North India’s love affair with butter chicken is known to one and all. But, most of you will be surprised to know, this regional staple that they swear by today, was not even a part of their food scene until the 1950s. As a matter of fact, its invention happened ‘by chance’. Yes, you read it right. According to several reports, Kundan Lal Gujral, founder of Moti Mahal chain of restaurants, in order to save the leftover tandoori chicken hanging on the seekhs above the tandoor from drying, added it to a basic tomato gravy. His idea was to regain chicken’s moisture, but little did he know he had invented a dish that would rule the hearts of thousands of Indians in future.
Typically teamed with tandoori rotis or naan, this creamy and ambrosial main course dish is quite easy to prepare at home. However, many refrain from doing so, complaining it’s time consuming.
Now, what if we tell you, it can be prepared in less than an hour without compromising on the taste of the dish? Yes, that’s possible. Living Foodz chefs Ajay Chopra and Gurdip Kohli Punj can help you do so. Scroll through as we share with you a step-by-step guide to make restaurant-style butter chicken at home with expert tips and tricks.
1. To begin with, take some butter in a pan and saute chunks of ginger, garlic, and onions in it. Once the onions are soft, add dried red chillies, bay leaves, black cardamom, cashews, and diced tomatoes in the pan and cook them together until the tomatoes are soft and blend the mixture into a fine paste.
2. Chef Chopra suggests you add some coriander stems for some extra flavour. Also, he prefers to add Kashmiri red chillies, instead of the regular ones, because the former gives the dish a better colour. And, to spice up the recipe, he adds one-two green chillies.
3. As for the chicken, you can marinate it in a mix of mustard oil, yogurt (preferably hung), ginger-garlic paste, salt, and some spices such as turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, and coriander powder. Do this while the onion-tomato mixture is cooking to save time. Let it stay for at least 15-20 minutes, so that the flavours of the spices sink into the meat.
4. Now, roast the marinated chicken in an oven for about 10-12 minutes or stove top. Once cooked, Kohli says you shred it for adding it to the gravy.
5. To prepare the base of the popular butter chicken, heat a generous amount of butter in a pan. Now, add chopped garlic and green chillies. Next, add the puree you made earlier and let it cook for a few minutes.
6. Add the chicken pieces (shredded or whole) to the gravy, mix it well, and let it simmer for a few minutes.
7. Finish the dish with garam masala, salt (to taste), dry fenugreek leaves, and some cream.
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