My today’s share the popular Butter Chicken, has an interesting history of its evolution.
In India, Butter Chicken was popularized at Moti Mahal Restaurent in New Delhi which was opened by 3 Punjabis namely Kundan Lal Jaggi, Kundan Lal Gujral, and Thakur Dass in 1947. Tandoori chicken and Dal Makhni was also their innovation. Butter Chicken, contributed significantly putting India on the food map of the world. Till date this dish is most popular dishe of Punjab and Northern India. Many of my friends across the world have have shown interest in cooking this. In fact very recently my daughter ‘s colleagues visited India from USA (Amarican national) She ensured to have butter chicken and Naan, as many times as possible during her 7 days business tour. Since it was a business meet, I could not invite them at home for dinning. However, my daughter has promised her to share the recipe and I am going to do so after this post.
Traditionally butter chicken is prepared with grilled/tandoori chicken. It is must for getting the authentic flavor to this dish. These butter basted grilled chicken are cooked in Tomato based gravy. It is cooked thoroughly in butter and nut paste and cream is also added in the curry.
I tried my hands on this authentic dish and followed the traditional method except used electric oven for grilling the chicken pieces and used desi technique for bringing the smoky flavor in the dish.
Cook with me:
Tandoori Chicken– Eight pieces
Ingredients for Tomato sauce :
- Red plum Tomato 1 kg
- Onion- 1 large (pink or white)
- Garlic pods- 5-6
- Ginger- 1” dice
- Cinnamon stick- 1, 2”
- Cloves- 5
- Green cardamom-5
- Black cardamom-1
- Green chili- 1-2
- Bay leaf-1
- Mace- 1 small
- Coriander powder- 2 tblspn
- Sugar/honey- 1 tblspn
- Water- 2 cups.
Ingredients for Curry:
- Garlic paste- 1 tspn
- Mix nut/seeds – 1/2 tspn each of poppy seeds, white sesame seeds, melon seeds, 10 cashew soaked in warm milk)
- Fresh cream- 2 tblspn
- Green cardamom powder- ½ tspn
- Butter – 1 tblspn
- White oil- 1 tspn
- Kasoori methi lightly roasted and crushed- 1 tspn
- Salt to taste
For smoky flavor:
1 Charcoal piece- 1”
Butter- 1 tspn
1 small steel katori/bowl
Grill the chicken pieces. See original post for Tandoori Chicken.
For preparing the main curry sauce, pressure cook all the ingredients of tomato sauce for 15 mins. In medium heat. Another method is to tie all the garam masalas in a muslin bag and cook it in water alongwith other ingredients. If you do not use pressure cooker, cook all the ingredients in a pan with a tight lid for 30 mins.
Cool it and strain the whole masalas. Keep aside. Save the water. When it cools down put everything except whole masalas in a grinder or stick mixer and grind it to a fine paste. In between add the saved water. Set aside.
Make paste with the soaked nuts and milk. Heat a pan and put kasoori methi and roast till it is just heated. It will take seconds only, otherwise it will burn and loose its aroma.
Heat butter and oil together in a large pan which has a tight lid. Add garlic and fry it till golden.
Add kashmiri mirch powder and immediately add the nut paste. Cook it for 2 mins till the moisture dries. It may stick to the base. Add half of cream. Stir vigorously so that does not curdle.
Immediately add the cooked tomato sauce. If you find it too thick add water. Do not use cold water. Boil it separately then add to the curry for required consistency.
Bring to boil. Add cardamom powder. Now its time to check the seasoning. Check the salt and sugar level. Add if required.
Once it starts boiling, reduce the flame and add the tandoori chicken pieces to it. Bring to boil. The Orange curry will appear. Crush the toasted kasoori methi between your palm. Add half and mix in the curry. Rest save for garnishing. Take off from fire.
Now its time to bring the charcoal flavor in the curry.
Place a small steal katori/bowl in the middle of the cooked chicken curry. Hold the charcoal piece in a tong and start burning it over a gas flame. Burn it till it catches fire. Place this burning coal in the small stael bowl Immediately pour melted butter over this charcoal. It will release smoke. Immidiatelt cover the pan with its tight lid. Keep it covered till you plan to serve. The smoke will remain locked inside and the curry will get the smoky flaver from this smoke.
Transfer to serving bowl. Garnish with toasted kasoori methi and spoon fresh cream over the curry.
Enjoy with hot Butter Naan.
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