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Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is a rich and indulgent dish from the northern Indian region of Punjab. Delhi can also be classed as the home of murgh makhani.

bar Butter Chicken
There are several variations of this dish and more often than not, there are no onions.

Picture by Werner Van Peppen

Serves 4

100g peeled plum tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp unsweetened natural yogurt
2 tbsp double cream
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chilli powder
A large pinch of ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground peppercorns
4 tbsp vegetable oil
500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 medium onions, finely chopped
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground fenugreek or 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
15g butter
¼ tsp garam masala
A few coriander leaves


Tip the tomatoes into a blender and blend until smooth, then set aside.
Put the garlic, yogurt, cream, black pepper, paprika, chilli powder, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large bowl and stir well.
Add the chicken pieces to this marinade and stir until well coated.
Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, to let the flavours blend.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or wok over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
Add the salt and fenugreek and continue frying for a further 1 minute until you can smell th aroma.
Tip in the tomatoes and continue stirring for 3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes quite thick.
Stir in the butter, add the chicken and the marinade and reduce the heat to low.
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through. Check by cutting a piece of chicken in half - the juices should run clear. Sprinkle over the garam masala and coriander leaves and serve hot with naans.


(c) 2012

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