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Murgh makhani


Serves: 6
timePrep time: 45 mins
timeTotal time:
Murgh makhani
Recipe photograph by Ant Duncan
"Created by chef Kundan Lal Gujral in Delhi sometime during the 1950s, butter chicken – which is also traditionally known as murgh makhani – is without doubt one of the most popular curries to emerge from India; forefather to the British fave, the tikka masala," says chef Aktar Islam

Serves: 6
timePrep time: 45 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
643Kcal
Fat
45gr
Saturates
18gr
Carbs
13gr
Sugars
9gr
Fibre
4gr
Protein
45gr
Salt
2.6gr

Aktar Islam

Aktar Islam

Aktar Islam is the chef-owner of Michelin-starred Opheem restaurant in Birmingham, and has launched Aktar at Home, a successful finish-at-home dining experience.
See more of Aktar Islam’s recipes
Aktar Islam

Aktar Islam

Aktar Islam is the chef-owner of Michelin-starred Opheem restaurant in Birmingham, and has launched Aktar at Home, a successful finish-at-home dining experience.
See more of Aktar Islam’s recipes

Ingredients

For the tandoori chicken
  • 10 skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder(or hot paprika)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp tandoori masala powder
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 100ml rapeseed oil (or any flavourless oil)
  • 3 tbsp full-fat natural yogurt
For the makhani sauce
  • 6 large ripe plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2.5cm root ginger, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or hot paprika)
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 100g butter
To finish
  • 30g butter
  • ½ tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or hot paprika)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 75ml double cream
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi*), toasted and ground (optional)

Step by step

Make ahead
The sauce and marinated chicken can both be cooked up to 2 days ahead and chilled. Continue from step 5, making sure that the chicken is heated through thoroughly. Any leftover curry will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge, or can be frozen.
  1. Score the chicken thigh fillets, season with salt and rub with the garlic and ginger paste and lime juice. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix all the remaining ingredients for the tandoori chicken together and then massage into the meat. Cover and marinate for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
  3. For the sauce, place all the ingredients in a large pan with 150ml water. Simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes, covered, until the tomatoes are soft. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves then blend and strain the sauce. Set aside until ready.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high and the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Put the chicken on a foil-lined baking tray, spaced apart, and grill for 8-10 minutes or until charring. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes so the chicken is just cooked through but there is some blistering of the coating; set aside.
  5. To finish, melt the butter in a wide pan and then add the chilli powder and ground coriander; cook for 1 minute. Add the strained makhani sauce, stir in and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has the consistency of double cream. Add the cream and honey. Cut the roasted chicken thighs into bite-size chunks, add to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes or until piping hot. Finally, stir in the ground fenugreek leaves, if using, and check the seasoning to taste.

    *Dried methi is available at specialist and Asian grocers
Serve with

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