Butter Chicken: A Beloved Indian Dish

Indian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and diverse range of dishes. Among these culinary delights, Butter Chicken holds a special place in the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide.

Butter chicken recipe

Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a popular North Indian dish that originated in the 1950s in Delhi, India. This delectable curry is made with succulent pieces of grilled chicken cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce.

Its Popularity Worldwide

Butter Chicken is one of those dishes that you can never get enough of. Its rich and aromatic flavors, combined with its creamy texture, have captivated the taste buds of people from different cultures and backgrounds.

The dish’s appeal lies in its harmonious blend of spices and ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, garam masala, and fenugreek leaves. The velvety tomato sauce adds a tangy sweetness to balance out the slight heat from the spices.

With its versatility and ability to be enjoyed with various accompaniments like naan or rice, this dish has become a go-to choice for both casual dining and special occasions around the world. From local Indian restaurants to high-end establishments, this flavorful dish can be found on menus everywhere, catering to the ever-growing demand for authentic Indian cuisine.

Its popularity has transcended geographical boundaries as more people are experimenting with global flavors and embracing international culinary experiences. It has become a symbol of the rich cultural exchange happening in the world of food.

The Story Behind its Invention

The credit for inventing Butter Chicken goes to Kundan Lal Gujral, a renowned chef and founder of the iconic restaurant Moti Mahal in Delhi. Legend has it that this dish was born out of a creative experiment.

Gujral wanted to find a way to utilize leftover tandoori chicken from the previous day’s service. He decided to create a rich and flavorful gravy using butter, tomatoes, cream, and an array of aromatic spices. The resulting dish was an instant hit with customers and soon gained immense popularity.

Inspiration and Influences behind the Dish

While Kundan Lal Gujral is credited with inventing Butter Chicken, he drew inspiration from traditional Punjabi cooking techniques and flavors. The combination of smoky tandoori chicken with a creamy gravy showcased the perfect blend of Indian spices.

This dish also bears similarities to another popular Indian recipe called “Chicken Tikka.” Both dishes involve marinating chicken in yogurt and spices before cooking it in a tandoor (a traditional clay oven). However, Butter Chicken sets itself apart with its rich and velvety gravy.

Over time, Butter Chicken has evolved and adapted to different regional variations across India and even globally. Chefs have added their own unique twists by incorporating ingredients like cashew paste, fenugreek leaves, or almonds into the gravy.

Today, Butter Chicken remains one of the most beloved North Indian dishes, enjoyed by people of all backgrounds. Its rich and creamy texture, combined with the perfect balance of spices, continues to tantalize taste buds and leave a lasting impression.

Preparing the Iconic Dish

Let’s explore some techniques that will elevate your cooking game.

Marination Process with Yogurt and Spices

The first step in preparing Butter Chicken is marinating the chicken pieces to infuse them with flavor. A traditional method involves using yogurt and a blend of aromatic spices. Start by combining plain yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt in a bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and ensure they are fully coated. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours, but overnight marination is recommended for maximum flavor infusion.

Butter chicken marinade

Cooking in a Tandoor (Clay Oven)

To achieve an authentic smoky flavor and charred texture, cooking in a tandoor (clay oven) is highly preferred. The intense heat of the tandoor seals in the juices and imparts a distinct taste to the dish.

Tandoori chicken

Preheat the tandoor to high temperature before placing marinated chicken pieces on skewers or directly on the clay walls of the oven. Cook for around 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and has a slight charred appearance.

Alternate Method Using an Oven

If you don’t have access to a tandoor oven, fear not! You can still prepare delicious Butter Chicken using a regular oven.

Baked butter chicken

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place marinated chicken pieces on a lined baking sheet or in a baking dish. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and has a slight golden color.

Rich Tomato-Based Gravy

The hallmark of Butter Chicken is its luscious tomato-based gravy, which adds depth and richness to the dish. The key ingredients for the gravy include tomatoes, butter, cream, onions, garlic, ginger, and a blend of spices.

To prepare the gravy, sauté finely chopped onions in butter until golden brown. Add minced garlic and ginger paste to enhance the flavors. Next, add pureed tomatoes along with spices such as garam masala, red chili powder, and salt. Allow the gravy to simmer until it thickens and the flavors meld together.

Finish off by adding fresh cream to give the gravy a creamy texture and a touch of sweetness. Allow it to simmer for a few more minutes before adding the cooked chicken pieces.

By following these preparation methods and techniques, you can create an authentic and mouth watering Butter Chicken dish that will impress your family and friends.

Recreate Butter Chicken at Home Using Cook Curry

Are you craving the rich and creamy flavors of butter chicken but don’t want to order takeout? Look no further! With the help of Cook Curry’s instant curry mix, you can recreate this popular Indian dish right in your own kitchen.

Instant butter chicken curry sauce
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Our Butter Chicken Curry Mix, also called Shahi Paneer, is a convenient curry blend that enables you to quickly prepare tasty Shahi Paneer or Butter Chicken Curry in only 10 minutes. The packaging provides detailed cooking instructions.

This mix is produced in the Netherlands in a facility that resembles a home, guaranteeing hygiene and the use of locally-sourced ingredients. Despite being a dry blend, it is free from preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors. It maintains its quality for several months when stored properly. You can serve this mix to your family with confidence whenever you wish.

To complete your homemade Butter Chicken experience, consider serving it alongside traditional accompaniments like Naan and Basmati rice.

Grab yours today!

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