Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Butter chicken (Murgh Makhni)

OK, so I have good news and bad news...and since I'm highly pessimistic I'm going with the bad news first. For those of you who are familiar, I'd put up a poll a few days back and now I have the results. Can you believe that majority of votes were for 'the way I write about my experiences and adventures/ goof up's in the kitchen' and a close second the 'food photographs' (which I'm quite flattered about), but crickey, about 5 people said recipes. Now that doesn't really serve the purpose of a food blog eh? I wasn't depressed or anything, because in all honesty, I don't surf around food blogs only for a recipe either. In fact I'm a tad worse than you guys, I sometimes don't even read the entire recipe, but look at the picture, drool and then comment (sorry if I hurt any one's feelings, but that's reality). Now the bad news is, till I get my groove back, I might only just post a few pictures of things I whip up without elaborate and boring recipes...and since its the babbling you guys prefer, I'll throw in a bit of that too...what say???? (oh this is the good news BTW!). The truth is, I'm thoroughly enjoying the photography part of it and since you any way need to make meals at home (and in my case just a meal..yeah only dinner) what better subject to dress up and perfect than a bowl of food? I haven't decided from when I'm gonna start doing this...but when you suddenly see just some food photographs, don't get alarmed...its just a phase! And of course, since I started this blog for my own convenience, the occasional recipe shall make its appearance, especially if it is something that is bound to make its way through to the kitchen more than once. (Oh trust me...a whole lotta things Ive blogged about, is def not making a second come back)

Coming to the recipe, Tamarind is a Michelin starred restaurant here in London, and this is a recipe by one of the head chefs there. I am a big fan of butter chicken, but the mere tediousness and the richness of the dish kinda puts me off the whole thing. But recently I had a craving for some aloo paratha (which I didn't make, but discovered that the frozen ones by Pillsbury was stupendous) and butter chicken and even before I knew, I was surfing the net for a recipe that didn't involve deep frying the chicken. Landed on this recipe by video jug and I must say, its a keeper.

Chicken thighs- 500 gms, boneless and skinned

For the marinade:
Ginger paste- 2 tbsp
Garlic paste- 2 tbsp
Yoghurt- 65 ml
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 1/2 tbsp
Salt- to taste

For the sauce:
Ginger- 1 tbsp
Green chillies- 4
Cinnamon sticks- 4, half inch
Cardamom pods- 5
Cloves- 5
Bay leaves- 2
Water- 100 ml
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Single cream- 60 ml
Honey/ sugar- 1 tbsp 
Tinned tomatoes- 400 gms
Kasoori methi- 2 tsp
Butter- 50 gms
Cashew nuts- 50 gms
Oil- 2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients in the 'to marinate' section. Pour it on top of the clean and dry chicken thighs. Cover with cling film and keep aside for at least an hour.
After the marinating period, place the chicken pieces on a baking tray lined with paper or foil and grill under a grill pre heated at 175C for about 20 minutes on either side.

While that's cooking get the sauce ready. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and sauté the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf till nice and fragrant.
Throw in the ginger and green chillies and sauté for a few minutes and then add the peeled tinned tomatoes. Stir well and keeping the heat on low, add about 100 ml water, close with a lid and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or till the tomatoes are more or less purée like.
Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for a while and then either using an immersion blender or in a mixer, purée the tomato and make it into a paste like consistency.
Place the mix back onto the hob top and on high heat, bring to a boil
Also blend the cashew nuts to a powder and with a wee bit of water make it into a paste like consistency and add to the boiling tomato purée. Mix well till combined.
Add the chilli powder and honey/ sugar and stir again.
After about 5 minutes, add the butter and sugar and stir till it melts. At this stage, throw in the kasoori methi as well. Leave it on to bubble on medium heat.
By this time the chicken would have grilled to perfection. Take it out and cut them into bite size pieces.
Throw them into the bubbling tomato gravy and stir till they are all covered in the masala.
Add the cream and check for salt spice etc. and add as needful.
Simmer the entire mix on medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes and then take it off the flame.
Just before serving drizzle some cream on the top or garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with parathas, naan or even pulao.
Notes: Chicken breasts can be used, but I think thighs are more flavourful.
You can cut the chicken before you marinate it, so you don't have to mess your hands in between and slice them after they are grilled.
Canned tomatoes can be replaced with about 5 or 6 medium sized tomatoes.
I didn't have cashew nuts, so skipped that part.
It tasted even better the next day for some reason :)


Tamanna said...

lol @ poll results. and i too relate to you in some way, following many bloggers and juggling with my own and a baby sticking to my legs every now and then, its not easy to read a whole post. hehe
ummm and oh my...buttery chicken is my fav too....i love you presentation(photographs r gorgeous)

Priya said...

Wow irresistible murgh makhani, lovely presentation and mouthwatering..

Soumya said...

Yummy Butter chicken...perfect clicks

GB said...

Go with the recipe as well Nisha, because when you post an unusual dish, everyone would like to know how to make it! And oh god no, no one should deep fry chicken! this recipe is a keeper! :)

Satrupa said...

I am not quite surprised by the poll results ..... Visuals play a very important role .... after all who doesn't like good looking ppl .... oops blogs ;-)
And coming to your write ups I personally visit you as I luv your narrations ... of course the recipes too.

In a nutshell your blog is a great combo of writups, visuals n recipes. :)

Butter chicken looks rich and gorgeous.

Cheers n Happy Cooking,

Monet said...

What a delicious dish! Your poll results are very makes me want to do one of my own! I enjoy all aspects of your always make me smile!

Tanvi said...

hmmm...i think the poll results have tricked you!...nicely put...i read most of the posts and seldom the recipes :)
butter chicken looks yummy and creamy!

aipi said...

Rich n love the makhani gravy but with paneer :)

US Masala

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Love the color and the texture of this chicken. Would love to give it a try but the process does sound tedious. Good luck with posting "just the pictures". I might not only be alarmed but get upset too cause I do go through the ingredients and procedure real quick.

Nitha said...

Love butter chicken... But the amount of butter and cream always keeps this away from my kitchen..

BTW.. Good luck to be back with you whole enthu' with more recipes..

Kairali sisters said...

I so love your write ups Nisha...Love your photography skills too...

Murgh makhni looks yummy and perfect color tto...

Sharmilee! :) said...

So creamy n yummy looking

Dr.Sameena Prathap


Love butter chicken...looks so yummy...Lovely clicks...


Roshan said...

droolworthy butter chicken and awesome photography...

Susan and Abraham said...

only last week i made and photographed this 'killer curry' - but much differently... wait for mine..

Jaisy James said...

wowbutter chicken looks yummy

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

This looks exactly the kind of thing my husband would order in an Indian restaurant, delicious. Don't worry about your poll results, if anything the knowledge that your readers enjoy babbling lets you off the hook having to publish so many recipes. I just hope my own readers feel the same!!

Sayantani said...

I love to read other's posts but sometimes when the son becomes nagging I only get time to quickly see the recipes.
the butter chicken looks perfect, just the way we get in the restaurants.

Umm Mymoonah said...

Delicious butter chicken, I love to have this with naan breads.

notyet100 said...

butter chicken looks yum,..

Suja Sugathan said...

Personally I love all three..Writeup and visuals have a great role..but go with the recipes too dear...or I bet you will be flooded with email requesting the recipe :)
Butter chicken looks irresistible oops recipe sounds great;)

Vrinda said...

Mouthwatering...lov the color..... said...

wow mouthwatering dish and my all time favourite one to have it with white flaky naans.

Satya said...

wow butter chicken looks so delicious ...


Yummy Team said...

Thats a really yummy and creamy butter chicken. Its one of my most favorite dish. I usually bake chicken for this recipe but I use store-bought tandoori paste for the marinade :). I will try this yummy version soon.

Like the others said, your blog is a perfect blend of enjoyable write-ups, excellent pictures and interesting recipes. I love your recipes, Nisha and I have bookmarked quite a few of them. I have already tried your asparagus thoran and loved it. Will surely try more(especially butter chicken, horizon chicken and ooty club chicken curry) and post them, if that would inspire you :).

PreeOccupied said...

Brilliant Butter Chicken. I shouldnt be looking at this when I am so hungry for a lunch. You know I added pine nuts for the Anarkali Butter Chicken instead of cashews and quite liked it too. I love my butter chicken with rotis and lotsa salad.

Ananda Rajashekar said...

sending some inspiration for you get back on groves, it might take a while honestly, but am sure it will. This is the theory of PhD studies, we keep doing research for yrs then we stay dormant and remain un-productive for "long" then a sudden blink occur and results starts to pour in (one side effect was my sure that will happen you as well. Haha i was right many of us enjoy ur writing darling, spend time on many blog to read, one selfish reason is it takes me to many places and events related to my life...oh enough of long story..creamy butter chicken..happy relaxing weekend :)

Sushma Mallya said...

Looks rich and creamy,love the clicks and the beautiful colour of the gravy...

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

This is a favorite dish of mine. I love pretty much all Indian food, but this is a winner! Great photos too:)

Anonymous said...

I hadn't noticed before in my searches!
Thank you for writing this. I love the internet because you can learn something new every day. I’ll share this with my friends, thank you!

Farah said...

nisha...i had to write to u after making your butter chicken. absolutely satisfying. smack! Though
I added 1 onion . i ate it for 2 days

Farah Saleem azeez said...

hi nisha......following ur blog! made this recipe from ur blog......