I make my version of Chicken Makhani recipe quite often, much like Chicken Tikka Masala, or for that matter, Mole Chicken or Stuffed Chicken Breasts. Often times, I substitute the chicken with vegetables like cauliflower and potatoes as I am not fond of poultry or other meats.
Anyway, rather than fat from butter and cream, as traditional recipes suggest, I just use creamy non-fat yogurt to get the rich texture. Which might raise the question, In that case, can this still be called Chicken Makhani? And the answer for me is Yes! it is still rich and thick and creamy as I expect this dish to be.
Marinate the chicken in any favorite marinade or rub. I usually cut them into cubes and rub them with garam masala powder and marinate them in a bit of vinegar for about 15-20 minutes while I get the other masala paste ready.
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups tomato sauce
salt to taste
water as needed
2 cups creamy non-fat yogurt, beaten a few minutes till fluffy
cilantro and spring onions for garnish
Marinade: distilled white vinegar, favorite herbs/spices, salt
For the Masala Paste:
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 1" stick of Indian cinnamon bark
5 or 6 dry red chilies
1 tsp paprika
¼ cup finely chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp brown sugar
- Marinate the chicken
- Combine the Masala paste ingredients in a blender or food process and grind to a fine paste
- Heat oil in a cooking pan, add the masala paste and sauté it till it is aromatic and rich in color
- Add the marinated chicken pieces, tomato sauce, salt to taste, water as needed, cover and let it simmer over medium heat till chicken is cooked; if the sauce is too runny at this point, remove the cooked chicken and simmer the sauce till it reduces to desired consistency
- Turn off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes; then add in the cooked chicken if taken out in the previous step
- Fold in the beaten yogurt, garnish and serve with naan or rice.