Butter Chicken / Murgh Makhani

Butter Chicken , also known as Murg Makhani, is a very rich and popular dish with everyone and every age group! My sons know this as ‘chicken with the red curry’ and enjoy it to the hilt. Considering how often we make it at our home, we have to make it a little more healthy without compromising on the taste. Butter Chicken is one of those dishes that very few restaurants get wrong…every cook or chef has his or her own little variations which makes their dish unique and yet, fantastic. Murg Makhani is a dish that has wonderful flavor and a rich and creamy texture. You will surely fall in love with it!

ButterChicken

Serves: 4-6


Ingredients:

Chicken – 1.5 lbs, boneless skinless thighs
Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Salt – to taste
Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Ginger & Garlic Paste – 4 tsp
Tandoori Masala – 2 tsp
Unsalted Butter – 1.5 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Big Cardamom – 1
Green Cardamom – 2
Cinnamon Stick – 1″ pc.
Bay Leaf – 1
Tomatoes – 3 large, pureed
Sugar – 1 tsp or to taste
Dried Methi Leaves (Kasoori Methi) – 1 tbsp
Green Chili – to taste, finely chopped
Heavy Whipping Cream – 1 cup or to taste
Cilantro – 3 sprigs, finely chopped

Method:

1. Cut the Chicken to bite-size pieces and wash it well.
2. In a bowl (or large Ziplock bag) add the following – Lemon Juice, 2 tsps of Ginger & Garlic Paste, Tandoori Masala, Red Chili Powder, Salt and Yogurt.
3. Mix well and marinate in the refrigerator overnight for best results or atleast a couple of hours.
4. Grease a broiler dish with ghee, oil or cooking spray and layer the Chicken in a single layer. Broil on high for 5-7 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on it as every oven varies.  The size of the chicken pieces makes a difference and where you place the rack in the oven plays a big role in how long the chicken needs to be cooked.
5. For the gravy, in a medium size pan on medium heat, melt and heat the Butter.
6. Once hot, add the Cardamoms, Bay Leaf and Cinnamon Stick. Fry for 1 minute.
7. Add the balance of Ginger and Garlic paste and fry of 30 secs.
8. Add in the Green Chilis and the Tomato Puree. Mix well.
9. Add in the Salt, Red Chili Powder and Garam Masala and mix well.
10. Allow it to come to a boil and then lower the heat and let the gravy simmer for 10 minutes till most of the juice from the tomatoes evaporates.
11. Add in the Sugar and the Dried Methi Leaves and allow it to cook for another 2 minutes before adding broiled Chicken pieces. Mix well to coat Chicken.
12. Add the Whipping Cream, mix and allow it to come to a boil and take it off the flame.
13. At this point, do a taste test and adjust the salt, sugar and the liquid in the gravy.
14. Mix in half the Cilantro in the dish and garnish the balance while serving.

Tips:

1. Don’t have access to a broiler dish? – no problem…use metal skewers or wooden ones(soaked) or just barbeque them on the grill.
2. Great alternatives to making this dish everyday and not feeling guilty about it –

* Use Chicken Breast instead of Chicken Thighs, but make sure you baste the Chicken Breasts while broiling or they will dry up.
* Use Oil instead of Butter.
* Substitutes for Heavy Whipping Cream – Half and Half, Evaporated Milk, Lactaid, Milk or Milk Powder (so you can control the water).

Watch and learn!

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