Saturday, April 12, 2008

Butter Chicken

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Tomorrow is Baisakhi ...the Punjabi New Year, as is the new year of a lot of other regions. Sitting in Hyderabad, its nostalgia time. Not that, it would have been any different sitting in Delhi. Over the past few years, or say decades, such regional festivals have almost lost their fun, frolic and festivities associated with it. They remain...just a public holiday. A day to rest and make a visit to the mall.
The real charm of enjoying them lies still in the small towns and cities untouched by the westernization of the country, in the way that the metros and a few cities like Hyderabad have been.Ideally, a real great post on this occassion should have been a recipe for makki di roti and sarson da saag, or maybe a kheer or phirni recipe, but guess it'll have to wait.
Being a punju, and a real proud one at that, this blog of mine lacks some real great, eternal favorite punju dishes, even the crossover ones.
So, here let me start, with the one dish that comes to everyone's mind when they say Punju cuisine ...Butter Chicken!
Butter Chicken or Murg Makhani is a creamy, lip smacking dish made with grilled pieces of boneless chicken in a rich tomato gravy.
Now don't let the list of ingredients and various marinades get to you. It is really simple to cook and seriously takes me only a couple of hours to get this on the table. The trick is to plan and multi task. Start with getting your marinades ready and starting with marinating chicken first and getting the vegetables and pastes ready in the meanwhile. Now a lot of grocery stores have the butter chicken sauce already available so that you can make it even quicker, but I prefer doing it the hard way...the right way.

Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani)

2 Portions

Chicken Breasts, boneless, cleaned, washed & cut into 1 inch cubes - 3

For the Marinade:

First Marinade -
Lemon Juice - 45 ml
Garlic Paste - 15 gm ( 3 Tsp.)
Ginger Paste - 15 gm (3 Tsp.)

Second Marinade -
Yogurt - 1/4 Cup (55 gm)
Cream - 1 Tblsp
Garlic Paste - 15 gm ( 3 Tsp.)
Ginger Paste - 15 gm (3 Tsp.)
Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder) - 1/4 Tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 Tsp
Black Cardamom Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Green Cardamom Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Cinnamon Powder - 1/4 Tsp

For the Gravy -
Butter - 50 gm
Ginger, chopped finely - 2 Tsp
Garlic, chopped finely - 2 Tsp.
Tomatoes, roughly chopped - 500 gm
Ginger, chopped finely - 1 Tblsp
Cashew paste - 3 Tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 Tsp.
Cream - 50 ml.
Green Chillies, cleaned, slit and deseeded - 1
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves) - 1 tsp.


1. Mix all the ingredients for the 1st marinade and rub the chicken pieces with this. Keep aside
for 20 minutes.
2. Combine the ingredients for the 2nd marinade. Post 20 minutes add the chicken pieces to this 2nd marinade and mix well such that all pieces are covered with the marinade. Keep aside for a couple of hours in a refrigerator.
3. Melt half the butter in a large pan or handi. Add the finely chopped ginger and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or till all mositure evaporates.
4. Add in the tomatoes and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook till the tomatoes are mashed.
5. Switch off the flame and allow this tomato mixture to cool. Post cooling, puree this mixture ina blender.
6. Skewer the chicken pieces and grill them at 180°C for 15-20 minutes or till 3/4th cooked. (Note: If grilling in an oven, then keep a tray underneath the skewers to collect the drippings.)
7. Take a handi/pan and put on flame. Melt the remaining butter. Add in ginger and the green chilly. Saute for a minute.
8. Remove the chicken pieces from the skewers and add them to the handi/pan. Combine well and cook for a minute.
9. Add the tomato puree and salt. Mix well and increase flame. Bring to a boil.

10. Reduce the flame to medium and add in the cashew paste. Stir and add in the red chili powder. Mix well.
11. Simmer and cook till the gravy attains a thick saucy consistency. Remove from flame and stir in the cream. Put back on flame.
12. Bring to a boil. Add in the kasoori methi and sprinkle the garam masala. Stir and adjust

13. Remove from the flame and serve hot.

Is ideal with some tandoori roti or pulao. Normal roti or steamed rice will also do.


Mona said...

Hmmmmm,that looks yummy!

Divya Vikram said...

My fav chicken dish..Looks yumm.

Divya Vikram said...

My fav chicken dish..Looks yumm.

Divya Vikram said...

My fav chicken dish..Looks yumm.

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