What you’ll need
450 grams boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes of approximately 1 and a ½ inches
2 tbsp store-bought tandoori masala powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ cup yoghurt
1 tbsp oil
Murgh Makhani sauce
2 tbsp ghee
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp ginger paste
1 ½ tsp garlic paste
1 can (or 430 ml) tomato puree
1 tsp chilli powder
1 ½ tbsp coriander powder
1 ½ tsp cumin powder
½ cup heavy whipped cream
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp crushed and dried fenugreek leaves
First you’ll need to do your prep work. In a bowl, add together your tandoori masala powder, ginger paste, garlic paste and yoghurt. Whisk this mixture until you have a silky smooth, finely distributed marinade. The next step involves tossing in your diced chicken cubes to the mix and making sure that the chicken is comfortably drowning in your sea of flavours.
Here’s where the clichéd and tragically overused phrase “failing to plan is planning to fail” actually comes into action. Essentially, the flavour of this dish only enriches with time so ideally you should refrigerate your marinated chicken for 12-24 hours for tender pieces of meaty goodness. However, if you’re in a crunch for time, anywhere between half an hour to two hours should yield results as well.
Moving on to the sauce, heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, and sauté your onions in the pot until they reach a glossy translucency. They shouldn’t start to brown, but rather begin to feel the heat and break out in a sweat; this should take about five to seven minutes.
Incorporate the ginger and garlic pastes and let it cook for about 30 seconds, stirring continuously to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Pour in the can of pureed tomatoes and sprinkle your helpings of chilli powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder and proceed cooking for another five minutes. If you find that your mixture starts to bubble rapidly, add about ¼ cup of water and continue to cook but be wary of this step since it might result in a watery bland curry later on.
Once that’s done, remove the sauce mixture from the heat and blend it to a creamy, velvety texture. Again, you might have to add some water (no more than ¼ cup) to aid the blending process, but caution is warranted. Blending in batches is also a great idea, since it ensures you achieve your desired consistency and helps the process if your blender isn’t Superman, that is, if it isn’t too powerful.
Now we move on to the last phase of the cooking process, the grand finale if you will. To your heavy bottom pot, turn up the heat on your oil to medium, and throw in the marinated chicken cubes. For this part, use a tong or simply make sure that the excess marinade doesn’t make it into the pot. Brown the chicken on all its sides; this should take about five to six minutes.
Pour in your flavour-packed sauce to the pot and continue heating and stirring. Allow yourself a contented sigh as you look at this work of art take form. As you begin to see bubbles, add your cream and graciously sprinkle some garam masala, and let the pot of saucy deliciousness come to a simmer.
As you spoon out generous helpings of this delicious dish onto a serving bowl, garnish with crushed fenugreek leaves and some parsley for an appetising vibrancy and distinct flavour. Murgh Makhani is best served with fluffy naan or hot-off-the-pot basmati rice.
Personal preference plays a huge role in the success of this recipe! If you don’t like too many spices, or aren’t a fan of the chilli powder, feel free to adjust your portions. After all, this isn’t set in stone, so you should always add to taste to find your personal favourite blend of ingredients.