Chicken Makhni

Chicken Makhni

A few introductory remarks

Most people love to tamper with recipes and then wonder why it did not turn out the way it did. This one is down to a science, don’t tamper with it . Understand the purpose of this dish, it was created to elicit some form of a wonderful reaction to the first morsel. Hence this dish is decadent and not to be wasted on a Monday with no purpose unless you are depressed.  Finally, don’t be stingy with the butter.

A Few tips
Understand what deghi Mirch is. This makes a world of a difference when it comes to this dish. Deghi mirch is a distinctive Indian spice made from a blend of colourful red capsicums and Kashmiri red chillies. It adds a mild heat and a deep red-orange colour. If you don’t have this chilli powder and the ready pack you are using is super hot then cut down the chilly powder to 1 heaped teaspoon or 3/4 tablespoon. Understand the purpose. You want this to have a great colour but not to be over spicy.

Initially while cooking, you will find the the gravy spicy. Relax, the honey and fresh cream are in the recipe for a reason. You can adjust the heat with these sweeter ingredients. If you like you could add ready cooked chicken tikka instead of cooking the chicken but that’s your choice.

Chicken – 1/2 kg (or ready made chicken tikka)
Tomatoes – 500 grams
Cardamom -7
Garlic – 8 cloves
Ginger – 1 1/2 inch piece
Red chilli powder (Deghi) – 1 1/2 tbsp (see note above)
Salted Butter – 1/2 cup
Kasoori methi – 1 1/2 teaspoon
Mace – a pinch
Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
Honey – 1 tablespoon
Fresh cream – 1 cup

Mise en place
Coarsely chop the tomatoes and ginger. Clean the garlic and set aside. Wash and cut the chicken into pieces.

In a non stick pot add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, butter, cardamom, chilli powder and the mace. Add one cup of water. Allow this to simmer for fifteen minutes and then set aside to cool. When cool you need to blend this. If you have a hand blender you can do this in the pot itself. If not, drain the the extra liquid and set aside and in a blender purée the pulp mixture. After blending mix the stock and the pulp together pass it through a fine sieve. Use the back of the spoon to extract all the goodness from the pulp. You will be left with a lovely smooth and thick gravy

Now return this gravy to the stove top and bring it to a simmer. Add the chicken and let it cook for ten to fifteen minutes on simmer or till the chicken is ninety percent cooked. Now add the honey, garam masala and cook for a minute more. At this time taste the dish. Depending on how spicy you want this dish add the fresh cream. When adding the cream turn off the gas and let the temperature drop a bit. Never take cold fresh cream from the refrigerator and pour into a hot dish. Bring the cream to room temperature. If you want your dish to be hot add less creamy and vice versa. Finally add the kasoori methi. You could also smoke this dish. Please refer to my butter chicken recipe for the smoking process which is very easy.

Finally, you could add red food colouring if you want the dish to look ‘restaurant style’ . If you are not familiar with how to use food colouring the trick is to begin by dipping the end of a teaspoon into the food colouring(if liquid) and then inserting that into the dish. Adjust accordingly but do it slowly. If your food colouring is in powder form then begin with teeny tiny pinches and work your way up to the colour you want.

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