Indian Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
A lighter, healthier version of one of the best-known, most popular Indian chicken recipes … in the US, we typically call it Indian Butter Chicken … mine is a lightened up version of a recipe from New York Times
I am SUPER excited to post this recipe because this is one of my all-time favorite recipes … something I have been dreaming of making for years but somehow I found myself a little intimidated to try it. Well, finally I did, pushed to get it done for an upcoming Indian cooking class that I’m doing.
Indian food is the most popular cuisine in the world … there have been studies as to why it is so popular and, unlike what we do here in ‘the west’ where we combine ingredients that have similar flavors, Indian cuisine is loved because it combines so may ingredients that have such different flavor profiles. You won’t find a good Indian recipe that has “just a few ingredients” like we often do in the West … they all have a long list of ingredients and some of them may not be familiar … and I know, to the home cook, that can seem daunting. I know … I’ve been there.
BUT … (and it took me a while to realize this) … making Indian food is totally doable! And it’s not even hard. It involves a manageable number of ingredients … and some time. Yes, it takes some time to make, and some preparation, but I found it so relaxing to make this dish. I poured myself a glass of wine, chopped up my ingredients, and relaxed into the stirring, enjoying the intoxicating scents … it was therapy for my soul.
I came to the conclusion that making Indian food is a lot like doing yoga. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but it feels good and it calms and delights your mind, body and soul. Oh, and you get to eat delicious food at the end. What’s better than that?
- 1 1/2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon ground garam masala (ground)
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons turmeric
- 2 - 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 2 medium/large onions, peeled & chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 medium-size tomatoes, peeled and chopped (with juices)
- 1 hot red pepper or jalapeno, chopped fine
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups fat free half & half (or regular half & half)
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 Tablespoons almond flour or finely chopped almonds
- 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
- Whisk together the Greek yogurt with the lemon and the seasonings. Toss the chicken chunks gently in the marinade to coat and place them in a container with airtight lid, covering the chunks with the rest of the marinade and setting in the fridge to marinate at least one hour, but preferably overnight.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan and add the onions. Saute the onions for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are VERY soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 minutes longer or until the onions are browning and slightly caramelized.
- Stir in the cumin and ginger, then add the cinnamon stick, hot pepper and tomatoes. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the peppers are tender, then add the chicken chunks and all the marinade. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the half & half, tomato paste, and almond flour and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve hot over hot cooked basmati rice with fresh cilantro leaves on top.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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