Homemade Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
This recipe makes a delicious comforting Murgh Makhani, or as you will more likely know it Butter Chicken. This dish has a silky sauce that is full of flavour and who’s spice can be adjusted up or down. The recipe below will make a dish with medium heat and serves 2.
-For the curry paste
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 1inch Knob of fresh ginger
- 1 mild chilli
- 1⁄4 White onion
- 1tbsp Coriander seeds
- 1tbsp Cumin seeds
- 1tbsp Ground fenugreek seeds
- 1⁄4tsp Cinnamon
- 1⁄4tsp Ground clove
- 1⁄4tsp Nutmeg
- 1tsp Turmeric
- Salt and pepper
- 2tbsp Sunflower oil
-For the protein
- 2 small chicken breasts
- 6tbsp Plain yoghurt
- 1tsp Ground fenugreek
- 1tbsp Ground cumin
- 1tsp Turmeric
- 1⁄2tsp Hot chilli powder
- 1⁄2tsp Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
-For the sauce
- The curry paste you made earlier
- 1 White onion, finely diced
- 1tbsp Cider vinegar
- 1tbsp Honey
- Half a tin of peeled plum tomatoes, blended
- 120ml Double cream
- 2-3tbsp Dried fenugreek leaves
- 2tbsp Butter
- Firstly, you should marinate the chicken. Cut your chicken into reasonably sized chunks and place in a bowl.
- To this bowl add the yoghurt and all of the spices. Mix together and set aside to rest in the fridge.
- Next you need to prepare your curry paste, for this you will need a pestle and mortar, or a spice grinder. Firstly, add your whole spices to the mortar and grind them up. Now add your garlic, chilli, ginger, onion, salt, and pepper to the mortar. Bash and grind these up into a rough paste. Now add all of the rest of your spices along with the oil and continue to bash and grind into a paste. There will be a few lumps of things like chilli pepper skins, but this is fine.
- Turn your oven to fan grill, at the highest heat setting and allow to pre heat. Line a tray with tinfoil.
- To make the sauce heat 1tbsp of ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add your diced onion with a pinch of salt and sweat off for around 3 minutes.
- Add the honey and the curry paste you made earlier to this pot and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the vinegar to deglaze, and then add the blended tomatoes. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer on low-medium heat for around 15-20 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering away, take your chicken out of the fridge and place on the tinfoil lined baking tray (evenly spaced out). Put this tray in the preheated oven for around 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your chicken chunks.
- Just before the chicken is finished cooking, take the sauce off the heat and add the cream and butter.
- Now that the chicken is done and has developed some nice colour, add it to the curry sauce and mix together. Set over low heat for 5-10 minutes. Just before serving add the fenugreek leaves and mix in.
- Serve with a bed of rice, and optionally garnish with some nigella seeds and coriander leaves.
About This Recipe
Butter chicken is a delicious curry that originated in northern India in the mid-19th century. It has a delicious tomato based sauce with the addition of cream and butter to make it utterly silky and delicious. It has bright flavours of cumin and fenugreek, with a medium spice level. This butter chicken recipe is a staple in my household and gets made at least once every fortnight!
The ingredients for this butter chicken are pretty simple and you should be able to get them at most supermarkets. The only ingredient which may be slightly harder to find, especially in smaller supermarkets is ground fenugreek and fenugreek leaves. For me these are essential components of the dish! I absolutely love the flavour that fenugreek gives, and if you do to I would increase the amount of fenugreek leaves that you add in at the end.
Cooking the chicken in the scorching hot oven gives such great flavours and is the best way to mimic the delicious tandoori chicken that is traditionally used for this dish at home!
Question: Do I need to make my own curry paste?
- I think making your own curry paste makes an enormous difference, but if you don’t have time to make your own try to find a makhana curry paste/spice paste or a butter chicken spice paste. But if you have time, please make your own it will be so much better.
Question: Do I have to use chicken breast?
- Not at all! If you prefer chicken thigh, go ahead and use that. Chop it into small chunks and cook it the same way.
Question: How can I make this vegetarian?
- The best way to make this vegetarian (in my opinion) is to exchange the chicken for paneer! Paneer is so delicious and is a great vegetarian substitute. Cook it in the same way as you would the chicken but reduce the time it has in the oven a bit. Also flip it half way through its time in the oven.
If you have any more questions feel free to email me them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love Gluten Free
Hey! I’m Caroline, I love baking and cooking and finding new ingredients to create better gluten free alternatives. In 2015 I found out I had coeliac and since then it has been my mission to find great ways to make gluten free food better.
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