Recipe For Indian Butter Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce (Murgh Makhani Curry)


Murgh Makhani is a moist tender chicken in a pink sauce. The pink sauce is a blend of butter (mmm… butter!), heavy cream, tomato sauce, lime juice, almond flour and a few spices. The tenderizing process is similar to my soy sauce roasted cornish game hen.

Murgh Makhani is usually served with naans (Indian round fluffy bread made of white flour), basmati rice or some roti (flat Indian wheat bread).

First, I marinate the chicken overnight in a papaya and yogurt mixture. It’s the best way to tenderize the meat.

1. Info for Indian Butter Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce (Murgh Makhani Curry)

  • Cook Time: unavailable
  • Total Time: unavailable
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: unavailable

2. Ingredients for Indian Butter Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce (Murgh Makhani Curry)

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, skinless
  • 4 Tbs full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs papaya, ground
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbs canola oil
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder, freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 Tbs sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato sauce, (14 oz)
  • 1 tomato, coarsely diced
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 whole jalapeno green chili peppers, stemmed
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 Tbs fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs lime juice, freshly squeezed

3. Directions:

  1. Wash the chicken thighs, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Mix the ground papaya and 2 tablespoons of yogurt together. Make 2 long parallel cuts on the flesh of the thighs using a sharp boning knife. Cover the meat inside and out with yogurt and papaya. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day, rinse the chicken and discard all the yogurt. Pat dry.
  4. In a large deep saucepan, heat up about 1 tablespoon (or more) of oil. Cook the onions until nicely golden. Drain and reserve the oil and set the fried onions aside.
  5. In a mini-blender, mix the onions, about 2 tablespoons of water, the sour cream and the rest of the yogurt into a thick paste. Set aside.
  6. In the same large deep saucepan, use about 2 tablespoons of the onion-flavored oil. Brown the chicken on each side. As soon as all pieces are nicely golden, add coarsely diced fresh tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander powder and cinnamon powder and about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water. This should barely cover the chicken. Bring to a full boil then lower the heat to medium-high. Cover with a dome-shaped lid to enable the steam to fall back in the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato paste and the tomato sauce. Season with salt. Cook for another 8-10 minutes. Thicken the sauce with almond flour to get a homogenous texture. Add the whole chiles.
  7. Taste the sauce. Depending on how sweet your tomatoes are, add the container of onion paste. I ended up adding only 4 tablespoons because the fresh tomato was pretty sweet and flavorful. Bring back to a full boil. Add the heavy cream to thin the sauce a little. Finish with the lime juice. Stir well.
  8. In a small pan, melt the butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add the smoked paprika. Transfer the paprika-flavored butter to the chicken.
  9. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
  10. Bon appétit!

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