One of my favorite butter chicken dishes is served at MyIndiKitchen in Lakeland in the Winn Dixie Plaza on the corner of Lakeland Highlands and Edgewood. If you are like many, butter chicken is your “go to” when eating Indian food. It is a lightly spicey curry from a tomato, cream base with chicken that truly melts in your mouth from a yogurt marinade. Once you have it, you will want it again and again!
Owner and chef, Kamini Kumar, prepares her butter chicken in the same style as it was created in the Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi the north part of India where the it originated by restaurant owner, Kundan Lal Gujral in the 1930’s. It is believed that this dish came about from large orders of tandoori chicken, where the small scraps of dryer chicken were made into this wonder curry we call butter chicken. Of course this is how some of the best dishes come about by taking scraps and leftovers for stews and soups where nothing is wasted. Food is precious.
Chef Kumar marinates the chicken overnight with Greek yogurt, ginger, lemon juice and a combination of spices from her own garam masala creation. The chicken is then skewered and cooked quickly in a tandoor at temperature between 600 to 700 degrees to create tenderness and smokey flavor. For the gravy (sauce) she uses fresh tomatoes, cashews, onions, ginger, garlic, green cardamoms, green chilis simmering them for about an hour. Once cooked down, she purees, sieves and adds salt, a little more garam masala, a bit of sugar and honey along with kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). For the finishing touch, Chef Kumar adds the chicken to the sauce with a little ghee, heavy cream cooking them for a few more minutes for a rich, tasty butter chicken. Yes, I abbreviated this a little, but you get the idea.
What you get with this dish is tender chicken with a slightly grilled flavor in a gravy that satisfies a variety of spiciness on your tongue, but is counter balanced by a richness from the creamy, tomato base. Add rice and some naan bread to sop up the gravy, and yummy is born.
I guarantee you. Butter Chicken at MyIndiKitchen is what you have been CRAVE’N!