March 02, 2011

Butter Chicken/ Chicken Makhani ...



It's funny how our family dinners now are getting dictated by my kids more and more. Growing up here, they are more attuned to the western recipes and prefer that to most of the recipes I long for.  They can't handle the spice and  the mouth tingling masala combinations. So most days the recipes are simplified and  lightened up to handle their spice level, resulting in my spouse and I reaching for the spicy pickles.

I bet my folks are sitting and laughing now remembering how picky I was and how my mom used to ask "enthu kazhikannulla vishappanu?" meaning "what are you hungry for?' instead of just telling me what is there to eat.

Our food is spicy and our traditional curries are rich with onions and chilies, all pieces to be fished out and kept aside.  Not many of our gravy recipes are pureed into a silken ubiquitous green / yellow/ rainbow hued sauces used as a drizzle all around a white plate. It's rough textured and it's meant to be mixed into rice, mopped up with a naan or roti and dipped into with a puri. When I tell my not so little ones about some of the recipes I showcase here in this blog, they look at me as if I am from another country.

And one week of the kids being home (mid winter recess) meant a lot of kid friendly food... Now that I feel is the toughest thing to write about in a blog. What works once for the kids may or may not work the next time so I really wing it each day and hope that some of what they eat stays in their memory and one day they will ask for it by name. (Or maybe all that will remain will be relegated to "butter chicken, erachi curry, dal, beans, naan and biryani.)

Anyway, growing up , I can't remember eating butter chicken at all. Its such a restaurant item that its only now its become mainstream in households. Wonder why? Its so easy to make!! Or maybe its a dish more popular outside India!! Butter chicken or Chicken Makhani is grilled pieces of chicken in a tomatoey creamy sauce. It can made with boneless chicken or with bone in chicken, marinated in a tandoori spice and lightly fried or grilled.

Well, amongst our friends's families and our house too, it is a popular item with the kids, so gets made at every get together, ensuring the kids will eat naan and butter chicken without any fuss! What's not to like.. it has a smooth velvety sauce with simple flavors, not too spicy(though I can't resist spicing it up!!) and the grilled chicken adds a smoky twang to it. The main flavors are the garam masala and the kasoori methi, which is the dried fenugreek leaves, without which it just won't taste the same. I add Amul butter if I have it.. does it taste better? I believe so but any butter is fine.  I use more milk than cream for the family but guests get the richer creamier experience. The grilling is avoidable and instead just dry cook it on a hot cast iron skillet with very little oil..not frying though.


You will need: Serves 4
Chicken-1 lb cut up into pieces (without bone or bone in)
Marinade: 
1/2 pack tandoori masala(National or shaan)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste(fresh)
1 cup regular unflavored yogurt
1 tbsp oil

Sauce:
1 can (425 gm) tomato puree without any added flavors
Onion-1
Garam masala- 1 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder- 1 tsp (add more as needed)
Turmeric-1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi- 1 tsp                                                                                                                                                            
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Amul butter-1 tbsp
Cream+Milk -2-3 cup altogether, any amount of each
1/2 cup water

Preparation:
Marinate the chicken(washed and drained) with all the ingredients of the marinade and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 hrs or overnight. Preheat the oven to 450 f and then place the chicken on a foil line tray and grill for 8-10 minutes. Raise heat to broil and broil the pieces for 2-3 minutes till the outside just starts to crisp. Remove(it will be undercooked, but will finish cooking in the gravy) and keep aside.

Heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil and saute the onions. The onions have to be chopped really fine so it melts away. After a 2-3 minutes, add the ginger garlic paste and saute well for a minute. Add the tomato puree and the red chili powder, turmeric and saute on medium heat till the tomato comes together and moves as a mass. 

Add the salt, butter, the water, the milk and cream combination(if you add just milk, it will curdle, so add a bit of cream or butter and then add the milk.)and let it simmer. Add the grilled chicken pieces and cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes on very low heat..barely a simmer. Add the kasoori methi and the garam masala and adjust taste. You may need a bit more of salt or even some butter or sugar or cream to cut the tartness.  Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with hot butter naan.



34 comments:

Happy Cook said...

Wowo droolie delish.

Muraligeetham said...

nice recipe.

Tina said...

soooo colourful n tempting....

Suman Singh said...

First time here..you have a lovely space here..glad to follow you.
Butter chicken looks tempting and really tempting color..

Anonymous said...

Shaheen, That looks delicious!!! Kindly please post your recipe....Thx

Nags said...

yum!

rashmi said...

hey , i guess the recipe got missed out. just wanted to let you know .

sheena said...

Hi, can't see the recipe

Myra said...

Hi Shaheen
Just to let you know that the text is missing from your posting!!
yours Myra x

Anonymous said...

i cant see the receipe...its just the pic...do post the receipe please..

Anonymous said...

not able to c d recipe..
ki

Miri said...

Superb - now when are you sharing the recipe :)

Mallugirl said...

ha!! recipe is not yet posted guys.. will do so today.

Srivalli said...

Looks excellent shaheen..where is the recipe>

Shobha said...

Where is the recipe?

Pushpa Bhargava said...

Wow gr8 dish but bad luck for me as I am a Pure vegetarian.. ha ha ha
Can I use the recipe of it's greve for some veg dish?? Is any perfect flavour comes through it or it is applicable only with chicken...???

notyet100 said...

looks delicious,luv the colour of the curry

Mallugirl said...

pushpa, u can use the same gravy and make paneer makhani..marinate and slightly grill paneer if u like to.

Myra said...

Shaheen,your story brings back memories, when i was a child,with my parents we ate curry very often,(i still do)and each time i hit on a cardamone seed OMG it was the most disgusting thing i had ever tasted!!!!!
but know i crack open the pods and chew on the grains,j'adore.......
I am sure when the time comes your kids will definitely ask you for your recipes,so keep them safe!!!
Like you when i try your "Chicken Makhani "i will "spice" it up
yours Myra xx

Pravs said...

love the color and drool worthy click.

Lena Rashmin Raj said...

woww.. im a big fan of this.. color is too tempting... you wr my inspiration to start a blog of my own.. i just celebrated my sec blog anniversary.. bt still i remember the fst day i found ur blog.. 13hours i spent in ur blog and after that daily i wl search recipes and wl try in my kitchen :) i had tried ur egg curry, pulao, unnakai, musce fry etc.. lots to list

:)

laxmi said...

thanks a ton 4 this recipe...was searching 4 a good butter chicken recipe...

Neenu Praveen said...

wndrful space..hapy to follow u....

Anonymous said...

can i make tomato puree at home? how many tomatoes will i need? thanks.

Mallugirl said...

myra,yup, some of the things we dislike in childhood does turn inside out as we grow up!! do let me know how this turned out for u...

Mallugirl said...

anon(leave a name please), tomato puree.. blanch 2-3 tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, remove skin, cut and remove seeds and blend the rest to a puree.

Sarah Naveen said...

The color is so perfect....Looks absolutely delicious..

Here , since we don't have kids yet , Its mainly N 's choice..I think I am spoiling him by doing so...
Its like ordering something in a hotel ,,,i would say chayakada...oru puutum motem poratte...hehheh

yeah even i dont remember eating this at home other than in some exotic north indian restaurants...

mallu girl....I wanna try all your malabar dishes...but i have a starting trouble..which one do u think i should start with...???

Mallugirl said...

sarah, blog ente peru maati chayakada aaki kollu.:) malabar recipes ..what do u want to start with?

Sushma Mallya said...

wow what a lovely colour, mouthwatering really :)

Bini said...

Thank u so much 4 the recipe...I just tried ths dish.. Its not yet complete.. I've made the sauce and kept the chicken ready 4 grill.. Now the other steps I'll do sometime b4 having it.. I think I've added tomato puree more to the sauce,the smell&taste of it is more than any other taste.I hope it wil b fyn aftr adding chicken...!Waiting 4 it....!!

Bini said...

The dish came out very vell than I expected...!Thank u so much....

Anonymous said...

Looks Yummy!

Rinku Naveen said...

Wow!! Looks yummy

Ann said...

Hi,

I tried this recipe and it came out very good..Thanks a lot for the recipe! I am a silent reader of your blog for almost an year ..Thought I will come out of my hiding and thank you for this wonderful recipe..Also, recipe is easy to make ! Not much chopping to do..Put on stove & oven, do other chores, give a stir here and there and you have a delicious butter chicken in the end..