|Alternative names||Murgh makhani|
|Place of origin||India|
|Region or state||Punjab|
|Created by||Kundan Lal Gujral and Kundan Lal Jaggi|
|Main ingredients||Butter, tomatoes, chicken|
|Variations||Paneer makhani, dal makhani|
Butter chicken or murgh makhani (pronounced [mʊrg ˈmək.kʰə.ni]) is a curry of chicken in a spiced tomato, butter and cream sauce. It originated in the Indian subcontinent as a curry.
It is similar to chicken tikka masala, which uses a tomato paste.
The curry was developed in the 1950s by Kundan Lal Jaggi, the founder of the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi, India. The curry was made "by chance" by mixing leftover tandoori chicken in a tomato gravy, rich in butter and cream. In 1974, a recipe was published for "Murgh makhanii (Tandoori chicken cooked in butter and tomato sauce)". In 1975, the English phrase "butter chicken" curry first appeared in print, as a specialty of the house at Gaylord Indian restaurant in Manhattan. In Toronto it can be found as a filling in wraps, roti, and rolls, while in Australia, and New Zealand, it is also eaten as a pie filling. The curry is common in India and many other countries.
Chicken is marinated for several hours in a mixture of lemon juice, dahi (yogurt), Kashmiri red chili, salt, garam masala and ginger garlic paste.
The marinated chicken is cooked in a tandoor (traditional clay oven), but may be grilled, roasted, or pan-fried. It is served in a mild curry sauce that includes butter. The sauce is a tomato- and garlic and ginger-based sauce that is simmered until smooth and much of the water has evaporated. There are many variations on the composition and spicing of the sauce, which is sieved so that it is velvety smooth. Spices may include cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, garam masala and fenugreek (Punjabi/Hindi: kasuri methi). Cream may be used in the sauce or as a garnish. Cashew paste may be used as a thickener and it is finally garnished with coriander.