The recipe for Butter chicken is actually a dual recipe – one of the tandoori chicken and the other for the makhani gravy or the butter gravy – the mother of all north Indian –mughlai sauces.This was invented in motimahal by the founder Kundan lal Gujral .As goes the old saying necessity is the mother of all inventions – it was mere need to sell the chicken tikka , which went a little dry hanging by the side of hot tandoors that lead to the invention of this makhani gravy , so that the chicken could be sauted in this sauce to over come the poor tikka`s dry spell .
As goes the old riddle “ whether the egg came first or the chicken “ it is hard to tell but in the case of butter chicken and tandoori chicken , it is the tandoori chicken which hatched before the butter chicken .
So lets see how to cook the tandoori chicken first and transform it into the Butter chicken later.
First is the -recepie for the tandoori chicken (FROM MY BOOK MOTIMAHAL`S TANDOORI TRAIL). Then we make the makhni sauce alias butter gravy.
- 600-700 gm Chicken pat dried
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder For the first marinade
- 1 1/2 tbsp Lemon- juice For the first marinade
- Salt to taste For the first marinade
- 1/2 cup Yoghurt For the second marinade
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste For the second marinade
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste For the second marinade
- 1/2 tsp Rock salt(kala namak) For the second marinade
- 1 tsp Garam masala For the second marinade
- Red colour (optional) a few drops For the second marinade
- 1/2 tsp Dry fenugreek (kasoori methis)powder For the second marinade
- 2 Onions cut into rings For the second marinade
- 1 Lemon wedges For the second marinade
- 1 Tandoori chicken For the Makhni Sauce
- 800 gm Ripe red tomatoes For the Makhni Sauce
- 2 tbsp Oil For the Makhni Sauce
- 1 Onions chopped For the Makhni Sauce
- 1 tbsp Red Chili powder For the Makhni Sauce
- 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste For the Makhni Sauce
- Salt to taste For the Makhni Sauce
- 2 tbsp Cashew paste For the Makhni Sauce
- 1 tbsp Garam masala For the Makhni Sauce
- 1 tsp Zeera powder For the Makhni Sauce
- 50 gm Butter For the Makhni Sauce
- 50 gm Double fresh cream For the Makhni Sauce
- 1 tsp Dry fenugreek powder(kasoori methi) For the Makhni Sauce
- 2 Green chili deseeded For the Makhni Sauce
- 1 tbsp Fresh green coriander chopped For the Makhni Sauce
- 1 tbsp Fresh cream for garnish For the Makhni Sauce
- Tandoori Chicken Process- Make two deep incisions each on breast and the drum sticks.
- For the first marinade- mix all the ingredients in a bowl and rub all over the chicken and keep aside for 1 hr.
- For the second marinade – mix all the ingredients in a bowl and rub on the chicken pieces and keep for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven at 180 deg. Place the chicken on the grill rack , place the tray underneath to collect all the drippings. Grill for 8-10 minutes .
- Brush with oil , turn upside down and grill for 3-4 minutes till tender. Remove from the grill and keep aside.
- For the Makhni Sauce- Take a pan , put oil and heat it over fire. Put onion and sauté for few seconds.
- Put chopped tomatoes , bayleaf and salt in the pan and let it simmer , stirring occasionally till the oil sepearates from the sides.
- Strain the sauce. Pour in a pan and heat over fire. Add all the spices. Add in the Tandoori Chicken , stir for a 3-4 minutes.
- Add butter and stir till it melts in cream and remove quickly. Garnish with green chilies and coriander with a drip of cream.