat .

Cook in very hot oven for about 15 minutes 220C

For the sauce

  • onion chopped-1 small about 50 gms
  • oil-25 ml/ roughly 1 T
  • green cardamom-1
  • cumin-1/2 tsp
  • cloves -1
  • cinnamon – 1 small stick
  • tomato paste about 50 gms
  • sugar
  • kasoori methi -pinch
  • ginger and garlic paste
  • coriander fresh
  • cream-100 ml
  • pepper powder
  • chilli powder

heat oil with the whole spices , add chopped onion and saute till translucent.Add ginger and garlic paste tomato paste and cook till it almost starts to stick and scorch.

then add a little water-50 -100 ml and put on low heat .add the powdered spices and cream and cook till quite thick and creamy.

add in your roasted chicken cut into bite size chunks and cook till tender and right consistency.

top with chopped fresh coriander and some ginger julienne.

the sugar you add to cut down on acidity of the tomato paste…you dont want it sweet like some disgusting Indian restaurants/curry shops.

But done well this can be quite a nice meal.

stories of foods from the world over, laced with a hint of sarcasm and some black humour, its not for everyone, but then never was meant to be..