Butter chicken is a popular Indian dish that has become a favorite all around the world. This mouth-watering dish is made with tender chicken that is marinated in a mixture of spices and yogurt, then cooked in a rich tomato-based gravy. The dish is served with naan bread, rice, or other side dishes, and it is perfect for any occasion, from family dinners to dinner parties. In this article, we will explore the rich history of butter chicken and the different ways it can be prepared.
The Origins of Butter Chicken
Butter chicken has a fascinating history that goes back to the 1950s in Delhi, India. It was created by a man named Kundan Lal Gujral, who was the owner of a popular restaurant called Moti Mahal. Gujral was looking for a way to use leftover chicken in his kitchen, and he came up with the idea of marinating the chicken in a mixture of yogurt and spices overnight. He then cooked the chicken in a tandoor oven and served it in a tomato-based gravy with a generous amount of butter. The dish became an instant hit, and it was soon on the menu of every Indian restaurant around the world.
The Ingredients of Butter Chicken
Butter chicken is made with a variety of spices, including cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder. The chicken is marinated in a mixture of these spices and yogurt for several hours before it is cooked. The gravy is made with tomatoes, butter, cream, and more spices, and it is simmered for a long time to develop its rich flavor.
How to Prepare Butter Chicken
There are many different ways to prepare butter chicken, and each cook has their own unique recipe. However, the basic steps for preparing butter chicken are as follows:
- Marinate the chicken in a mixture of yogurt and spices for several hours.
- Cook the chicken in a tandoor oven or grill until it is fully cooked.
- Prepare the gravy by simmering tomatoes, butter, cream, and spices for a long time.
- Add the cooked chicken to the gravy and simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Serve with naan bread, rice, or other side dishes.
Variations of Butter Chicken
There are many variations of butter chicken that can be found around the world. Some cooks add extra spices or herbs to the gravy to give it a unique flavor. Others use different types of meat, such as lamb or shrimp, instead of chicken. Vegetarian versions of butter chicken can also be made by using paneer or tofu instead of chicken.
Butter Chicken as a Healthy Meal
Butter chicken can be a healthy meal if it is prepared with the right ingredients. Chicken is a lean source of protein, and the spices used in the dish have many health benefits. Turmeric, for example, is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, while cumin can aid in digestion. By using low-fat yogurt and reducing the amount of butter and cream used in the gravy, butter chicken can be a delicious and healthy meal option.
Butter chicken is a delicious and popular Indian dish that has a rich history and a variety of variations. Whether you are a fan of spicy food or prefer milder flavors, butter chicken is a dish that can be enjoyed by anyone. By using the right ingredients and preparation techniques, you can create a healthy and flavorful version of this classic dish.
- What is the history of butter chicken?
- Butter chicken was created in the 1950s by Kundan Lal Gujral, the owner of Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi, India.
- What are the basic ingredients of butter chicken?
- The basic ingredients of butter chicken include chicken, yogurt, tomatoes, butter, cream, and a blend of spices.
- Can butter chicken be made with other types of meat?
- Yes, butter chicken can be made with other types of meat, such as lamb or shrimp.
- Is butter chicken a healthy meal?
- Butter chicken can be a healthy meal if it is prepared with the right ingredients, such as lean protein and a reduction in the amount of butter and cream used in the gravy.
- What are some side dishes that can be served with butter chicken?
- Naan bread, rice, and various vegetable dishes are popular side dishes that can be served with butter chicken.
In conclusion, butter chicken is a delicious and versatile dish that has become popular all around the world. With its rich history and variety of preparations, there is a butter chicken recipe out there for everyone. By using high-quality ingredients and preparing the dish with care, anyone can enjoy this classic Indian dish in the comfort of their own home.