- 2 lbs chicken , washed, patted dry and cut into small pieces – (feel free to use chicken with or without bones, chicken thighs preferably)
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ tea spoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ghee to sauté
For the sauce/Makhani Masala:
- 2.5 inch fresh ginger, made into a paste
- 8-10 cloves of garlic, made into a paste
- ½ big onion or 1 small onion puree
- 2-4 fresh green chili pepper, pureed with the onion
- 4 tablespoon melted butter or ghee
- 1 teaspoon methi/fenugreek seeds
- 3-3.5 cups tomato puree (fresh tomatoes)
- 1 tablespoon red chili powder/cayenne pepper/paprika or to taste
- 10 almonds, soaked, peeled and made into a paste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon heavy cream (for healthier version use greek yogurt or ½ & ½ milk)
Heat butter/ghee or oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add ginger paste and garlic paste, and cook. Then add the slit green chillies and onion paste. Cook for five to eight minutes; the water from the paste would have evaporated and the paste would have reduced in quantity, add a little salt and sugar to this.
Add tomato puree, red chili powder, and little more salt. Cook at medium heat for about 15 – 20 minutes. The puree will reduce to a thick paste and the oil/ghee will separate from the sides of the pan.
Add 2.5 cups of hot water to the pan (or if you want it less soupy and want the sauce to kind of coat the chicken pieces and have a little bit extra, add less water or simmer for longer time to achieve the pref. consistency as per your taste), add the almond paste (optional) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes; add little more sugar and crushed kasuri methi.
Meanwhile, in another pan, sauté the chicken thigh strips in pure ghee or butter, add the red chilli powder, turmeric and little salt.
Add cooked chicken pieces. Stir well to combine – the chicken will be well coated with the sauce. Cover and simmer for few minutes; Lower the heat and add garam masala and the heavy cream (or ½ & ½ or greek yogurt). Stir in the cream and simmer at low heat for about five more minutes.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and add a splash of cream before serving.