A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the Joey restaurant at the Eaton center. While there I got to enjoy a lot of tasty food including sushi that was made right in front of you, a meat and cheese board made with local and international ingredients and a penang prawn curry bowl. The dish that stood out the most for me however was the bombay butter chicken and I took that as the perfect excuse to try making at home! (If you are interested in seeing some photos of the opening you can take a look at my flickr gallery .)
Butter chicken or murgh makhani, is an Indian dish where chicken that is marinated in a yogurt based marinade filled with aromatic spices is served in a buttery and creamy tomato based sauce. The chicken is normally cooked in a tandoor but you can just as easily grill it or cook it up any way you like. As luck would have it, I already had a recipe for a tasty grilled tandoori chicken so I went with that. Up next is the tomato sauce which as the name suggests includes butter along with some cream that makes it a very rich and creamy sauce indeed. (To make things even creamier I also added some almond butter.) One of the primary and characteristic flavours of butter chicken is the fenugreek leaves or kasuri methi which I had never used before so I needed to track them down before hand.
Although the list of ingredients for the tandoor chicken and the curry combined is quite large the recipe is actually pretty easy. Since the chick should marinate over night anyways you just need to worry about the butter chicken sauce which should leave you with some time to make some rice or even fresh naan to go with the meal. I served the butter chicken garnished with cilantro, toasted almond slices and a drizzle of yogurt, though a dab of melting butter is also really nice.
Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
Tender grilled chicken in a creamy and buttery tomato curry
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground
- 2 cups tomato (fresh or canned), pureed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 batch tandoori chicken
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 2 tablespoons cashew or almond butter (optional)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- salt to taste
- butter (optional for garnish)
- cilantro (optional for garnish), chopped
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the cinnamon, cloves, cumin and coriander and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and cayenne, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the chicken, honey, fenugreek, almond butter and cream and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
- Add the garam masala and salt and remove from heat.
- Serve over basmati rice garnished with butter and cilantro.