Butter Chicken is not only impeccable but also flavour packed, rich and creamy! It annoys me when butter chicken is too sweet or too oily or just doesn’t have a punch of flavour that makes you want to dive into the sauce so, with practice, I’ve learnt perfection!
Plunge into my cookbook right away!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
1kg Chicken Thighs
1 tablespoon Oil
For the Marination
1/2 cup Hung Curd or Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon Kashmiri Chilli Powder 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
For the Gravy
1 tablespoon Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
2 Green Cardamom Pods
5 Kashmiri Red Chillies
6 Garlic Cloves
1 Onion, roughly chopped
8 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Cashew Nuts
1/2 teaspoon Chilli Powder
2 tablespoons Ketchup
1 tablespoons Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons Fresh Cream
Start by mixing all the marination ingredients and adding the chicken to it. Mix well, cover and set aside for 30 minutes while you make the gravy.
For the gravy, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a pan. Add the cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, whole red chilies and garlic. Saute for a minute or so till fragrant. Add onions and saute on high heat for 2-3 minutes till pink and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cashews. Mix once, reduce the flame to a simmer and cover and cook for 10-15 minutes till the tomatoes start breaking down and becoming slightly pulpy.
Switch off the flame. Transfer to a blender and blend till smooth. The trick to blending hot foods is to cover the lid with a thick towel and pulsing instead of blending at one go. This ensures that the lid doesn’t explode.
In another pan, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken pieces and sear them on each side for 2-3 minutes on high heat, till there’s a char on them. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
Transfer the puree back to the pan, add chilli powder, ketchup, salt and 1/4 cup water. Bring this to a boil. Reduce the flame to low and cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the kasuri methi and fresh cream.
To smoke the chicken, place a small steel bowl (please don’t use plastic) in the middle of the butter chicken while it’s still in the pan. Heat a piece of charcoal or lump coal on an open flame till red hot and then place it in the bowl. Pour a teaspoon of oil or ghee over it and as soon as it starts smoking, cover the pan with a lid. Smoke for 3-4 minutes. Remove the bowl and serve immediately with naan or rice.
Tips & Tricks:
- I recommend using either skinless bone-in chicken or boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe because you can cut the meat into bite sized pieces and they stay juicy right to the end.
- A quick yogurt marination for this butter chicken ensures that the flavour seeps in and adds to the juiciness.
- Use cooked chicken tikka or tandoori chicken and skip the whole process of marinating and pan frying the chicken.
- Add cashews with the tomatoes which softens and makes them easy to blend later.
- If you don’t have cashews, feel free to substitute with blanched almonds (almonds soaked in water and skin taken off).
- An essential ingredient in butter chicken is kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves.
- Do smoke the dish right at the end with a piece of charcoal or lump coal.
- This recipe makes lots of sauce so you can always reserve some for later. Use the same makhani gravy to add tofu, cottage cheese, cauliflower etc.
- You can substitute Kashmiri chilli powder with 1/2 tbsp paprika + 1/2 tbsp cayenne.
- I use homemade garam masala but you can substitute it with any store bought garam masala. Please note that garam masala is different from curry powder.
- I feel that a really mild sweetness in butter chicken is actually nice and it balances the sourness from the tomatoes but feel free to reduce or increase the amount of ketchup based on your taste buds.
See you next week!
About the author : Amna Hamid is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Amreli Steels. Her food blog Gobble wobble will be featured weekly on the weekend on WOW360 segment with a new and exciting recipe! Being an ardent foodie since childhood, Amna always wanted to have her own space on food and everything that revolves around it. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stay tuned for more interesting articles and updates!