Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Butter Chicken with Home Made Naan

Being British, you may not realize it, but our staple food isn't fish and chips, it's actually curry. And the best curry, bar none, is butter chicken (or chicken tikka masala as we call it in England). Butter chicken (or murgh makhani) is an Indian dish from Punjab, popular in countries all over the world. Although both Tracey and I have often cooked Indian food, we wanted to take it to the next level and see how we could make really authentic Indian food.

To that end, we attended a cookery class by Chura Prakash (Fremont, CA). She showed us how to make the most AMAZING butter chicken, and this is her recipe below. It consists of two parts, first you have to make and cook the chicken tandoori, then you make the butter chicken sauce. It's a little fiddly, but it makes a LOT and it freezes very well. You can even make more of the chicken tandoori and save it to have cold with salad or on top of pizza (try it, it's awesome). The tandoori masala and garam masala are available from most Indian grocery stores.

Tandoori Chicken
Chicken - 2 lb
Plain yogurt - 1 1/2 cup
Garlic - 8 cloves
Tandoori Masala - 7 tbsp
Garam Masala - 3/4 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp

  1. Wash the chicken and cut into small pieces. Make suts on the chicken with a knife.
  2. Mix the yogurt, tandoori masala, garam masala, lemon juice and finely grated or crushed garlic. Marinate the chicken in it for up to 6 hours.
  3. Grill on a well oiled grill for 5 - 10 mins (or you can bake it in the oven)
  4. Cover and let cool or proceed with the butter chicken sauce

Butter Chicken

Cooked tandoori chicken - 2 lbs
Butter - 2 tps
Tomato sauce - 4 x 8 oz cans
Garlic - 6 cloves
Ginger - 1 x 1" piece
Green chili's - 2
Cloves - 6
Black peppercorns - 12
Green cardamom - 4
Black cardamom - 2
Cinnamon - 2
Bay leaf - 2
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
Sugar (use stivia or xylatol for a healthier alternative) - 3 tsp
Roasted dry funugreek leaves - 4 tbsp
Whipping cream - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1 1/2 cups

  1. Heat the butter in a pan. Add all the dry whole masala (spices) and let them crackle. Add the finely grated ginger, garlic and finely chopped green chili. Saute for a few minutes, add the tomato sauce and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add the red chili powder, salt, sugar and garam masala.
  3. Add the cream, milk and dry fenugreek.
  4. Cook for a few more minutes
  5. Add the cooked tandoori chicken pieces and cook for 5 mins. Serve with hot naan bread.