Friday, January 15, 2016

#163 India's Murgh Makhani/Butter Chicken

I first tried butter chicken at my client's restaurant. I really liked it and since then I have been looking for a simple recipe to use. Now I found it! 
In this dish, the chicken is cooked in mild curry sauce. It is known to be developed by the Moti Mahal Restaurant in Delhi, India in the 1950's. The chicken is flavorful because it is marinated for several hours in the fridge before cooking. The house smelled like delicious curry and I am getting hungry just thinking about it! :)

My first butter chicken is not that thick because I didn't use cashew paste or any flours for thickening. I used yogurt and cream. I had to omit peanuts, because I am very sensitive to it. It is very interesting how I have developed sensitivity to it after many years of not ingesting it due to my daughter's peanut and tree nut allergies. 

After much anticipation, this butter chicken recipe turned out to be so good, it is super in flavor and uber simple to prepare. I ate it with Quinoa, but this dish goes perfect with basmati or brown rice.
Although I listed "organic" ingredients which just means I used organic by choice, you don't have to buy and use the organic variety for the ingredients. I'm sure it will still taste as fantastic as this dish!



1 1/2 full-fat organic Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons organic lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons turmeric powder

2 tablespoons garam masala
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 pounds organic chicken thighs, on the 
1/4 pound unsalted organic butter
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium-size organic yellow onions, diced

4 cloves organic garlic, minced
3 tablespoons organic fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium sized organic tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
salt to taste
2/3 cup organic chicken stock
1 1/2 cups organic cream
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons ground almonds
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves


  1. In a large steel or glass bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala and cumin. Mix thoroughly. Add the chicken, mix well, until fully coated with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. You can make this ahead and cook the next day too, do not refrigerate for more than a day.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter in the oil until it starts to foam. 
  3. Add onions, and cook until translucent. 
  4. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds.
  5. Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, jalapeños, and salt and let cook for about 10  minutes.
  6. Add the chicken and brown, then add the marinade to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add chicken stock and bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  8. Add the tomato paste and stir. Simmer until chicken is cooked, about 15 minutes.
  9. Add the almonds.
  10. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
  11. Enjoy!

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