Authentic Butter Chicken (Murg Makkani)

by sangeeta shah     May 19, 2011
Authentic Butter Chicken (Murg Makkani)
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 Min(s)
Cook Time: 1 Hour(s)
Ready In: 2.5 Hour(s)
Butter chicken (or murgh makhani) is an Indian dish from Punjab, popular in countries all over the world. The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to Mumbai, during the period of Mughal Empire. Its gravy can be made ... << read more >>
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150-200 ml full fat yogurt
1 tablespoon minced ginger garlic paste  [+]
1 tablespoon garlic paste [+]
2-3 teaspoons kashmiri chilli powder [+]
3 teaspoons coriander powder [+]
1 teaspoon cumin powder  [+]
1 teaspoon garam masala [+]
2 teaspoons lime juice [+]
salt [+]

2 pounds chicken [+]
4-5 tablespoons oil [+]

Makhani Sauce:
2-3 medium tomatoes [+]
2 teaspoons oil [+]
1/2 tsp kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves)
75 grams chilled butter [+]
1/2 teaspoon paprika [+]
1/2 teaspoon vinegar [+]
1/2 tsp garam masala
40 grams single cream [+]


1. To prepare marinade, place the yogurt in a piece of cheese cloth and hang to allow the whey to drip away.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

2. Make gashes in the chicken if using pieces on the bone.  Marinate the chicken in the yogurt mixture for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.  For best results leave overnight in refrigerator.

3. Heat oil in a large, thick-bottomed skillet and put in the chicken with the marinade.  Cover and cook on medium low heat until the chicken is done.  Turn the chicken once during cooking.  Set chicken aside.

4. For the makhani sauce, blanch the tomatoes and remove the skin.  Mash with fork or potato masher.

5. Heat oil in a frying pan and add the tomato pulp.  Cook for 5 minutes or so until the liquid has evaporated slightly.  Add the chilled butter and paprika.  After the butter has melted, let it cook for 1 minute.

5. Taste, if it's not sour, add vinegar.  Add the kasuri methi (crush it using hands or with a mortar and pestle), garam masala and salt.

6. After 30 seconds, add the cream and stir. The makhani sauce is ready.

7. Add the cooked chicken pieces to the sauce and mix well. Serve hot.

Vegetarians can substitute paneer for chicken.  Vegans can substitute mixed vegetables.

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A young cook from Minnesota, she is gluten-free and has shared many delicious, healthy, and gluten-free recipes. This was great for our campaign with Generation Rescue as many autistic children are on gluten and casein free diets.
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