Butter Chicken is probably one of the most well know dish in the Indian cuisine. It originated in North India but is made and enjoyed all over the world. It is made with marinated and grilled chicken that is finally cooked in a tomato based gravy. The traditional preparation is with chicken on bones and is generally more spicy. I however like it without bones and a little on the milder side as per my family preference. Feel free to change the spices as per your taste buds.
Lets make some creamy and delicious butter chicken 😛
For the First Marinade
Chicken thighs, cut into small bite sized pieces – 1 pound (Feel free to use chicken with bones or chicken breasts)
Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp.
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp, preferably the Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder
Salt to taste
For the Second Marinade
Hung Curd or Greek Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Ginger paste – 2 tsp
Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Red color – 1/2 tsp, optional
For the Gravy / Sauce
Butter – 2 tbsp.
Green Cardamom – 2
Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch piece
Black Cardamom – 1
Cloves – 2
Black pepper corns – about 3 – 4
Tomatoes – 4, medium, roughly chopped
Tomato Sauce – 1/4 cup, (And no, I am not referring to Ketchup here, this gives a good color)
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Honey – 1 tbsp. (Can use Sugar, this is just to balance out the sourness of tomatoes and not to make a sweet gravy)
Kasoori Methi Powder or crushed dried fenugreek leaves – 1 tsp
Cream – 1/2 cup (more or less as per your preference)
For Garnish – Slit green chilies and ginger juliennes, chopped cilantro leaves
- Lets start with the first marinade. Coat the chicken pieces well with lemon juice, salt and chilly powder and leave it aside for about an hour, preferably in the fridge.
- Now mix all the ingredients listed under the second marinade and coat the chicken well with it. Leave it in the fridge for at least 4 – 6 hours or overnight, if you have the time.
- Once the chicken has marinated well, its time to grill the chicken. Put the chicken pieces on the skewers and baste them with some oil or butter. This can be done in your oven or also in a skillet on the stove top. I usually broil them in my oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, turning midway, till I get a nice brown color on the chicken. You can also bake them at 400F. Just make sure to broil towards the end to get a nice color.
- It is very important to not over cook the chicken as it will get cooked in the gravy too.
- While the chicken is cooking, we can make the sauce. In a large pan, heat the oil and add the green and black cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves and black pepper corns. Sautee it for about 2 minutes.
- Add in the ginger and garlic paste and let it cook for another minute.
- Finally, add in the chopped tomatoes and let them cook for about 5 minutes. You will know its done when the tomatoes start leaving some oil or butter. You can also puree the tomatoes and add to this gravy but I feel the taste is better when we cook the tomatoes first and then puree it.
- Add in the tomato sauce, salt and red chilly powder and mix well. Add half cup of water and let it boil. Once everything is well mixed, transfer this to a blender including the whole spices and make a smooth paste. This ensures a silky gravy and also that you do not bite into the whole spices in your gravy.
- Once done, strain this sauce through a strainer to get a smooth and velvety gravy.
- Bring this gravy back to the pan and add in the chicken pieces. Cover and cook the chicken pieces in this gravy for about 10 minutes stirring in between. Add more water if needed.
- Once the chicken is well cooked, add in the honey and the kasoori methi powder and mix well.
- Finally add in the fresh cream, stir well and let it cook for a minute.
- Do a final taste test. Garnish it with slit green chilies, ginger juliennes and chopped cilantro leaves. Dig in.
So there you have it, the recipe for the best tasting chicken dish in this world. Do give it a try and let me know if you like it.
Thanks so much for reading. See you again soon.