Today’s recipe is a homemade version of our favorite kind of Indian takeout—butter chicken, also known as murgh makhani—a creamy, tender dish with a tomato-based cream sauce and a kick of heat. When you Google the term, there are 58 million results (84,000 if you use quotation marks), so, we realize, it’s not like the Internet world needs another version; but then, I suppose you could make the same argument about food blog (2 billion results and counting), and, here we are, still doing that. Tim and I attended a workshop about work this weekend, I don’t mean it was for work, but rather, literally, it was about work as a concept in itself, and while we confronted, mostly, the philosophies behind our day jobs and why we do them and how they are, in small ways, mimicking the One who brings order out of chaos and beauty out of dust, we also thought about the work we do that isn’t paid for (or paid for by much). Cleaning the kitchen. Vacuuming the house. Organizing the bathroom pantry. Repairing the car. Updating the blog. There could be a million (or, okay, 2 billion) other people doing the same thing, but it’s still meaningful. It’s fulfilling right in our soul—because “whenever we bring order out of chaos, whenever we draw out creative potential, whenever we elaborate and ‘unfold’ creation beyond where it was when we found it, we are following God’s pattern of creative cultural development.'” (Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor)
What’s great about butter chicken is that it’s basically gateway Indian food: There’s nothing terribly unusual about it, nothing besides the spices, perhaps, but even those (ginger? garlic? turmeric? chili powder?) aren’t all that strange. It’s spicy, sure, but you control the heat: We tend to take an “add as we go” approach to dishes like these, adding a little hot factor at a time until we get it where we like. With that in mind, the recipe below is a guide, based on what we did, but you should feel free to adjust to your tastes.
p.s. If you liked this recipe, you might also like previous Indian dishes we’ve posted, such as:
- Rosewater Cardamom Lassi
- Speedy Chicken Tikka Masala
- Curried Cauliflower Fried Rice with Cashews and Coconut
- Hot Spiced Milk