Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Murg Makhani - Butter Chicken

I used to love Indian cuisine. I still do, but once upon a time it was miles ahead of any other food as my favorite food to eat. But there was one dish i wasn't a fan of: butter chicken. It was the dish for fussy people, chunks of chicken in what tasted like spiced tomato soup (in fact, some recipes call for tomato soup as the core ingredient). Since then, i have found places that do a good butter chicken. Though it's still not my favorite curry, the recipe below is delicious!

Ingredients (Serves 10)

  • 2kg boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 6 onions, chopped
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 12 cloves
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 cups fresh yoghurt
  • 6 tbsp canola oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inch knob ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 125gm unsalted butter
  • Rice for serving


In a dry pan over low heat, cook the cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon, and almonds until fragrant.
Transfer to a blender with yoghurt, lime juice, tumeric, coriander, cumin and chilli powder.
Blend until very fine.
Place chicken in a large bowl and pour over the yoghurt mixture. Stir through and let sit for 1 hour

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onions and saute for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and continue to saute until the onions are a light brown colour.

Add the chicken (don't pour all of the yoghurt in there) and seal the meat.
Add the yoghurt, tomato paste and puree, and chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick and the chicken is tender.

Add the butter and stir through until melted.

Using tin foil, make a small sturdy bowl

Heat the fire briquette until glowing over an open flame and place into the foil bowl.
Float the bowl ontop of the curry and cover.

Leave for 20 minutes for the smoky flavour to infuse with the sauce.
Remove the foil and briquette.
Serve with rice.

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