Homemade butter chicken sauce with herbs and spices.

Homemade Butter Chicken Sauce Recipe | Murgh Makhani


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Homemade Butter Chicken Sauce Recipe | Murgh Makhani

This homemade butter chicken sauce recipe will show you how to make an absolutely beautiful murgh makhani. First, we’ll marinade the meat and roast it in the oven. Then we’ll make a beautiful homemade butter chicken sauce with wonderful, warming spices.

Homemade butter chicken sauce with a good knob of butter!
Homemade butter chicken sauce with a good knob of butter!

Introduction

If there’s one thing we all know for sure, it’s that the Brits love a curry. And I say that as a proud British curry lover myself! So I know how true it is. Whether from a takeaway, at a restaurant or out of a jar, we can’t seem to help ourselves.

We first encountered the dishes that would come to be known as curry in the 18th century. After initially exploring India’s trade potential, we ended up exploring their cuisine. And when we returned to Britain, we did so with a whole host of new and exciting ingredients.

With those fruits and spices came the recipes we would use to remake those exotic dishes in our home country. All off a sudden, Indian culture had spilled out into Britain. And we were eating beautiful spiced stews packed with sugar and dried fruits.

The “curreys”, as we then knew them, went through several revolutions. But as time went on, they became the dishes we now know and love. One of Britain’s very favourite Indian dishes is the chicken tikka masala. It is so popular, in fact, that it is often considered to be England’s national dish. A testament to our interest in adopting and cultivating the cultures of other countries.

In reality, chicken tikka masala is very much an English creation. The anglicised version of murgh makhani, known in English as butter chicken. And it’s that dish, Murgh Makhani, that we’re going to cover today.

Homemade butter chicken sauce with a good knob of butter!
Homemade butter chicken sauce.

About butter chicken sauce

Murgh Makhani is about as straight down the line as curries come. It has a base of tomato and simple spices that give it a very pronounced curry flavour. It doesn’t scream of heat and spice like some of the Southern Indian dishes. Nor does it sing of sweetness and fragrant, light spices like those from the North. Instead it takes simple curry flavours and wraps them around beautiful pieces of succulent, spiced chicken.

That chicken is marinaded in yogurt, spices and a few fresh ingredients. It is then grilled and added to the sauce. The sauce itself is tomato based and leans on gentle, subtle spicing that isn’t indicative of any one region.

Finally, butter is added to give the dish its real character. And to justify its name!

And what an addition that butter is. That lovely butter flavour carries all the way through the dish. The subtle spices really serve to highlight the sweet tomato and indulgent butter. The whole thing sings of curry, which sounds like a roaring success to me!

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About this homemade butter chicken sauce recipe

In this recipe, we’re going to marinade the chicken in garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and chilli powder. We’re not going to get that famous chicken tikka redness. That requires food colouring! But these spices will lend the chicken a subtle hint of red and they taste fantastic.

Then, we’re going to grill that chicken until it browns up and add it to our sauce. The sauce is very simple. We’ll be tempering a few subtle spices and adding canned tomatoes, which we’ll reduce gently while the chicken grills. Once everything is together, we’ll add a little bit of yogurt for consistency and we’ll sweeten the dish with a little sugar. After all, it’s supposed to be an easygoing, indulgent dish. A little sweetness is exactly what we need!

Finally, we’ll add a bit of butter. Or a lot of butter. Maybe even a lot of butter. It’s really your call! Either way, we’ll add a little to the sauce itself, mixing it in to give body and flavour. And then we’ll garnish with a little as well. There’s nothing like a big, sexy chunk of butter floating in the centre of a dish.

Homemade butter chicken sauce with coriander.
Homemade butter chicken sauce with coriander.

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe – An unexpected favourite, a childhood favourite in its grown up form. Rich, deep and incredible.

Passanda Sauce Recipe – An Authentic Leftover Chicken Curry – The sexiest, creamiest, butteriest, chickeniest curry I’ve ever made and an absolute personal favourite.

Goan Lamb Curry – Another of Goa’s beautiful curries. This time a delicious vindaloo style lamb dish!

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.

References

https://greatbritishmag.co.uk/ask-a-brit/why-is-curry-so-popular-in-the-uk/

https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/when-and-why-british-first-landed-on-indian-territory-1504771870-1


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Homemade butter chicken sauce with a good knob of butter!

Homemade Butter Chicken Sauce Recipe | Murgh Tikka Makhani

Ed Chef
This homemade butter chicken sauce recipe will show you how to make an absolutely beautiful murgh tikka makhani. First, we'll marinade the meat and roast it in the oven. Then we'll make a beautiful homemade butter chicken sauce with wonderful, warming spices.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Marinading Time (Optional) 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

For the marinade

  • 400 g Chicken breast or leg
  • 200 g Greek Yogurt
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • Salt
  • Oil

Spices

  • 5 Cloves
  • 5 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

Curry Paste

  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger
  • Fresh Coriander

Sauce

  • 1 can Tomatoes
  • 200 g Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Butter

Instructions
 

Marinade your chicken

  • Dice your chicken into bitesize pieces
  • Pour 200g greek yogurt into a bowl and add the chicken.
  • Oil a pan and bring it up to low-medium temperature.
  • Add the following spices to the pan – 1 tsp cumin seeds and 2 tsp coriander seeds. Cook for about a minute.
  • Add 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chilli powder and 2 tsp smoked paprika. Stir in and cook for another minute, then remove from the heat and pour into the bowl with the chicken.
  • Peel and finely dice 2 cloves garlic and 1 inch fresh ginger, then add them to the marinade.
  • Season liberally with salt and mix everything together, then leave to marinade for two hours.

Make your spice mix

  • In a dry pan on medium heat, toast 5 cloves and 5 cardamomm pods until brittle.
  • Remove them from the heat and grind them into powder in a pestle and mortar, then set them aside.
  • Separately, mix and set aside 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powder and 1 tsp garam masala.

Make your curry paste

  • Peel and finely dice 2 cloves garlic and 1 inch fresh ginger.
  • Chop up roughly the same amount of coriander stalks, perhaps a little more.
  • Grind them all together in a pestle and mortar or combine in a blender. Set aside.

Cook

  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a tray with some foil.
  • Place under the grill (or broiler) until it browns, then turn over and repeat. The time this takes will depend on your grill.
  • In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add a good wedge of butter and the cinnamon stick.
  • Saute that cinnamon stick for a couple of minutes and then add the crushed cloves and cardamom.
  • Stir that in and cook for a further minute, then add the remaining dry spices.
  • After another minute, stir everything together and add the paste.
  • Fry that off for another minute, stirring frequently, then add the can of chopped tomatoes and a bay leaf.
  • Stir everything together and allow the tomatoes to reduce a little and thicken slightly.
  • Add the chicken and any juices from the foil, and allow the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes on a low heat. If it thickens too much at any point, add a little stock or water.
  • Add the final 200g yogurt and 1 tbsp caster sugar, then stir everything together and check the seasoning. Add salt if necessary.
  • Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick if you prefer and then serve, garnishing with butter or coriander.
Keyword butter chicken, butter chicken sauce, chicken curry, Curry, homemade butter chicken, indian, indian curry, murgh makhani, murgh tikka makhani

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