Butter Chicken

I fell in love with Indian food in college. Coming from Small Town, Texas neither Blythe nor I had ever tried Indian food before we left our tiny towns for the big bad university world. For both of us, it was love at first bite. While chewing, we both looked at each other in utter disbelief. I didn’t know that my life was missing Indian food until that moment, but I’ve done my best to make up for my Indian-foodless years since then. Today, I’m sharing one of our favorite Indian food dishes with you!

Here in the U.K., Indian restaurants make up the majority of eating establishments. Indian dishes are just as much woven into the comfort food of the nation as the traditional English and Scottish dishes. The people here absolutely love Indian food and have for several hundred years. For this reason, and because we have totally fallen in love with the cuisine, Blythe and I have taken the opportunity this past year to eat as much Indian food as humanely possible.

This recipe for butter chicken (or Murgh Makhani) is extremely authentic and a great way to enjoy restaurant quality Indian food in your own home!

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Not surprisingly, Indian food is completely different in spices used and style of cooking than southern U.S. food, but I would argue that it is equally as comforting. If you have trouble finding any of the spices in this recipe on the spice aisle, check the international aisle and the bulk foods section. Often Indian spices are stocked in these areas and they’re normally much cheaper than the little bottles of spices in the spice section!

Some of the most popular Indian dishes are in the style known as “curry”. The definition of a curry is vegetables or meat in a sauce, normally served over rice. A common misconception is that “curry” is a single spice when, in fact, the bagged curry powder is a mix of spices that can be used to flavor a curry style dish (think of it like a fajita or taco seasoning mix). Depending on where you get them, curry powders can be very different.

So anyway, all of this to say that Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) is a curry style dish and one of the most popular comfort dishes in India, the U.K., and our house. Give this dish a try, it may become a comfort food for your family, too!

This recipe is based on a recipe by the famous Indian chef Maunika Gowardhan. Without further adieu, here’s how you make scrumptious Butter Chicken:

  1. Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan and add the butter.
  2. Add the green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves and fry for 20 seconds.
  3. Add the onions and sauté for 5-7 mins on medium heat until they take on a light brown color.

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4. Add the grated ginger and slit jalapenos and fry for a minute.

5. Add the paprika, garam masala powder along with the tomato puree. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Add in the chicken breasts and cook for 3 minutes on each side until they are cooked through.

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7. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and cut it into large bite sized pieces.

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8. Add the chicken back into the pan and gradually add the heavy cream stirring continuously to mix all the spices with the cream. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

9. At this stage add a splash of water if the curry is too thick for your liking. Stir in the honey and the fenugreek powder. Season with salt to taste and simmer the curry on a low heat for 8-10 minutes.

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10. Serve over rice and alongside naan bread! (Pictured below over couscous)

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Butter Chicken served over couscous

I hope you love this Indian comfort food as much as we do!

Happy eating!

Butter Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tbs butter
  • 5 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 heaped tbs fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 jalapenos, cut lengthwise
  • 1 tsp mild paprika
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 3 tbs tomato puree
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs fenugreek leaf powder
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan and add the butter.
  2. Add the green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves and fry for 20 seconds.
  3. Add the onions and sauté for 5-7 mins on medium heat until they take on a light brown color.
  4. Add the grated ginger and slit jalapenos and fry for a minute.
  5. Add the paprika, garam masala powder along with the tomato puree. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
  6.  Add in the chicken breasts and cook for 3 minutes on each side until they are cooked through.
  7. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and cut it into large bite sized pieces.
  8. Add the chicken back into the pan and gradually add the heavy cream stirring continuously to mix all the spices with the cream. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  9. At this stage add a splash of water if the curry is too thick for your liking. Stir in the honey and the fenugreek powder. Season with salt to taste and simmer the curry on a low heat for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Serve over rice and alongside naan bread!

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Butter Chicken

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