Butter chicken is a die hard classic of Indian cuisine and possibly the most popular dish from India. This dish along with its various versions like chicken tikka masala is one of the biggest culinary exports from India to the world. It is also called murgh makhani is one of the favourite non vegetarian dishes originating in Delhi. This dish is a classic example of a dish made by chance when the leftover chicken at the end of the day used to get waste by the next day as it got dry and lost all its juices.
So as the story goes one day the chef decided to mix it with tomato gravy so that it can be preserved till the next day maintaining the moistness and juices of the chicken. This later got modified into butter chicken as we know it now. This dish is so famous now that restaurants no longer have to use leftover chicken rather fresh batches of chicken tikka is used for the preparation.
This dish is clearly a dish that started in Delhi post partition of India & Pakistan.
Coming to the preparation of butter chicken the first step is to make the tandoori chicken tikka, a recipe for which you can find in the catalogue. Coming to the preparation of butter chicken gravy the base of the gravy is made using tomatoes. Tomatoes along with cashew nuts, ginger, green chilli, and spices like bay leaf, green cardamom, red chilli powder are boiled till the tomatoes are cooked through completely. Then all the whole spices are removed and a fine puree of the rest is made.
Straining the Puree is important step in the recipe.
Then the puree is strained through a fine sieve removing any lumps and refining the gravy. Then in a separate pan a fresh ginger and green tadka is prepared in butter to which the pieces of chicken tikka are added along with the tomato gravy prepared and cooked for a few minutes so that the flavour of the tikka and the gravy combines well together. It is finished by adding a generous amount of butter and cream which gives the rich velvety texture to the gravy, some honey which balances the tartness of the tomatoes and some roasted kasoori methi which intensifies the taste of the tomato.
Tips and tricks
- Make sure to grind it very fine to make it into a silken restaurant style curry.
- This is also a base gravy that can be used to make a variety of other dishes, even vegetarian.
- The same curry is used to make paneer makhani.
- Butter chicken is usually served with thin and crispy tandoori naan.
- Butter chicken tastes best the next day after preparation.
The easy Butter Chicken recipe is here, no tandoor no oven required. For a good butter chicken the curry and chicken tikka are cooked separately and then finished together in the end.
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 30 mins
Number of Portions: 03
For Chicken Tikka
- Chicken boneless – 400gm
- Salt – to taste
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Mustard oil – 4 tbsp
- Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
- Hung curd – 1 cup
- Salt – to taste
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Water – 2 cups
- Tomato diced – 500gms & Onion sliced – 50 gms
- Bay leaf – 1no
- Cinnamon – 1 stick
- Black cardamom – 1no
- Cloves – 3 no & Cardamom – 3no
- Garlic cloves – 8 no & Ginger – 1 small piece
- Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 tbsp
- Butter – 2 tbsp
- Cashew nuts – 12nos
- Butter – 2 tbsp
- Ginger chopped – 1/2 tbsp
- Green chilli – 1 no
- Fenugreek (methi) leaves – 1/2 tsp
- Sugar – 1/2 tbsp
- Cream – 2 tbsp
- For chicken tikka pat dry the chicken. Add salt, lemon juice and ginger & garlic paste. Keep aside for at least 20 mins.
- In a bowl add mustard oil & chilly powder and whisk together. No add hung curd, salt and lemon juice.
- Whisk and then add chicken to this marinade.
- Heat a grill pan on a high heat, sprinkle some oil on the hot pan and grill the chicken till it is done.
- Remove and keep aside.
- Alternatively you can cook the chicken in pre heated oven at 180c for 20 mins and remove.
- For the curry mix all the Ingredients and add it to a clean deep vessel pan. Bring it to a boil. Cover and cook for 20 mins after the boil.
- Now remove and let it cook for few minutes.
- Add it to a blender and make a fine puree.
- Strain and keep aside.
- In a separate pan melt butter and saute chopped ginger and chopped green chilly.
- Add the curry and some water to get the right consistency.
- Add fenugreek leaves powder, sugar and salt to taste.
- Add the cooked chicken into the curry and bring to a boil.
- Finish with fresh cream. Serve hot.