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butter chicken

3 qt Mini Duo/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani

Butter Chicken or ‘Murgh Makhani‘ (literally means Buttery Chicken), is an authentic Punjabi dish that was created in the 1950s, in a super popular restaurant in New Delhi called ‘Moti Mahal Delux’. The founder and Chef of the restaurant decided to use left-over Tandoori Chicken in a rich and buttery tomato gravy. Little did he know, that he was creating one of the most popular curry dishes from the Indian subcontinent.

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani, Garam Masala KitchenIt is so popular all around the world that it will be hard to find an Indian restaurant that doesn’t serve this dish. It’s funny how till date whenever I am inviting non-Indian friends over for an Indian meal, they always expect Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala to be on the menu. Talking of Chicken Tikka Masala, CTM is the British cousin of Butter Chicken. So legend goes that somewhere in England, in an Indian restaurant, a customer ordered “Chicken Tikka“- grilled chicken skewers. He sent it back to the kitchen complaining that it was too dry and needed some sauce. So, the restaurant’s Bangladeshi chef improvised and made a sauce using a can of tomato soup, Indian spices and heavy cream, dunk the pieces in and finished the sauce with some ‘butter’, and that’s how Chicken Tikka Masala was born. So, you see how both dishes have a lot in common- both include marinated and grilled chicken simmered in a rich tomato based gravy- one is more creamy (BC), the other, more spicy and tomato-ey (CTM).

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani, Garam Masala KitchenI have grown up eating Butter Chicken! It happens to be my Mom’s favorite dish, and now my kids’ favorite too. Not so long ago, it used to be quite an intimidating dish to make at home since you could never get it to taste like the “restaurant”. But years of perfecting this recipe, using quality ingredients and pressure cooking techniques, I can now get that slow simmered flavor at home! So this one’s for my Mom and my kiddos- a super easy and authentic recipe for Butter Chicken. Enjoy it with Garlic Naan or simple and fragrant Cumin Basmati Rice.

Multiple uses of this recipe/sauce: This recipe is pretty versatile. You can make it vegetarian by switching the chicken with paneer. Simply marinate the paneer pieces, broil, them for 2 minutes and add them to the sauce after cooking it, in step 4 of this recipe. You can make this dish dairy-free by substituting ghee with oil and heavy cream with coconut cream or a thick coconut milk. I wouldn’t recommend using a fat-free or light version here. You need such little quantity anyway. I have used this sauce and put pre-made meatballs or veggie balls and you have Malai Koftas ready to impress!

In this recipe here, I have made Butter Chicken in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot. But this recipe can be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how:

  1. Follow steps to marinate and broil or grill the chicken.
  2. In a dutch oven or a wide sauce pot, melt butter, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds on medium flame.
  3. Add tomato puree, spices, half the cream and the grilled chicken pieces with their juices. Stir well and cook on medium flame for about 10-12 minutes, covered. Keep stirring every 2-3 minutes and if your sauce is beginning to look too thick, add 1/4 cup water so that it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom.
  4. Open the lid and simmer for another 5 minutes uncovered. Adjust seasoning and turn off the heat. Let is rest for 5 minutes. Add the remaining cream and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with Garlic Naan or Cumin Basmati Rice!

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes (plus marination time if applicable)

Ingredients

  • Marinade for Tandoori chicken:
  • 1-1.2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs or Breast (fat trimmed and cut in 2 inch pcs.)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4-1/2 Red Chili Powder or cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (olive oil for dairy free)
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (pureed with hand blender) or 4-5 ripe tomatoes pureed
  • 1 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4-1/2 Red Chili Powder or cayenne
  • 2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar/sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (coconut cream for a dairy free dish)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

1

Marinate chicken This step is optional, but highly recommended. If you don't have the time for it, add an additional teaspoon garam masala in the sauce. Combine all ingredients listed under "Marinade". Add chicken and coat well with the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes-4 hours. If you're short on time, broil it right away. Broil the chicken or grill it for 6-7 minutes. We're not cooking it through- just sealing the marinade flavors in the chicken.

2

Prepare sauce For the sauce, heat the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Add butter (or olive oil for a dairy free dish). Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds.

3

Add pureed tomatoes, spices and 1/2 of the heavy cream and stir well. Add grilled chicken pieces with their juices and stir well. Close lid, set valve to Sealing and cook on Manual for 5 minutes.

4

Open the lid after natural release of pressure (NPR). Add the remaining heavy cream and stir well. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with Naan or Cumin Basmati Rice!

3 qt Mini Duo/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes

No-Cream Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala in Instant Pot

Chicken Tikka Masala is a super popular Indian dish, where juicy grilled pieces of chicken are served in a creamy spicy tomato gravy. This is the British cousin of the popular Punjabi dish called Butter Chicken. Rumor has it that it is among the most popular dishes in United Kingdom. It is hard to find an Indian restaurant in the world, that doesn’t have this classic on it’s menu, and if you find one that doesn’t, don’t eat there:-)

Traditionally, the chicken is marinated and grilled in a clay oven called “Tandoor”. The gravy is made with fresh tomatoes, onions, fresh ginger-garlic and lots of garam masala. The gravy is finished with cream to balance the warmth of the spices, which makes it a delicacy. This is one of my children’s favorite dish. So, to make an everyday, low calorie version of this dish, I substitute heavy cream with greek yogurt! The result is so spectacularly similar to the traditional version, I promise, you won’t miss the cream and you won’t have to hit the gym after this. Chicken Tikka Masala is best enjoyed with Zeera Rice (Cumin rice), or Butter Naan!

In this video, I have made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. If you marinate the meat and follow all steps, this dish will be ready in about 40-45 minutes from start to finish. You start by marinating the meat, takes 5 minutes to put it together and about 15 minutes in the fridge. In the meantime, you finish the sautéing and pureeing process of the sauce. The start the IP timer for 6 minutes, it takes about 10 minutes for it to come to pressure and then 5 minutes cooling time after it’s done, so about 21 minutes. If you’re skipping the marination process, you can make this dish in under 30 minutes, from start to finish. Simply add an extra teaspoon of Garam Masala to the sauce to compensate for the flavors in the marinade.

I have made this recipe many times in my Hawkins pressure cooker, as well as on the stove-top. Check out the Notes section for details on that.

No-Cream Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes total (no marination), 45 minutes (with marination)

Ingredients

  • MARINADE for chicken:
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (fat trimmed) OR boneless skinless breast
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (3/4 inch piece of ginger + 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime

  • SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon butter/ghee (If using one of the two- 2 tbsp.)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped/sliced
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (3/4 inch piece of ginger + 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 4 medium size tomatoes, diced, or, one 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 12-15 cashews
  • 3 tablespoons plain full-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

1

Prep: Prepare the marinade for the chicken by combining ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt, lime juice and yogurt. Pour it in a bowl, or a gallon size ziplock bag (for easy clean-up), and toss the chicken in it, till well coated. Refrigerate for 15 minutes- overnight. If you don't have the time for that, leave it till you prep the sauce.

2

Turn IP on SAUTE. When the display reads "hot", about 30 seconds, add olive oil + butter/ghee. Add chicken, grilling one minute on each side. The chicken will be raw at this point- in this step we're sealing the marinade flavors. Remove chicken and keep aside.

3

For making sauce, add onion, tomato, green chili, ginger-garlic and sauté for one minute. Add garam masala, coriander, cumin, salt, paprika, turmeric and sauté for 30 seconds. Add 12-15 cashews and stir. Turn off IP. Transfer onion mix to a blender, cool for 5 minutes and blend into a smooth sauce.

4

Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size pieces.Add yogurt to the cooled sauce and blend again. Add sauce back in IP along with chicken and 1/4 cup water (skip the water if you used canned diced tomatoes). Close lid. Vent set to SEALING. MANUAL (hi-press) for 6 minutes. Open lid after natural pressure release or QR after 5 minutes. If the tomatoes were tart to begin with, you may want to add 1/2 teaspoon sugar to balance flavors (optional). Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy Chicken Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice (Zeera Rice) or Garlic or Butter Naan!

Notes

30 minute version: If you are in a rush, you can skip Step 1 and add the diced chicken pieces straight to the sauce and pressure cook the same way. Simply add an extra teaspoon of Garam Masala to the sauce to compensate for the flavors in the marinade.

HAWKINS Pressure cooker: Follow all instructions till step 3 in the pressure cooker. In Step 4, pressure cook for 7-8 minutes on medium-high flame after the first whistle. STOVE-TOP: Follow all instructions in a deep skillet or a stock-pot. In Step 4, cook for 12-15 minutes, covered, till the chicken is cooked through.