Recipes

The Story of Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is one of those dishes that are found on any Indian eatery menu around the world. Each chef has tweaked this recipe to create this dish with their own flair.
The first time I ate this delicious dish which can only be described as a spiced grilled chicken dish in a creamy tomato sauce was over 17 years ago in London. Butter Chicken was one of the first curries I ate and fell in love with the aromatic flavours.The mild spices used in this dish make it a hit with young children and even the most fussy eaters.
Like most dishes ,the story behind Butter Chicken also known as Murgh Makhani starts in Delhi in the 1950’s . In a eatery called Moti Mahal this world-famous dish has its roots. Created by Kundan Lal Jaggi this dish is still popular even today.Moti Mahal was known for their famous Tandoor Dishes cooked in a clay Tandoori oven. The story goes that the chefs used the leftover grilled Tandoori Chicken and cooked in a sauce of butter and tomato stewed until the chicken was tender. Little did they know just how popular this dish would be come.
Like everything I cook ,I love experimenting and adding my own twist to the dish. During the weekends I generally take over the kitchen and give Mum a break. Having not prepared Butter Chicken in ages I decided that it would be Sunday dinner.
 
 
Butter Chicken Recipe
1kg chopped chicken pieces or chicken fillet
250ml fresh cream
4 Tablespoons butter ghee
1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
1 teaspoon Tumeric
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 Tablespoons Tandoori Masala
1Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of chilli masala
2 tomatoes finely chopped
250ml hot water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons oil
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish
Method :

  1. Marinate chicken with lemon juice, ginger & garlic paste, Tumeric and Tandoori Spice. Mix well and leave aside to marinate and let the flavours infuse.
  2. In a large pot add  2 tablespoons of Butter Ghee let it to melt before adding the mustard and cumin seeds as the seeds start to pop add in the sliced onion and allow to brown. When the onions have browned added 250ml of hot water.
  3. To the water and onions add the chopped tomato and reminder of spices and allow to cook and reduce.Add the sugar to the sauce as well on a medium heat.
  4. In a frying pan heat the ghee and oil and fry the chicken pieces. Make sure each side is browned before turning off the heat.Do not over cook the chicken as it will finish off cooking in the sauce.
  5. Add the chicken from the frying pan with the ghee and spices to the sauce.Let it cook for ten minutes on high before turning off the heat and adding in the fresh cream.Mix well and garnished with chopped coriander.

Best served with :
Roti ,Naan bread or Rice
Alternatives :
Fresh cream can be added to the marinating chicken.
Cashew Nuts can be ground into a paste and added to the curry just after the chicken has been added to thicken the sauce.
 
Butter Chicken Spice goddess
It is hard not to enjoy making and eating this dish. Almost all the ingredients minus the fresh cream can be found at home at any given point in  time. Have you eaten Butter Chicken before?
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Be Inspired !
Ciao
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14 thoughts on “The Story of Butter Chicken

  1. I’d love to try this, but I have to be honest, all those herbs and spices kinda scare me! Haha, I mean, I’m in love with it, but think I might mess up. Going to have to print this recipe out and try to make it!

  2. That’s so fascinating. I fell in love with Butter Chicken when I was in Japan.
    Odd that we didn’t discover it while here, hey?
    do you make your own naan or buy it? co it would be awesome if i could make the naan too.

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