Butter Chicken is a dish that will not go unnoticed if you are going to eat Indian food. This is one of the richest Indian dishes; succulent pieces of chicken wrapped in a combination of cream, tomatoes and aromatic spices and tablespoons of butter, and it is also one of the most popular Indian dishes recreated around the world for different palettes. It is everyone’s favorite Indian Curry, but not many people know of its humble origin, which is still very disputed.
Delhi, possibly the culinary capital of India, which, like Spain, owes a large part of its flavor heritage to foreign invasions, in the case of India, to the Mughals. Butter Chicken, however, has much more humble origin. It only dates back to a couple of decades before India’s previous partition, and its history leads us to a sweet shop in Peshawar called Mukhey da Dhaba, owned by an old man named Mokha Singh. It was here that Kundan Lal Gujral worked, and as her grandson Monish Gujral tells, where he helped invent the Tandoori chicken that we all love today. Yes, he is also the inventor of the famous Tandoori chicken.
When Mokha Singh’s health deteriorated and he eventually sold the store to Gujral, who renamed it Moti Mahal (Palace of Diamonds) and as they say, the rest is history. Mr KL Gujral, a true businessman, realised that the Tandoori chicken that hung all day on top of the tandoor would tend to dry out if not sold. Then he came up with the great idea to create a basic sauce with tomatoes, butter, cream and some spices to dip the Tandoori chicken pieces, helping them regain moisture and become tasty again. Alas Butter Chicken was born. What many believe is a must-have Indian dish, was born just in 1948, not even a century ago.
My own personal recipe has changed several times, sometimes its been just tomate concentrate and cream, others yogurt, sometimes with gravy others dry, it tends to be based on the mood that I find myself in. However, the following recipe is a 10/10 fail proof!.
Authentic Butter Chicken & Paneer
- 1/2 KG Boneless Chicken Thighs
- 1 Tbsp Tandoori Masala
- 1 Tbsp Chicken Mix Masala Comes pre-mixed found in any Indian grocery
- 1 Tbsp Butter Chicken Masala Its a spicy blend!
- 1.5 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1/2 Tbsp Onion Seeds Kalonji Seeds
- 1/2 Tbsp Garam Masala
- 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves Kasturi Methi
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds Dry Toasted & Crushed
- 1.5 Tbsp Greek Yogurt
- 400 gr Tomato Puree Saute with olive oil, garlic/onion powder for tangyness
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Cream
- Cut the chicken into cubes. In a bowl mix all the dry spices and leaves.
- In a heated pan with olive oil, cook the chicken 80%
- Add the tomato puree, mix it up,when the oil starts coming up, add the yogurt- the color will become yellow, then add cream for thickness.
- The dish is ready, mix and wait for the oil to come up from the sides, season with salt according to taste. Garnish with Kasturi Methi before serving.
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