Butter Chicken (murg makhani)

One of the other recipes that I fell instantly in love with is butter chicken. It’s very simple and uses less ingredients than the lamb saag. You don’t need a live fire to cook the chicken, but it makes a difference if you have a grill or tandor. The purees are simple to make. I use a little smoothie machine and add some vegetable oil to make it easier. I usually make a cup at a time as it stores well for a day or two in the referigerator. I find that Indian feasts are easiest to make over a couple of days. I usually make four or five dishes plus naan.

1 T. garlic puree
1 T. ginger puree
3 oz. Greek yogurt
1 t. kashmiri chili, ground
1 t. garam masala
2 lbs. chicken thighs, cubed

Puree the yogurt wtih the garlic and ginger purees, then mix in the spices. Toss the cubed chicken thighs in the mixture, and marinate for at least one hour up to overnight. Next, make the sauce:

2 T. vegetable oil
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 bay leaf
1 can san marzano tomatoes
2 T. methi leaves

Heat the oil over high heat, and add the spices. Cook, stirring, until the cloves and the cinnamon swell. Add the tomatoes and methi, and stir to combine. Add a little salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick then puree until smooth.

Add the cream and mix well. At this point, the sauce is done. You can cool and refrigerate it, or finish the dish right away.

To finish, broil the chicken. You can use the oven or a live fire. I usually skewer the meat and cook it in the tandoor. When the meat is about half way cooked and hopefully lightly browned, add it to the hot sauce and simmer for about five minutes. Garnish with a little chopped cilantro.