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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Indian Butter Chicken



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I appreciate irony. We spent weeks in India, and while chicken stroganoff was featured every evening, we never once were served the famous Indian butter chicken, murgh makhani. The dish is popular in countries all over the world and its absence while we were in India was a bit strange and caused a giggle or two. I honestly believe it was absent from our menus because everyone assumed that someone else had served it and they were trying to please us by offering something new. The dish is made with chicken (murgh) that's marinated in a spicy yogurt sauce before being grilled or cooked in a clay oven, called a tandoor. The sauce (makhani) is made by combining butter, tomato puree and spices with fresh cream. It is my habit to prepare the most popular entrees of the countries we visit prior to an extended trip. It helps us to know what to expect and makes it much easier to adjust to a new cuisine. Butter chicken was one of the dishes I learned to make before we left for India. We have one small Indian restaurant in our community and I used their chicken as my point of comparison. I found an extremely simple recipe developed by Carla Fitzgerald Williams and used that as my base. Her recipe differs from most, in that it uses a deli rotisserie chicken to emulate the texture of the tandoor chicken used in more traditional recipes. I have three recipes for butter chicken. I use this one only when authenticity is not a concern. It's quick, easy and very flavorful. I offer it here for those of you who have never tried butter chicken. This is a wonderful introduction to Indian cuisine. It is much kinder to a beginner's palate than some of the other dishes you might be tempted to try. Garam masala, described here, is the dominant spice mix in this sauce. You should be able to find it in the spice aisle of any major grocery chain. This is a really nice recipe. You can find extensive reviews of it, here. Here's the recipe.

Indian Butter Chicken...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Carla Fitzgerald Williams

Ingredients:
Spice Blend
1 tablespoon garam masala seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 skinless rotisserie chicken, boned out and pulled into 1-1/2 by 1/2-inch chunks or shredded
1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, placed in a colander and run under hot water to thaw
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Optional: Hot basmati rice, pita bread

Directions:
1) To make spice blend: Stir ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
2) To make sauce: Melt butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until pieces just begin to turn gold, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste and spice blend. Cook for 1 minute until spices are fragrant, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and stir will. Add chicken pieces, spoon sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.
3) To finish: Shake any excess water from peas. Add peas and cream to sauce in the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve with rice and warmed pita bread. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.

Your might also enjoy these recipes:
Murgh Makhani:Butter Chicken - eCurry
Butter Chicken - 2FrugalFoodies
Indian Butter Chicken - Mommy Cooks
Indian Butter Chicken - Life's Ambrosia
Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken) - What's Cookin', Chicago?
Indian Butter Chicken: Murgh Makhani - Sea Salt with Food
Crockpot Butter Chicken - Food and Whine
Butter Chicken - The English Kitchen
Grilled Indian Butter Chicken - The Parsley Thief

82 comments :

Elin said...

Mary...this is one great chicken dish...I can imagine how tasty this is...with garam masala and spicy yogurt...yummy !

And you cook it so well that I am sure your family enjoyed it much since they missed it when you were all in India :)

Katerina said...

Indian kitchen is a very rich one with a vast variety of dishes. This is a beautiful adaptation of this classic Indian dish!

AreYouSureThatsVegan said...

Whoa! I couldn't wait for this to try it on. Lovely post!

Umm Mymoonah said...

Of all the curries, this is one which I like the most. Your preparation looks very delicious.

Michael said...

I seem to recall watching a program by Heston Blumenthal where he researched butter chicken and discovered that it was a Western dish, and that butter chicken in India was a completely different dish - maybe this is why you did not discover it in India? Tastes good though, and is one of my favorites. Will have to give this a go.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

We love spicy food so this one sounds like we have to try it. Thanks. Take care. Diane

Katy ~ said...

Mary, this does indeed look very, very good, even to my shy spicy tastes. I am going to bookmark this. Thanks for posting this so that we may all enjoy this dish.

Three-Cookies said...

This dish is really awesome and I don't think I ate this in India. Its quite popular in Australia, perhaps easier to find it there than in India

My Little Space said...

I didn't know there's an Indian butter chicken! Yeah, maybe you're right about them. They don't want to serve the same meal every day. ha... Na, I think maybe it's too expensive to get those ingredients there. LOL! Whatever! I think yours look very very tempting. Since I have everything in hand. Maybe I can make this tomorrow. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy & have a great day.
Blessings, Kristy

Ana Rita said...

I jsut adore Indian cuisine...It's my favourite!!I make some dishes but this one i surelly gonna try!!!

Kisses,
Rita

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Delicious,ur pics makes me hungry...nice version.

Lauren said...

I adore all things Indian and this sounds great. Smart use of the rotisserie chicken.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Isn't it great that you can grab a rotisserie chicken and enjoy a quick treat like this? Everytime I use one, I think how fortunate we are. No chasing down the chicken and wringing its neck, dressing it and then cooking it... only to finally add it to a recipe! We are blessed... Thank you for this recipe, Mary.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Mary, it is so handy to have a few recipes around that use deli chicken for when you're in a hurry. This is beautiful with the green peas and sounds like it has just the right amount of spice.
Sam

bellini valli said...

Butter chicken is so popular here, I am as surprised as you that it was not on the table in India.

Clint said...

Isn't it just a beautiful presentation? I'd love to take just One Perfect Bite of it.

peps said...

hello Mary!
thank you for visiting my blog!nice to see you there!
this indian recipe looks great!i will try it soon!i love indian and thai food!!!!

Elaine said...

I've had this dish at an Indian restaurant here and it is quite good and yours looks good.

Jenn said...

I just recently tried Indian Butter chicken and, wow, it was fantastic! I will definitely be giving this a try!

Parsley Sage said...

Delicious and dummy proof! Perfect for my house :)

Karen Harris said...

Being a huge Indian fan, I will have to try this recipe. Presently I am on a Tikka Masala binge at our house after freshly coming off of my years long Chicken Korma binge. I usually cook my chicken on my outdoor grill which gives it a smoky flavor I love.

Kim said...

I lve indian butter chicken and yours looks good. And it's of course pretty ironic that you never had this meal in India...

La cucina di Irina said...

Hello, this recipe is so beautiful!
I'll try it soon.

Irina

June said...

Love butter chicken and can't wait to try this with one of the big guy's rotisserie birds. Thanks Mary - we can always count on you for fabulous food.

Priya said...

One of my fav, thats truly irresistible..

Rita said...

Love butter chicken, but never had a recipe I wanted to try until I found yours. This really sounds perfect.
Rita

Cathy said...

I have to admit that I've never tried butter chicken although I've read about it many times. This looks like the perfect recipe to start with, Mary. Thanks for introducing me to the lovely dish.

Christine (Cook the Story) said...

Butter Chicken is one of my all-time favorite dishes. And yet, I've never managed to perfect it at home. It just never has that perfect harmony of creaminess and spice that I've had in good restaurants. I will be trying your version soon. Fingers crossed that I've found THE ONE!

Big Dude said...

Mary - You make everyone of your dishes look so good via your excellent photos.

Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures said...

I have to admit...I know very little about Indian cuisine..but would like to get to know more. Maybe this dish would be a good place to start? It looks wonderful! :)

Allie said...

I've been looking for a simple Indian dish to try making and I think I finally found it! I've been itching to make naan so this will be the perfect dish to make with it.

lena said...

himary, i think it's just fascinating to learn dishes from that particular country each time u r visitng. these butter chichken sounds exotic!

PeggyR said...

Oh yum that sounds good!

Suman Singh said...

Looks yummy and delicious!

brandi said...

My husband and I have been falling more and more in love with Indian food lately, and this looks delicious!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Duxa said...

Lovely post,perfect for my house!
Cheers:)

Soumya Vineeth said...

Slurp! Drool drools, nothing more to say!

Laural (bhealthier) said...

great chicken dish!!!! I made an indian kinda chicken the other day that I'm posting soon- how funny!

I am jealous that you learned this recipe in INDIA! Wow, what an amazing experience that must have been?

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

Indian butter chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes. Looks amazing...I can't wait to give it a try! :)

Pam said...

Mary, your chicken dish sounds very tasty! I've heard of this but have never made it so must give it a try.

Lynda said...

Your butter chicken looks wonderful Mary...I like that it is an easy adaption, which will make it more feasable to enjoy this dish more often.
How funny that you didn't get to sample this dish in India!
Have a great day.

lostpastremembered said...

I just saw another recipe for this and copied it... must be a food tune on the internet that everyone is humming. Can't wait to try it. Yours is the more simple of the 2... it is a great recipe with butter and cream and chicken... what can be wrong>???

Sushma Mallya said...

Lovely recipe Mary , it's come out perfect!

That Girl said...

This and saag paneer are two of my favorite Indian dishes.

Joanne said...

That seems like going to Italy and not eating pasta! Craziness. Well at least you know how to make a mean version at home! It looks delicious!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

This looks so easy and I have everything in the house. Thanks for the recipe.

Kath said...

Your timing couldn't be better for me, Mary! It just so happens that I have a large amount of leftover rotisserie chicken from the 5.5 pound chicken I made the day before yesterday. This looks like the perfect use for it. Thanks so much!

The Blonde Duck said...

It sounds really good, and I've never had Indian food!

Chiara said...

I love chicken...Yummy!Lovely post Mary, a hug...

Shanae Branham said...

Wow! This makes my mouth water. Thank you for your supportive words about my new header. It's good to know the changes I am making are in a positive direction.

Plateful said...

Butter chicken is one of the richest Indian gravies and our family favorite too. The kids especially love to mop it up with naan. Your curry has come out sinfully rich and tempting!

Mickey said...

Mary,
This has been on my list to make forever. Maybe I will try yours - it looks perfectly do-able :)
Thanks,
mickey

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Wonderful preparation...loved it...

Kim said...

This butter chicken looks so wonderful to me right now. I have only tried butter chicken once, a PW recipe, and I absolutely loved it. This version with the rotisserie chicken sounds (and looks) extremely appealing.

muppy said...

Yum, i've tried to make butter chicken a few times but it usually lacks the depth of flavour of the ones at the indian resturants.

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Gorgeous looking butter chicken. It looks so rich but great comfort food.

tootie said...

This looks so good! I can't wait to try it!

Claudia said...

All that buttery creaminess with a touch of heat always draws me in. It is funny that you made this dinner to prepare yourself for - chicken stroganoff.

Maria said...

Such a delicious dish, I've tried making butter chicken a couple of times but they never turned out this gorgeous! I'll have to try your recipe next time :-)

Cooking Creation said...

I've been really getting into Indian cooking recently, so I'm thrilled that you shared this recipe. I can't wait to try it out!

Wendy Irene said...

Mary, thank you very much for your sweet comment today! I have never made butter chicken before and this recipe makes me excited because I feel like I could do it! I love rotissery chicken. It is a great way to go. Have a wonderful evening :)

Design Wine and Dine said...

That IS funny you were never served this dish while over in India! At least they were serving you stroganoff and not something like McDonalds chicken sandwiches just b/c you guys were American!

I adore Indian food and this recipe look perfect and not too difficult - perfect!

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog, it means a lot coming from you! :)

kitchen flavours said...

This dish looks delicious! It must be really disappointing not being able to taste this while you are in India. But you've more than made up for it now! Looks scrumptious!

Jeannie said...

I love indian cuisine too and am fortunate enough to be able to satiate my cravings quite easily here that I have not thought of cooking my own:P

Ryan said...

This looks delish! I love Indian food but have never attempted to cook it myself. This may be a good first attempt for me. This sounds great and love the convenience of using rotisserie chicken!

yummychunklet said...

An Indian food dish is on my "to do" list! I'm making this one this weekend!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I love this recipe - it looks easy. My family will love this.

By the way, you are getting so many comments these days. What a sweet following you have.

Fondly,
Glenda

tasteofbeirut said...

I have seen this chicken before and have always wanted to make it; I need to plan it and do it! Yours looks fantastic.

Mary said...

Glenda, I'm grateful for every single one of them. They, and you, make blogging a joy. Have a great evening. Hugs and blessings...Mary

penny aka jeroxie said...

This chicken recipe is a keeper for colder days :)

Ginny said...

This looks so good, I think I'm going to try it. After all, it starts with a rotisserie chicken, what's not to love?? Sorry I'm so late today, I am late in most of my comments, I wonder if you will even see this?

JasmyneTea said...

Indian food is something I'm not very familiar with, but would love to try! Trouble is, Indian restaurants in my area have BAD reputations. Think I'll try this recipe instead! :)

Stephen said...

I have never really tried any real Indian dishes. This looks like fun and tasty food. I am going to have to investigate some of the seasonings like garam marsala. Anew term for me.

Min {Honest Vanilla} said...

I love butter chicken! One of my favourite comfort food :) Your photo just convinced me that I should try yours!

tandysinclair.com said...

I love butter chicken :)

A Busy Nest said...

This looks like a great dish! YUM. I love Indian food.

Simply Life said...

oh this dish looks incredible!

Kayte said...

A few of us who like to cook/bake together on Twitter are going to make this on Sunday night, so thanks in advance for letting us steal this one to Twittercook. Looks wonderful!

Mary said...

Michael, the research I've done says that this dish was originally part of Punjabi cuisine. I'm going to try to find a transcript of the Blumenthal program. I love to do this kind of research.

RamblingTart said...

I'm so thrilled you posted this recipe, Mary. :-) I love butter chicken so much but have never made it myself. Now I know what to do with the chicken breasts waiting for me at home. :-)

Soma said...

This indeed is a signature dish of Northern and it is very unfortunate that it was not served. However I do know that unlike the Indian restaurants in US, ALL restaurants in India do not go my the unsaid rules that this has to be served.

Your looks wonderful and thank you so much for the link Mary.

Cher said...

Mary - I finally had the opportunity to make this for the family this weekend. Even the fussy eaters enjoyed this. It also brought back some lovely memories of eating meals prepared by the mother of one of my dear friends in college (her family had recently relocated to the US from India).

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