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Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Everyday Cooking"- Butter Chicken/Chicken Makhani

Sometime last week,my friend 'P' gave me a sample of some Butter chicken that she had cooked for lunch.It was so delicious and tasted so much like butter chicken from 'Indian restaurant'...it was obvious that I asked her for the recipe.She said it was 'Vah' chefs recipe...from 'VahreVah'.
So I visited this site -'www.vahrevah.com'  and looked up this recipe by Chef Sanjay Thumma.
I have tried making Butter chicken before and know the general outline of the sauce..tomato cream sauce with cashews etc....but this recipe also had 'Kasoori Methi' which gives the chicken its distinct flavor and smell like from 'Indian restaurant'. Also,in the restaurants,they make butter chicken by using boneless chicken pulled off from 'Tandoori chicken'.So it has that 'smoky' flavor as well as distinct red color.
I followed the general theme of the recipe..not the exact amounts (I never do so except for Baking) and added or modified it a little bit here and there...
1.5 lbs Chicken Drumsticks/ Boneless chicken
2 medium onions chopped
2-3 ripe tomatoes or 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4cup cashews
2tsp cilantro chopped
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1tbsp Cumin-coriander powder
1tsp Butter chicken masala
1/4tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp Chili powder
1tsp kasoori methi
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2tsp sugar
2tsp butter
Red food color(optional)...I did not use it in this recipe
Almonds,cilantro for garnishing

1) Remove the skin from Chicken Drumsticks.Marinate with some ginger garlic paste,chili powder,salt and red color(optional..I did not use it).Put on baking sheet and bake in the oven for 40 mins at 375F.Let it cool for sometime to let the juices redistribute in the meat.
2) Meantime,fry onion,ginger garlic paste and tomatoes in 1tsp oil till nice and soft.Puree in the blender along with cilantro,cashews and kasoori methi.
3) Heat 2tsp butter,when it bubbles,add cumin seeds and the above paste and fry nicely.Add little water and the whole milk.Add butter chicken masala, cumin coriander powder,sugar and salt.The gravy should be little thick.This is a mild sauce and shouldn't be too spicy.It has a tender flavor ...little sour,sweet and smooth and silky.
4) Pull the chicken from the bones, slice it vertically and add to the gravy.Let it cook for 3-4 mins.
5) Add garam masala to the gravy.Mix.
6) Turn off the heat,add cilantro and almonds.
7) Serve hot with Naan/Chapati/ Rice.


  1. This looks so yummy.....I want to eat right now!

  2. Was it worth the effort to cook, chicken bone-in & take the bone out? How long did u marinate it?
    And I see u didn't use a tenderising/acidic agent in the marinate like lemon/curd/vinegar...inspite of the fact that the chicken was bone in....

  3. And at Wegmans, the butcher will remove the drumstick skin for you. They will also cut a whole/fryer chicken as per your say, remove skin, cut into 2" cubes etc....

  4. Oh wow..did not know that about Wegmans!Thanks Padma!
    Also,yes, though I did not use any tenderizing agents/acid,the chicken came out very tender and juicy.Just like in classic 'Butter chicken'. When you cook 'bone in', the chicken cooks tender than the 'boneless' one because of the natural juices.
    I did not marinate long either..just 10-15 mins may be.