Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

INTRODUCTION

Singapore and Malaysia has a sizeable Indian population and I was shocked that I have never heard of this well known Indian dishes..May be I am not that exposed as yet. When members in an Australian Facebook Group posted this dish, I honestly thought that it is a Western dish. Butter and chicken does not seems to have any things related to Indian famous recipes. Usually there is an Indian name like murukku, roti pratha, naan, tandoori, tikka masala which are all Indian pronunciations.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

As many Western members posted this dish, it sparked my curiosity to find out more about this dish. Only through read up and researches, I understand that this is a relatively new Indian (Punjabi) dishes that are extremely common in the Western world. It is a common take away dishes just like the Chinese kung pao chicken, sweet and sour pork and lemon chicken.  The name butter chicken is a convenience name for the Westerner and it seems that it was named as such because butter (instead of ghee) and cream was used in the cooking of this dish. Possibly, it is the easy to remember name plus the creamy deliciousness of the dish that make it popular. Imagine if its original Indian name Murgh Makhani is used, I am sure many will not remember the name even though it is delicious.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

“Butter chicken or murgh makhani (Hindi: मुर्ग़ मक्खनी) (pronounced [mʊrg məkʰaːniː]) is an Indian dish. of chicken in a mildly spiced curry sauce. It is served in India and abroad. The dish has its roots in Punjabi cuisine and was developed by the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi, India. Chicken is marinated for several hours in a cream and spice mixture. The spices may include garam masala,ginger, garlic, lemon or lime, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili. The chicken is usually cooked in a tandoor (traditional clay oven), but may be grilled, roasted, or pan fried. It is served in a mild curry sauce that includes butter. There are many variations on the composition and spicing of the sauce. Spices may include asafoetida, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper and fenugreek(Punjabi/Hindi: kasuri methi). Cream may be used in the sauce or as a garnish. Cashew paste may be used as a thickener. Garnishes can include butter, cream, green chillies, coriander, and fenugreek. Kundan lal Gujral, the owner of Moti Mahal Delux, a restaurant in Delhi, is often credited as the creator of butter chicken.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_chicken)

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

There are many many recipes in the internet and most western bloggers already have a recipe on this dish. In fact, it is much more difficult to find a recipe from Indian bloggers. I have digested many recipes and I am equally confused. Some are very long and detail and some are shorter. At the end of the day, I have followed none of them, I just selected some major must have spices and come to my own way of preparation. Whatever way you did, the final outcome must have the following keywords: “Smooth, slightly tangy, boneless chicken, mildly curry flavoured, orangey to red colour”. What I am sharing in this post is rather long winded but after tasting my final outcome, in my future attempt, I will definitely cut short the preparation for home consumption. I therefore append a short cut recipe in red for those house chefs who are running short of time.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

Almost all recipes will require the usage of fenugreek leaves or Methi leaves. However, I do not know where to get the fresh one or the dried leaves from Singapore.I did not make a trip to Mutafa or Little India to search for this leaf. I have therefore omitted and using a tiny bit of bay leaves instead. In the recipe, fenugreek leaves will still be listed so as to make it authentic.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

Can fenugreek seeds be used? Fenugreek seeds can be easily obtained in Singapore supermarket at a very reasonable price. Some recipe providers insisted that fenugreek seeds cannot be used and it can turn bitter. In addition, its aroma is different from fenugreek leaves. But some bloggers have requested the use of the seeds instead of the leaves. I am rather confused and therefore, in my recipe, I have added a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. I did not found that there is a special aroma nor it is bitter..

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

I am happy with this adventure, it is delicious . I loved the tender chicken, curry flavoured and slightly tender. The smooth gravy really goes well with rice and I knew it can be eaten with naan also. If you need naan recipe, you can refer to this post: Garlic Naan Bread (蒜香印度烤饼)

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 4-6 adult servings

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

Chicken and Marinating

  • 800 grams boneless chicken stripes of any cut
  • 100 grams of thick yoghurt or curd
  • 2 tablespoons of minced ginger plus garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of dried fenugreek leaves

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

Makhani Gravy

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anises
  • 2 green cardamom seeds

  • 2 tablespoons of cashew nuts (soaked until soft)
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of cooking cream
  • Salt to taste

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)


SHORT CUT RECIPE

  • 800 grams boneless chicken stripes of any cut
  • 100 grams of thick yoghurt or curd
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 medium can of pure tomato puree
  • 4 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder
  • 4 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of cooking cream
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anises
  • 2 green cardamom seeds
  • Salt to taste

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)


STEPS OF PREPARATION

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

  • Cut the chicken into your prefer size and shape. In this illustration, I used deboned drumsticks and cut it into thin stripes of about 8 cm long.

  • Put chicken and all the marinating agent in a bowl. Use hand to slightly massage the chicken and let it marinate for at least 3-4 hours for the flavour to develop. If times permit, overnight marinating is recommended.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

  • Put the cinnamon sticks, star anises, cardamom seeds and fenugreek seeds in a soup bag. Cut the tomatoes and chilli in big chunks. Put these together in the pressure cooker pot. Add 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook the tomatoes for 15 minutes. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can  boil over the stove until the tomatoes are mushy.

  • Throw away the soup bag, use a blender to blend the cooked tomatoes and chillies until as fine as possible. Strain and throw away all the tomato skins and chilli seeds. Set aside for later use.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

  • Blend the soaked cashew nuts until as fine as possible.

  • In a pan with about 1 tablespoon of butter, pan fry the chicken stripes until the exterior is set. Dish out and keep all the juices. In restaurant, tandoori chicken is used and the chickens are grilled in a tandoor or Indian earth oven. You can also grill the chicken in an oven at 180 degree Celsius until the exterior is set.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

  • Put the remaining butter in the pan, add minced ginger garlic, garam masala powder and chilli powder, stir fry until aromatic. Once aromatic, add the tomato puree, chicken and cashew nut paste. Bring it to a boil and once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 7-10 minutes or until your desired consistency. Off the heat, add pinches of salt and drizzle with the cream. Just like any curry dishes, the dish is best served 2-3 hours after preparation to let the flavour develop.

  • Before serving, garnish with some coriander leaves (if preferred) and additional cooking cream. Best served with rice or other roti’s such as naan.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)


FOR SHORTCUT RECIPE

  • Marinate the boneless chicken with thick yoghurt, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of chilli powder and garam masala, half of the ginger garlic paste for at least one hour.

  • Heat up the pan and melt the butter. Sauté the ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, garam masala, cinnamon sticks, star anises and cardamom seeds until aromatic. Add the canned tomato puree followed by the marinated chicken. Simmer until chicken is soft. Once soft, add the cream and pinches of salt and the dish is ready. For more creaminess, you can add one tablespoon of almond flour or cashew nuts flour or macadamia flour.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)


CONCLUSION

For recipe issuance, I need to at least do one long winded way as a respect to the recipe. However, I still can’t claim that this is an authentic recipe or is the best among all the recipes in the internet. For future attempts, rest be assured I will use the short cut recipe that is fast and easy and I do not think family members will mind as long as it is creamy, tomato  and mild curry flavoured.

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

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Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)


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Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

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Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

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Famous Indian Cuisines : Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani( 印度奶油鸡 मुर्ग़ मक्खनी)

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