Friday, August 20, 2010

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

Print
After a whole week of Indian favorites to share, I hope the recipes have inspired or motivated some folks to give Indian cuisine a chance in home kitchens. Here's one more Indian recipe for Chicken Makhani, also known as Indian Butter Chicken. Although I didn't include this dish in my recent Indian cooking class I hosted last weekend, it was a dish requested by one of my students. I occassionally order this dish when we're dining at local Indian restaurants so I finally had a chance to try it home. The verdict? I think this was even better than the restaurant versions I've tried!...

When you see 'Butter Chicken' on an Indian restaurant menu, you might envision a greasy chicken dish if you're not familiar with it. However, this dish is far from greasy. In fact, it's extremely flavorful and one I find especially comforting when served with steamed basmati rice. Tender chunks of juicy chicken thighs are seasoned with garam masala and a pinch of cayenne pepper before being sauteed. Meanwhile, a rich tomato sauce simmers with hints of lemon juice, garlic, ginger and a myriad of spices (such as garam masala, cumin, chili powder and bay leaf). The browned chicken is added to this sauce along with half & half, a bit of yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro. Just before serving, ground cashews are mixed in to thicken the sauce which also adds a subtle nutty flavor. It's an aromatic dish with a bright color that sure to please! If you like your Indian dishes to be on the spicier side, increase the amount of cayenne pepper. Lastly, if you happen to come across ground fenugreek, add a 1/4 teaspoon to the sauce for a special, more authentic touch!

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

Chicken:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 pinch cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy/hot)


Sauce:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup heavy cream or half & half
2 cups tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely ground cashews
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by
heating 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cream or half-and-half, yogurt and cilantro. Reduce heat to low, and add the browned chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add the ground cashews and stir. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

11 comments:

Tenina said...

I love the colour of this dish...it looks fantastic.

Lo said...

Ahhh. Butter chicken. One of our favorites. The best recipe I've found so far belongs to Madhur Jaffrey -- and it makes use of leftover tandoori chicken. Since I don't always have leftover tandoori chicken on hand, I just might give this a try! Thanks for sharing.

Amy and Jeff said...

Is that it? It sounds so easy! I am definitely making this for dinner. :)

Beth said...

It looks wonderful, and I can't believe how easy the recipe sounds. Can't wait to try!

meeso said...

DELICIOUS! Indian is my FAVORITE cuisine! This looks absolutely awesome!

Anonymous said...

I went to a resturuant yesterday and ordered this of the menue..it was so delicious that i looked for the recipe online today .....i made this with this recipe...came out exactly like the one I had yesterday......!....THANK YOU....I ADDDED DRIED FENUGREEK LEAVES and it was spot on!.....

Anonymous said...

why does it say one cup of cream and in the method its does not mention cream?

Joelen Tan said...

Anonymous - thanks for your question! You can use either heavy cream or half & half in this recipe. I've updated the directions & ingredient to clarify. Hope this helps!

Madi Alexander said...

Did you use canned tomato puree or fresh tomato puree?

HealthFreak said...

I dont want to use cream or half and half, that's just too fattening. Got any healthier options?

Anonymous said...

This was unbelievably delicious, as well as being fast and easy to make. Easily the best butter chicken recipe I've tried. Thank you so much for sharing!

Subscribe to Feeds
Follow Me on Twitter
Add in Facebook