Murgh Makhani is a traditional, and perhaps the most famous, Indian chicken dish with many spices and creamy tomato sauce. It is one of my very favorites. We cook it often and usually serve it with basmati rice.
It is a quite hot and spicy dish, but very fragrant!! While you cook it will break your nose! Perfumes of ginger, Garam masala, cardamom, cumin, coriander and curry will flood your kitchen! The raita accompanying it, mitigates spicy and strong taste of spices and pleasantly cools the mouth. Today I will propose my own version of this dish. Just how hot it will be is up to you, since you can the amount of red chili flakes and use a light curry. But if you love spicy food… you will love it exactly as it is!
It is also ideal dish for a gathering, because it can be prepared a day in advance. I think the second day is even more delicious!!
As for the basmati rice,I have a nice trick which makes rice delicious. For a cup of rice: heat some olive oil or butter in a pan and roast 150g. fine vermicelli, add the rice and saute for a while. Add 2 cups hot water (caution because it boils really vigorously at that time), salt and pepper and let it boil. Turn off the heat and let the rice to be cooked. Do not open the lid until it is cool enough. Many use broth instead of water; I prefer it plain. Try it and let me know!
Preparation time: 1 hour and 45 minutes (plus 4 hours of waiting)
for the chicken:
- 4 large chicken fillets, about 1300gr. (1.75lb), cut into strips
- ¾ cup yoghurt 2%
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ¾ tsp Garam masala spice blend
- 1 ½ tsp red chile flakes
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 8 cm. of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
for the sauce:
- 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
- seeds of 4 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 2 pinches of ground clove
- 800 g. chopped peeled tomatoes, undrained
- 8 cm. of fresh ginger, grated
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1/3 cup cream with 20% fat
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
- 45 g. butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- 1/3 teaspoon curry powder, mild
- freshly ground pepper
for the raita:
- 1 heaping cup yoghurt 2% fat
- 2 small cucumbers (200g approx.), grated
- 1 small tomato seeded and drained, very finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ heaping teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ heaping teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Prepare the marinade for the chicken. Combine all the ingredients, except chicken, in a food processor, to be homogenized. Transfer the marinade into a large bowl and add the chicken, making sure to cover all the pieces with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I usually leave it overnight.
- Preheat oven to 200o C/390o Lay a baking sheet with aluminum foil, put the chicken on it and spoon over any marinade left in the bowl.
- Bake until golden brown, for about 20-22 minutes. We do not want to cook it through. Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare the raita. After chopping and grate vegetables, put them in a colander with salt and leave for 10 minutes. Squeeze them with your hand to drain well. Put them in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- It’s time for the sauce. In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the tomatoes, ginger,, garlic, cardamom, the pepper, cloves, bay leaves, salt, sugar and 2/3 cup water and bring to boil , lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and transfer the sauce in food processor to purée it. Put the sauce back in the pot and continue to simmer over medium-low heat until reduced in volume and thickens, about 15 minutes.
- Add chicken, as much marinade left and 1/3 cup water and let it boil for about 10-15 minutes, until the sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through.
- Stir in cream, butter, Garam masala and curry, lower the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes, until flavors meld.
- Remove from heat. Serve the chicken with basmati rice and raita.
It’s a bit troublesome food, but believe me, it is worth it!!!!!
Nutritional Facts per Serving
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