Chicken or Kuddhu Makhani

This started out as an attempt to do chicken makhani, but didn't work out. Since, I found a way of doing it that tastes good and I make it with squash, but chicken could also be added. I'd suggest trying a tandoori recipe, but cooking the marinated chicken (remove excess marinage components so the makhani isn't greatly affected by them) in the makhani instead, but you can also just cook unmarinated chicken.

Tandoori chicken brings some fire to this dish.

If you're doing kuddu (squash), then be sure to add additional chile and other spices as well. Squash is a New World vegetable and not native to India. Kuddhu is a generic word that indicates pumpkin, squash, etc.

Makhani means "butter-based." If you don't use ghee, be very careful when heating the butter not to burn it.

Do not be tempted to add ground coriander to this dish.

Fresh tomatoes

If you wish to start with fresh tomatoes, you're facing a very long preparation akin to making fresh tomato soup. Cook the tomatoes sliced for 10 minutes to soften, then push them through a strainer, then simmer the pulp for another 50 minutes at least. (Simmer is where you see a few bubbles, not large, boiling ones.)


Serves 8-12


1 large can plain crushed tomatoes
8 oz butter (preferably ghee)
4-8 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin, roasted then ground
1-2 small chiles finely minced (optional)
¼ cup fresh cilantro
4 tbsp lemon juice
1½ cups cream or yoghurt
4 lbs squash or chicken


1. In a wok, large skillet or large sauce pan, cook down the tomato on very low heat for 50 minutes. Do not scortch the tomatoes.

2. In a separate, smaller pan, melt butter and sauté garlic for a few seconds. If not using ghee, do not burn butter solids. Empty into tomato preparation. Add a small amount of oil the same, smaller pan and bloom ground cumin and garam masala for 1-2 minutes. Empty into tomato preparation.

3. Add minced chiles to tomato preparation and continue simmering very low. You can hold the dish at this point, at very low heat or refrigerated overnight, until about 10-15 minutes before serving.

4. About 10 minutes from being ready to serve, add squash or cubed chicken. If you started out cold at this point (because you made the curry the night before), warm for 5 minutes before adding squash or chicken.

5. Add cilantro, lemon juice and cream; cover and simmer gently (at very low heat) for up to 4 minutes. If you want this curry to go further or be thinner, cut with a (very) little vegetable or chicken stock.

6. Serve hot with rice and a roti or naan.