My version of Butter Chicken (Murgh Makani):
First make a nice Tandoori paste. I like spicy but you can adjust the chilli to taste.
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp garlic paste
- 1 Tbsp grated /crushed ginger
- 2 Tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp smoky paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp peanut oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a few red chillies, chopped ( I keep mine frozen)
This paste will keep a week or two in the refrigerator, and can be frozen.
Take a few generous tablespoons of the spice paste and mix it in a bowl with
- 2 cups thick (Greek) yoghurt
- 300 g boneless chicken thigh fillets cut into pieces
- squeeze of lime juice
- a grind or two of black pepper
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two.
*For a really smoky tandoori taste, before proceeding, take the chicken, leaving most of the marinade in the bowl, and quickly sear it on a hot barbecue. Then add it and the remaining marinade as below.
Put butter, ghee or peanut oil in a pan, heat, and add
- 4 cloves
- 1 tsp chopped cardamom seed
- 1 tsp whole cumin seed
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
As soon as the mustard seeds are popping, add
- 2 onions finely chopped
and fry until the onion is translucent.
Add the chicken and marinade, then
- a grind of black pepper
- a 3 cm stick of cinnamon
- a pinch of dried powdered bay leaf
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (or a tsp of stock powder in 1/2 cup water)
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (or 1/2 tsp powdered fenugreek seed)
Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked and the gravy is thick.
The picture shows the curry served with rice made as follows:
Prepare the rice with salt in the usual way but add a knob of butter, a tsp of crushed garlic, a tsp of turmeric and a tsp of fenugreek leaves.
You can also substitute a proportion the water with coconut milk, or coconut cream.