India is a country of spices and flavour. Every different state has their own spices. Indian spices have that magic when it blends with other ingredients it brings out its flavour. Chicken is such an ingredient which can be played with. One such recipe is Butter Chicken. This recipe is a must for all chicken lovers. This preparation is served all around the globe. This recipe is inspired by Punjabi Cuisine (Northern India.)
The authentic recipe is very time taking, in which the chicken is marinated with flavourful spices and yoghurt and kept keep for hours. After that, the chicken is cooked in the clay oven. Then it is cooked in butter and tomato gravy. This recipe is said to be invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, an owner of a very famous restaurant, known as Moti Mahal in New Delhi, India.
This recipe is quite rich, so generally, it is prepared in special occasions or if you want to serve to your guests. You can prepare this dish if you want to treat your taste buds with something special.
In this recipe, the chicken is so tender that it will melt in your mouth and the taste of spices will linger in your mouth for hours. In this, the chicken is cooked separately and the gravy is cooked separately then combined together. So those who are vegetarian or vegan can easily substitute chicken with vegetables of your choice, tofu or Indian cottage cheese(paneer).
The recipe which I am sharing is the easiest way to cook butter chicken in very less time yet very delicious.
Preparation Time:-2 hours; Cooking Time:- 40 minutes; Total Time:- 2 hours 45 minsServings:- 3-4 persons
1. Boneless Chicken:- 500gms cut into small pieces,( preferably thigh pieces, breast pieces will be too fibrous for this recipe, but if you want you can use.)
2. Tomatoes:- 4 large tomatoes diced into pieces
3. Garlic:- 7-8 cloves
4. Ginger:- 1inch piece
5. Cashewnuts:- 6-7
6. Cardamom:- 3-4
7. Cloves:- 2
8. Mace:- 1 piece or 1 gram approximately
9. Yogurt:- 1 cup (Preferably thick)
11.Turmeric:- Half teaspoon
12. Garam Masala:-1 teaspoon
13. Red Chilli powder/Paprika:-1 and 1/2 teaspoon(preferably Kashmiri red chili powder, only for color)(marination + cooking)
14. Cardamom Powder:- 3/4 teaspoon
15. Dried Fenugreek leaves:-1 teaspoon (Roasted and Crushed)
16. Salt to taste
17. Oil:- 3 tablespoon( marination + cooking chicken)
18. Butter:- 50 grams/2 tablespoon
19. Water:-1 cup
20. Fresh Cream:- 3/4 cup
21. Honey/Sugar:- 3/4 tablespoon
22. Lime Juice:- 1 teaspoon
23. Cilantro:- For garnishing
24. Ginger Juliennes:- For garnishing
1. In a bowl, take chicken, yoghurt, turmeric, garam masala, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, salt, lime juice and 1 teaspoon oil, and massage the chicken well. Cover it and keep it in the refrigerator to at least 1and 1/2 to 2 hours.
2. In a large pan heat 2 tablespoon of oil, take the chicken out of the fridge and add one by one to the frying pan. Cook at least for 2-3 minutes on one side. Once cooked flip the chicken gently and cook the other side. It will take 5-6 minutes to cook the chicken from both sides. Take it out from the pan and keep aside.
3. Now in another pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter, once heated, add whole green cardamom, cloves, ginger, garlic, diced tomatoes, green chillis, and cashew nuts. Saute for 1 minute. Then add 1 cup of water to the tomatoes and boil for 8-10 minute in a medium flame. (We have to cook the tomatoes until it is soft and mushy.)
4. Once tomatoes are done, cool it. Transfer it to a blending jar and make a smooth paste of it. Then strain it through a sieve. (We don't want any seeds and skin of the tomatoes into the gravy.)
5. Now in the same pan, heat the other spoon of butter, add again the tomato paste, salt and 1/2 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chilli powder. Cover and cook the tomatoes for 15 minutes in a slow flame.
6. Once the tomatoes are done, add the cooked chicken pieces to the gravy, add cardamom powder and dried fenugreek leaves too. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
7. To finish it off with, add honey and cream to the gravy, mix well and cook it for last 2 minutes. Once done switch off the flame and garnish with cilantro and ginger Juliennes.
8. Mouthwatering Butter Chicken is ready to be served hot.
1. You can cook the chicken pieces in the oven also at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Do not forget to change the side of the chicken in between.
2. If you don't want to use tomato diced, you can use tomato puree, in that case, you have to cook the tomatoes for 20 minutes in a slow flame. Then strain the puree continue with the rest of the process.
3. If you don't have cashew nuts, you can use almonds also.
4. if you don't have a large frying pan, you can fry chicken in two batches.
5. Before using fenugreek leaves, roast it in a dry pan, until nice aroma comes from it. Cool down and crush with your palm.
6. If you want to opt for some healthier option, you can substitute butter with oil while cooking the gravy. And use butter just for garnishing.
7. If you are staying out of India, you can get all the spices in Indian store.
8. If you don't get cardamom powder, take out the cover of the cardamom and crush the seeds.
Serving Tip:- Serve Butter Chicken with steamed rice or Indian Bread(naan or roti).