Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken)

I'm only posting it for Avi. I only dream of having these kinds of recipes. :o)

So, unfortunately, because there are 1,000 spices we use in Indian cooking, I would have a tendency to just mix everything together…and everything would taste the same. So, my cheat sheet recipe book is called Complete Indian Cooking.” (On Amazon, there are used versions of the book for $6!)

This book totally gets my Indian approval if you are looking for an Indian cookbook. It has vegetarian dishes, lamb dishes, desserts, appetizers...and very large, colorful pictures of the food. Okay, moving on…:o)

Ingredients for Chicken Makhani
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 2 inch pieces)
Vegetable oil

3 large red chilies, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves (I use garlic paste)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is always best)
.75 cup plain yogurt
(Note--I've been able to find all of these spices at regular grocery stores, by the way. :-D)

3 lbs ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Marinade - Place the ingredients in a food processor (I use a blender) briefly to produce a paste. Transfer the marinade into a nonmetallic bowl with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. (I never do that because I don’t have time, by the way, but you can.)

Sauce - While the chicken is marinading, place the tomatoes into a large saucepan and cook them gently with no added water for about 20 minutes, until they are tender. Rub them through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan. Simmer the tomato pulp on medium heat for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally until it is thick and reduced. Stir in the butter, stir often, and let it cook for a further 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and heat it through. Taste and adjust the amount of salt if necessary. Put aside.

Heat oil in a large pan, pour chicken into pan and cook on high heat. Add the tomato sauce to the pan and cook until chicken is cooked through. Serve with a swirl of cream and cilantro sprig to garnish. You can serve it with rice or naan.

Notes about this recipe--just as the book states perfectly, I tend to spice the food that I cook a lot more than what they recommend and I never use measuring spoons. I add in chilli powder, some red peppers, more cilantro and garam masala…so, have fun with it! :-D Also, I usually double the recipe... (Click here if you want to see a picture of the finished product and my messy kitchen.)