Butter Chicken …. ICONIC DISH BY MOTI MAHAL

This is iconic dish … Northern part of India  whether New Delhi or Punjab or today even in Mumbai or London… A must in restaurant menu … Lala Kundan Lal Gujral first set up in Peshawar in 1920 but came to Delhi in 1947 to set up Moti Mahal. He worked with a local man to produce the first restaurant version of the tandoor and invented tandoori spice mix for tandoori chicken -ground coriander seeds, black pepper and mild red pepper. Called Murg Makhani in Hindi, Butter Chicken originated in the 1950s at the Moti Mahal restaurant in Old Delhi. Famed for its Tandoori Chicken, the cooks there used to recycle the leftover chicken juices in the marinade trays by adding butter and tomato. This sauce was then tossed around with the tandoor-cooked chicken pieces and presto – Butter Chicken was ready! The leftover dish appealed to Delhites and was quickly lapped up by the rest of the world. Moti Mahal had very famous patrons ranging fromNehru family to foreign national heads.”Legend has it that when former Soviet premier Nikita Kruschev was asked what he liked about India, he replied, ”Taj Mahal and Moti Mahal”.

My dad always mentioned me  When he was in college   the best place to have food in New Delhi was  Iconic ” Moti Mahal ” in Daryagunj … and dish to order was their Dal Makhni and Butter chicken ..  The icon still lives in the heart and taste lingers   …

My Recipe  of ICONIC DISH of MOTI MAHAL ” BUTTER CHICKEN ”

Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken cut into 1½ inch pieces400 grams

  • Lemon juice 1 tablespoon

  • Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 teaspoon

  • Salt to taste

  • Butter 2 tablespoons

  • For marinade

  • Yogurt 1/2 cup

  • Ginger paste 2 teaspoons

  • Garlic paste 2 teaspoons

  • Kashmiri red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon

  • Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon

  • Salt to taste

  • Mustard oil 2 teaspoons

    FOR MAKHNI GRAVY

  • Butter 2 tablespoons

  • Green cardamom 2

  • Clove 2

  • Black peppercorns 2-3

  • Cinnamon 1 inch piece

  • Ginger paste 1 teaspoon

  • Garlic paste 1 teaspoon

  • Tomato puree 1/2 cup

  • Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon

  • Salt to taste

  • Sugar 2 tablespoons

  • Kasoori methi 1/2 teaspoon

  • Fresh cream 1/2 cup

Method :

  • In a bowl take all the ingredients under the marinate head and the chicken pieces.The chicken pieces should be 1″ inch in size. Mix well and keep aside for atleast 2 – 3 hrs
  • Blanch, peel and puree the tomatoes. Keep aside.
  • Soak the cashewnuts for 2 – 3 hrs in hot water and then strain and grind the cashewnuts into a fine paste.
  • For the curry heat the pan and add butter and immediately add the garlic paste.
  • Now add the sliced green chilly. Also add cumin powder, red chilly powder and salt. Add 1 tblsp water and mix well.
  • Add the tomato puree and cook till the gravy leaves the side.
  • Lower the flame and add the cashewnut paste and stir constantly.
  • Now add the tomato ketchup, sugar and 1/4 cup water.
  • Meanwhile in a separate pan shallow fry the marinated chicken pieces for 4 – 5 minutes. If overcooked then the chicken will get hard and stiff. Keep aside.
  • Once the gravy comes to a boil add the chicken pieces. And cook for a minute.
  • Now lower the flame add the milk and stir well. Cook for another minute and then add the cream. Mix well
  • Now add the garam masala and crushed fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
  • Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves, crushed fenugreek leaves and swirls of cream.

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