Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chicken Makhani

Pictured:  Naan, Chicken Makhani over Rice, and Indian Cauliflower over Lettuce

Chicken Makhani
(Indian Butter Chicken)

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste--recipe follows
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala--recipe follows
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce.
  3. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.               

Ginger Garlic Paste:
  • 4 ounces garlic, chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed


  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic and ginger. Pulse to blend, adding small amounts of olive oil to facilitate the blending, until it makes a smooth paste. Refrigerate or freeze.               

Garam Masala Spice Blend:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Mix cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl. Place mix in an airtight container, and store in a cool, dry place.

All recipes from

If you are wanting to try an Indian dish and don't know where to start, this is an excellent place to start.  We thought it was really yummy!  I did make the change of decreasing the Ginger-Garlic Paste and the Garam Masala ammounts down to 2 teaspoons of Ginger-Garlic Paste and 2/3 teaspoon Garam Masala.  Enjoy!

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