Some of the first visuals when you think of Indian cuisine are of succulent chicken swimming around in beautiful gravy, waiting to be scooped up by that smoky tandoori roti before it makes its flavourful journey from your mouth to your stomach.
And possibly the most iconic of these dishes is butter chicken – the heart-stoppingly rich murg makhani or chicken butter masala or watchamacallit. It tastes as good despite the pantheon of names it has!
Here is Yum Central’s own take on this North Indian offering, complete with the recipe and – for the first time – even a video of the cooking process!
Here is what we will use for the dish:
Chicken 600 gm [With bones and skin]
Spice powders [coriander, cumin, garam masala, red chilli/paprika]: 10-15 gm each
Tomato: 200 gm [pureed]
Onion: 100 gm [Roughly chopped]
Butter: 60 gm
Salt: To taste
Sugar: For colour
Papaya: Enough to soften the chicken overnight
Curd: 100 ml
Vinegar: A few drops
Ginger-garlic paste: 20-30 gm
And SURPRISE! We are not using turmeric OR cream in this recipe!
Marination and preparation
The chicken we had was initially quite tough, so we decided to soften it with some papaya.
Make a marinade for the chicken with the curd, half the spice powders, salt, vinegar and ginger-garlic paste. Let it rest in the fridge overnight.
However, if you are in a hurry, simply let the marinade rest for an hour or two. Pardon the blue tint: It seems we were having some problems here.
Now, roughly chop up the onions.
Then puree your tomatoes.
Melt the butter in a cooking pot.
Then, lightly fry your chicken till they turn golden-yellow. The chicken should not be well-fried, otherwise the spices from the base will not go in it.
If you have curd from the marinade left over, keep it aside. It will come in handy later.
And with that, we are ready to cook!
Set the chicken aside, and fry the onions in your leftover butter. They will turn a beautiful golden-brown. But don’t let them burn.
In a few minutes, add the rest of the spices and the ginger-garlic paste. Add salt to taste and sugar for colour. Then mix it up well.
Now add the tomato puree and continue to stir the mixture at high heat till it reduces to a beautiful brown, dry base. It should start to smell slightly burnt after some time.
Now, add the fried chicken to this mix and stir it around so it covers all the surface area of the chicken. The pieces should let out some water by now, and the juices it had excreted when set aside should also be used in the cooking.
Remember that leftover marinade curd that you had set aside? Bung that into the pot and stir till the chicken is covered in the base.
Now add water, stir and let it sit on a low flame till it reduces some more.
Then, add some more water, stir, and let the Butter Chicken sit covered at a low flame for a few minutes, as the butter begins to separate from the spices and make small pools of itself.
And finally, ENJOY!
Butter Chicken video!
By the way, did we mention that we are starting off with videos as well?
Watch the video recipe of Butter Chicken here:
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