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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Butter Chicken Masala

BUTTER CHICKEN MASALA....the name itself makes me drool! I have already talked about butter chicken in Amritsari Murgh Makhani post. You may wonder then why another butter chicken recipe. Let me tell you, this is purely my version and the difference in taste and flavor of the two are so different. Try both and take your pick ;)

As the name speaks for itself it ''Butter" chicken! And with a 'waistline issue' in my family, this dish a big NO NO. But it's an absolute favorite to my husband and I simply cannot eliminate this altogether from our kitchen. But what I can do is, cut down as much as calorie I can and still satisfy my taste buds. 

So when its just me and my husband I generally substitute butter with oil and fresh cream with milk. And milk also gives creaminess to the gravy. In fact you can find a lot of recipes where I use milk very often. Its still delicious! But if I have a family get-together I use butter and cream generously ;) After all its a special occasion, right? 

So if you have been calorie conscious and avoiding this delicious chicken dish, then am sure you will no more after trying this recipe!

Serves 3

You Will Need:

For Marination:

500g of Boneless Chicken
A tbsp of Ginger garlic Paste
3 tbsp of Hung Curd / yogurt (Not thin)
1/2 tsp of Turmeric Powder
A tsp of Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp of Ground Cumin Powder
Little Salt

For the Gravy:

3 - 4 tbsp of Ghee / Butter / Oil
3 Medium onions
7 Whole Cashew Nuts
3 Cardamom Pods
2 Cinnamon Sticks
5 Cloves
1 Bay leaf
4 Large Tomatoes, Pureed
2 Green Chilies, Finely Chopped
Cup of Luke warm Whole Milk or 3/4th Cup of Heavy cream 
A tbsp of Crushed Kasuri Methi
1/2 tsp of Sugar
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
Red Chili Powder (If required)
Red Food Colour (Optional, I never use it)
Salt to Taste

The Cooking:

Step 1:

Mix all the ingredients together and let it marinate for at least an hour. 

Step 2:

Heat a non stick kadai on high and add 2 tbsp butter / ghee /oil. Once hot add the chicken and saute on high till it turns a nice golden brown colour. You can add the excess marinade and cook till the chicken is almost done. Transfer the chicken to bowl and keep aside covered. 

Step 3:

On the same kadai saute the onions, cashews and whole garam masala till they go pink and translucent. Remove from heat cool and grind this to a smooth paste. 

For the tomato puree, you can either blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and grind to a smooth paste or do what I do. I learnt this trick from Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi. So what you do is add little oil on the same kadai and saute the quartered tomatoes. Cook covered on medium heat till the tomatoes are all mushy. Let it cool and grind to a smooth puree. What this does is, it gives a nice bright red colour to the puree and thicker texture. Ok now done with the prep work, lets get on with the gravy.

Step 4:

Heat oil / ghee / butter to the same pan. Add green chilies and saute for few seconds. Then add the onion paste and saute on high. Saute till the onion paste starts to lump around and no more sticks to the bottom. Only then the onion paste is fully cooked or else you will get the raw taste of onions. 

Step 5:

Pour in the tomato puree and saute on medium heat for couple of 2 - 3 mins. Always cover and cook the tomato puree, because they will splatter all over. 

Step 6:

Then add required salt (remember salt already added to the chicken marinade), red chilli powder (if you want more heat), sugar, garam masala and kasuri methi. Stir everything together and cook for couple of mins. 

Step 7:

Add the chicken along with the juices from resting the chicken into the gravy and stir. Add the milk and stir well on low heat. Cook cover on low heat till the gravy thickens, it would take around 5 mins. 

If adding cream you don't have to cook that 5 mins. Just stir everything well and take off heat after a min. 

Serve Hot with Naan


There are few points to keep in mind when cooking with milk. 

  • If you are not adding milk to the gravy, you can add juice of half a lime to the chicken marinade. If you are adding milk, skip that lime juice just to be on the safer side of not splitting the gravy. 
  • Keep the heat on low when adding the milk. 

Happy Cooking!


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