Murgh makhani or Indian butter chicken is delicious and heartwarming creamy chicken dish. It originates from North India, Punjabi, that has made its way to the restaurants and homes of curry lovers all over the world.
For those who love Indian cuisine, this rich buttery creamy chicken needs no introduction, it’s one of the best known Indian dishes. It was invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, an owner of a popular restaurant in Delhi. The restaurant specialized on tandoori chicken, leftovers of which were once turned into the amazing rich gravy, known today as murgh makhani.
In India, you can find it in every restaurant as well as with street vendors, and with this original recipe, you can easily make this restaurant-style butter chicken at home. Basically, it is the chicken simmered in a creamy sauce made with fresh tomatoes, ginger, fenugreek leaves, honey, and spices. The combination is deliciously savory, the spice combines with the slight sweetness and the rich gravy making Indian butter chicken hard to resist! All the main ingredients like kasoori methi or garam masala are available online or from Indian grocery stores.
Though the ingredients are quite simple and typical in Indian cooking, the dish preparation is a bit time consuming, it requires at least 4 hours marinating the chicken, but in fact, 12 hours in the fridge is even better. Yogurt, chili and garam masala make chicken tender and it grilles faster. You can start preparing it the night before serving and rest the chicken in the fridge overnight for better and richer taste. Both white boneless chicken breasts or dark chicken meat with bones can be used. The trick is to cook the chicken in a tandoor – traditional clay oven.
The temperature there is much higher than in any other oven. Well-marinated chicken will be ready just in few minutes, soft and juicy. Tandoori chicken, when added to the sauce, enhances the flavor of the whole dish. Cooking on the barbecue, in the oven or hot grill can also work here if the tandoori oven is not available.
Once the chicken is cooked, set it aside and proceed to make the Indian butter chicken sauce. Actually, when we talk about the authentic taste of murgh makhani, it’s all about the sauce! The sauce for Indian butter chicken is made of pureed juicy tomatoes and spices cooked in oil or in butter (ghee butter is also used). The secret ingredient that adds unforgettable aroma to the dish, is dried fenugreek leaves or Kasuri methi. Its flavor unfolds gradually and makes the Indian butter chicken so unique. Fenugreek leaves can be found in Asian or Indian grocery stores.
The sauce stays good in the fridge up to 48 hours if you decide to make it beforehand. Just let it cool completely and leave in the fridge so that the flavors really get together.
After the dish is ready, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot and don’t forget that you can always customize the spices to your own taste. Enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE INDIAN BUTTER CHICKEN
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