Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Butter Chicken (Murg Makhani)

The Lowdown:

Like approximately 2,456,328.7 people, butter chicken (murg makhani) is one of my favourite dishes. I don't know exactly where it lands in my top 10, but it is nestled in there somewhere between goulash and leftover pizza. Despite your best efforts to deny it, you all know that day old pizza is one of your favourite dishes. One exception - taco pizza. 'Nuff said.

In reality, what isn't there to like about butter chicken? It's extremely flavourful, pleasantly colourful, aromatic, and mysterious. Well, I don't know about mysterious, but it made my point seem that much more credible. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that even people who say, "blabbidy blah blah" about curries (seriously who listens when people complain about food) would enjoy butter chicken. If not, I'll force them. After all, it's the way I learned to enjoy food. Sort of like Clockwork Orange, but with food.

If you've read the "about us" section, you'll know that I've been planning on making this dish since the first time I ate it. A decade later, and I'm finally making it. I'm such a procrastinator (as opposed to an amateur-crastinator).Here it is after two days of marinading, four hours of simmering, and ten years of procrastinating.

This dish is amazing because not only does it taste amazing, but it can be frozen and reheated. If you have the room, doubling the recipe and then freezing the rest in single serving ziplock containers is a great idea. By great I mean grrrrreeeeaaat (just like Tony the Tiger).

The Playlist:

9 Chicken thighs, deboned and skinned
650ml Plain yogurt
1 tsp Cardamom, ground
2 tsp Garam masala
2 tbsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Paprika
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tbsp Ginger, minced

Butter Chicken Sauce
1 Red onion, chopped
3 tbsp Ginger, diced
5 cloves Garlic, diced
3 tbsp Oil
2 cups Methi leaves (fenugrek leaves), chopped
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Cloves, ground
1 tbsp Coriander, ground
1 tsp Cinnamom
1 tbsp Paprika
8 pods Cardamom, whole
1 tsp Pepper, ground
1 tbsp Honey
4 Tomatoes

3 tbsp Butter

The Skinny:

  1. Mix all the marinade items in a sealable container then add chicken and ensure that all the pieces of chicken are coated. Refrigerate for a day (or a few hours at minimum).
  2. In large saucepan: saute onions, ginger, garlic in oil. 
  3. In blender: add water, paprika, tomatoes, and honey and puree until smooth. 
  4. Add tomato mixture into saucepan once onions are transparent, stir then add remaining spices. Simmer until mixture reduces by about 1/4 volume, cool then puree. Refrigerate for a day (or a few hours at minimum).
  5. Remove chicken from the marinade and cook in butter until browned. Then add chicken to the tomato sauce. Simmer together for about 30 minutes, then slowly add the marinade into the tomato sauce until the desired texture and flavour is reached.
  6. Serve with rice or naan.

Featured on: Premeditated Leftovers, 33 Shades of Green, Food Renegade, Chef in Training

Stay Rad -h


  1. Oh, girl... I love butter chicken! One of my absolute fave Indian dishes! I have never made it from scratch before though, so I am definitely pinning this recipe! ;)

    1. That was my thoughts exactly. Despite the many steps and ingredients its actually quite easy, because there is lots of time in between. Its a good meal to cook if you're doing a day of chores where you're not going to be at the stove all day.


  2. I love butter chicken but have never made it myself. Your recipe sounds very do-able and the spices sound just lovely. I can't wait to give it a try!