Tofu Makhani

As I've mentioned before, I have a terrible habit (read: wonderful addiction) of reading cooking blogs when I'm bored, and making note of recipes I want to try later. One day, I came across Cooking Weekends' blog and found her recipe for Murgh Makhani. Murgh Makhani is "Butter Chicken," and is a Punjabi recipe made of chicken marinated in a heavily spiced yogurt, added to a rich tomato-cream gravy. Out of the words 'butter,' 'spiced,' 'rich,' 'cream,' and 'gravy," what doesn't sound completely amazing?! And so, I made plans to make this tantalizing recipe, except with tofu instead of chicken.

And then, on Wednesday, I sat down at the computer to write out the recipe and discovered that it's supposed to take 3 hours to make. Crap! ....But, oh wait! Most of that cooking time is if you're making chicken! Tofu is the greatest thing in the whole world.

This still took about 1 1/2 hours to make, but it was 150% WORTH IT. SO FREAKING GOOD. I'M STILL DREAMING ABOUT IT. Greg asked that I make a double batch in the future so that we can have it four days in a row. I'm not arguing.

Please note that this recipe has a slow-building heat that lightly burns after you're done eating. To me and Greg, this is the perfect amount of spiciness. For you, maybe you'll want more or less. Just be aware that as is, this is a kind of spicy recipe. Yum!

Tofu Makhani (from Cooking Weekends)

Chicken Marinade
-3/4 cup plain yogurt
-2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
-2 tbsp paprika
-1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
-12-16oz block extra-firm tofu, cubed (OR: 8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless (about 1 1/2 lbs) cut into bite-size pieces)

-2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
-2 tbsp tomato paste
-1/4 cup water
-1 tbsp honey
-1 tbsp garam masala
-1 tsp ground turmeric
-1 tsp ground fenugreek (**Also called "Methi Powder." It smells like an Indian restaurant!)
-1 tsp chili powder
-small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
-1/4 cup heavy cream
-a pinch or two of cayenne if you prefer more heat (**I used 1/8 tsp extra)
-salt to taste

1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and let sit for an hour or two. If you're making the Tofu version, you only need to let this sit for 30 minutes, but longer doesn't hurt.

2. Heat the ghee or butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper and fry until the onion becomes transparent; about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, honey, garam masala, turmeric, fenugreek and chili powder. Stir to combine well. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 35-45 minutes, or until the mixture is very soft.

4. Remove the cover and raise the heat a touch, and add the tofu and all it's marinade. **Steps if you're making with chicken: When everything starts to simmer, lower the heat again, cover and cook for about an hour.**

5. With cover off, cook until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring a bit from time to time; about 5-10 minutes.

6. Stir in the cilantro and heavy cream. Check for seasoning. Cook for another minute or two, remove from heat. Nice with rice or naan.

-Serves 4


Girl Foodie said...

Murgh Makani is one of my favourite dishes to cook and eat!
I've never tried it with tofu, but I bet if it was firm and dry enough it would be delicious. Yours looks fantastic.

Heather said...

Thanks! It was really great. I didn't make a special effort to squeeze water out of my tofu, but it held up fine (probably because it was "super firm").

Anonymous said...

Oh, my god. Yet another one of your recipes I just HAVE to try. Mmmmm...


lisa said...

Yum, this dish is right up my alley -- I love spice and I love Indian cuisine! I love the tofu substitution as well. I don't eat much meat so I like to alternate between using just hearty vegetables or tempeh or tofu -- delicious recipe!

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this dish. Love Love loved!

~Lynda Vocalista001

Heather said...

Lynda--I'm SO glad you tried it and loved it! As I mentioned, this was definitely one of the best recipes I've tried all year. It always makes me drool a bit to think of it. ;)

Anonymous said...


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