Murgh Makhani AKA Butter Chicken is a modern classic Indian dish that serves marinated and grilled chicken in a rich spiced tomato sauce!
My Version of Butter Chicken.
Butter chicken has become a bit of a global sensation much like its very similar British cousin, Chicken Tikka Masala.
Both recipe hail from roughly the same time, the 1960’s/70’s and traditionally both feature “leftover” or pre-cooked chicken.
Despite the names being modern, the technique is a classic Amritsari technique.
The recipe has become many things to many people!
My version stays with the idea of a Tandoori style marinated chicken that is cooked under the grill.
True to all of my recipes this is made to be as good as I can make it. No shortcuts, no skipping bits this is my BEST butter chicken recipe, not an approximation of it.
It is a halfway house between the traditional Indian roots of the recipe and the recipe that the rest of the world turned it into.
The most important part of this recipe is the chicken, this is where the flavour is based.
So make sure that you do not skimp on that marinade time!
It is then gently finished off in a butter and cream rich spiced tomato sauce.
Cooking Hints and Tips.
First of all I am gonna jump in feet first and say this recipe is pure indulgence and it is better for it.
The tip for this recipe is in its name, nothing called butter anything should be a pious and skinny recipe.
If you want a dish with less fat then you should consider something like a mushroom curry or a rajma kidney bean curry.
Whilst we are on the topic of butter then you are better of making sure it is unsalted.
This allows you to salt the grilled chicken and the sauce, using salted butter would likely make the recipe too salty.
The spices should be familiar to anyone who has cooked a curry from scratch before with maybe the exception of armchoor.
It is also known as mango powder and it is made from green underripe mangoes. It adds a wonderful earthy sourness to the grilled chicken.
As in so many of my curry recipes, my choice of side is always a naan bread for butter chicken.
They are perfect for mopping up that thick and heavy sauce.
Although some simply cooked rice is also a really nice and simple side to go with this full-flavoured rich dish.
- 2 Skinless Chicken Breasts
For the Marinade:
- 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp Natural Yoghurt
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Turmeric
- 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 Tsp Armchoor
For the Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Cooking OIl
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 35 g Ginger
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 4 Cloves
- 4 Cardomom Pods
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 3 Dried Chilli Peppers
- 350 ml Tomato Passata
- 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
- 1/2 Tsp Sugar
- 75 g Unsalted Butter
- Salt to taste
- 15 g Cashew Nuts
- 50 ml Hot Water
- 50 ml Double Cream
- Cut the chicken breasts into 5-6 pieces.
- Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and add to the chicken.
- Mix well, cover and then place in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
- About 40 minutes before you are ready to serve, peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and ginger.
- Fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, dried chillies and cardamom pods and stir for a minute.
- Pour in the tomato passata and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Preheat your grill or broiler as hot as it will go.
- Thread the chicken onto skewers and place under the grill. The aim is to get some colour all over and not really cook all the way through.
- When the sauce has had 20 minutes strain through a fine mesh sieve into the marinade bowl
- Stir to combine and leftover marinade and return to the pan.
- Add the sugar, Kashmiri chilli powder, dried fenugreek leaves, butter and salt to taste to the sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Add the, by now, grilled chicken to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
- Blend together the cashew nuts with the hot water and add to the pan with the cream.
- Stir until completely combined and heated through.
- Serve with more cream and some fresh coriander leaves.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 787 Total Fat: 57g Saturated Fat: 28g Trans Fat: 2g Unsaturated Fat: 24g Cholesterol: 212mg Sodium: 1341mg Carbohydrates: 30g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 12g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 45g