Thursday, 5 February 2015


Makhani is a Hindustani word meaning "with butter". It is used in the names of several dishes from Punjabi cuisine:

1. Dal makhani, made from beans and pulses
2. Paneer makhani, made from the white cheese paneer, also known as "paneer butter masala"
3. Murgh makhani, also known as "butter chicken" or "chicken makhani"

It can also be made with lamb, potatoes, other vegetables, etc etc. Apart from the “with butter” connotations, it is generally understood that Makhani is a tomato based dish with cream. I am going to include a recipe for Murgh Makhani, and by way of illustration in order to show you some of the possible variations of this dish, also a Dal Makhani with Red Kidney beans. Despite the long list of ingredients - it's very easy to make, so don’t be put off.

100ml/3½fl oz plain yoghurt
1 lime, juice only
15g/½oz garlic, crushed
2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, grated
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
pinch paprika
pinch salt

For the marinade (Chicken only)

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Add the chicken breasts and make sure they’re well covered in the marinade. Set aside to marinate in the fridge for 12 hours, or overnight.

4 x 150g/5½oz chicken breasts
25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
½ lemon

For the chicken

When the chicken has marinated, preheat the grill to it's highest setting. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the coating is golden-brown. Baste the chicken breasts with the butter and a little lemon juice.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and roast the chicken for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

100g/3½oz unsalted butter
1 onion, grated
2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 tsp Turmeric powder
100g/3½oz tomato purée
2 small red chillies
pinch chilli powder
200ml/7fl oz double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

Meanwhile, for the sauce, heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute, then stir in the tomato purée, chillies and chilli powder and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Reduce the heat, stir in the cream and simmer for a further minute, then add the chicken breasts to the sauce. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3 Diced Carrots
1 Large onion, chopped
2 Vine Tomatoes, chopped
1 tin Red Kidney Beans
Any other suitable vegetable such as suede, courgette, etc. can be added.

Non- Dairy Alternative:
400ml coconut milk (for cream)
4 Tbsp Olive oil (for butter)
Dal Makhani variation

Dispense with the chicken marinade & grilling stage above & pick up the recipe using the sauce ingredients & method above. Substitute vegetables & beans for the chicken.

You can vary this procedure by substituting 4 Tbsp olive oil for butter (gosh) and 1 tin (400ml) of coconut milk for the cream (outcry). You can of course use these sauce substitutes for the chicken recipe too.

handful fresh coriander
naan bread
basmati rice

To serve

Serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
To serve, place the butter chicken breasts onto serving plates and drizzle over the sauce. Sprinkle over the coriander. Spoon the basmati rice alongside and serve with the naan bread.

Serves 3-4

North Utsire

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