Friday, April 22, 2011

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

My husband and I really enjoy Indian cuisine but we rarely have a chance to eat it. Our choices of Indian restaurants in town are limited. So I decided to try making some of our favorite dishes here at home. Last night I made Chicken Makhani aka Indian Butter Chicken. I do have say, this tasted excellent. Even my son devoured this delightful dish. I found several recipes online and I am sure some are more traditional than others but I chose a recipe that uses ingredients that are easily available. I adapted my recipe from Joelen at What's Cookin', Chicago . I love her blog and truly have had wonderful luck with any recipe I use from her site. You can find her recipe here and my changes below ....

Recipe adapted from Joelen at What's Cookin, Chicago

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds chicken on bone, cut into large pieces (keep leg pieces whole)
1 teaspoon garam masala (I used Tastefully Simple's Flavors of India Seasoning Salt)
1 pinch cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy/hot)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon garam masala (I used Tastefully Simple's Flavors of India Seasoning Salt)
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used dried cilantro)
1/4 cup finely ground cashews (the cashews act as a thickening agent. I didn't have any on hand so omitted and it still turned out great)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala (or Tastefully Simple's Flavors of India Seasoning Salt) and cayenne. Cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by heating 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, ground coriander and bay leaf. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half, yogurt and cilantro. Reduce heat to low, and add the browned chicken. Simmer for at least 1 hour (or until chicken starts to fall of the bone), stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add the ground cashews and stir. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

NOTE: You may make this recipe with 1 lb of boneless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces and reduce the cooking time from 1 hour to 10 minutes.

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