Thursday, August 6, 2009

Delhi Diary: Having Butter Chicken in Delhi !!!


[Text by Uttiya Das and Photo by Google]

Butter Chicken is to Delhi what Chicken Chaap is to Kolkata. The Delhiwallas love to relish on their Butter Chicken. The dish, incidently, has a brief interesting history. Motimahal Restaurant (Daryaganj-Delhi) is said to have invented Butter Chicken in somewhere '70s, where the kitchen staffs dunked the left-over Tandoori Chicken in a rich buttery saucy gravy.

The dish was first introduced to me by my mother for a delicious dinner as a part of her effort to make me stinct to Rotis (even till now, i'm nt a roti person, i prefer eating it only with nice tasty delicious non-veg side dish.. otherwise i stuck to my rice) in my childhood days. So, i had this nice memory of Butter Chicken being cooked at home, where the dressed chicken (boneless or with bone) is marinated in yoghurt(dahi) and spice mixture, usually, garam masala, ginger(adrak), garlic paste(lasoon), lemon or lime, pepper(golmirch), cumin(jeera), turmeric(haldi), chilli(lalmirch) for 2-3 hours. Then the marinated chicken is cooked in a sauce made by mixing butter, tomato puree, spices including cumin(jeera), cloves(laung), cinnamon(dalchini), pepper(golmirch) & green-chili paste. After being cooked, the dish is garnished with butter, fresh cream & crushed fenugreek(methi) leaves.

In Kolkata, i am used-to the Butter chicken at Bar-B-Q (park street), Amber (waterloo street) and Azad Hind Dhaba (ballygunge circular road). They are all delicious and very nicely cooked. Even the Butter Chicken at Sher-E-Punjab on Kolaghat Highway was a hit.

So, it became even more important to me to look out for other restaurants who cook good Butter Chicken in Delhi. The Butter Chicken of Motimahal and Royal (Connaught Place) is still sticked to my tongue, but here i am craving for more. During my 2005-whole-year Delhi-tenure, i never explored beyond Motimahal, Royal. Though, Kake Da Hotel in Connaught Place was once a must-visit for butter chicken, its gradually loosing out its reputation. National's (Connaught Place) butter chicken was though a good discovery. And it was on a post-diwali 2007 rainy-evening, that i made a round of calls and ended up learning about Gulati Restaurant, which my friend accidently discovered, served good-butter-chicken. We have been there before but neved ordered butter chicken. So, on a sunny sunday afternoon, we decided to give it a try.

And by 2pm, we are outside Gulati- Pandara Road. The place is a quite good-one to hang-out with friends. We were indulged in look-around at different tables and the interior, that we were surprised with its quick-delivery. Burra Kebab, Butter Chicken & Rotis ordered are on table and we are hungry enough to feast ourself quickly. The Burra Kebab was a regret, but the Butter Chicken was pretty good enough. The wonderfully cooked rich and creamy gravy was a treat for my stomach.

The butter chicken of Royal and National will be a close contender of Gulati's. The dish there is less oily & rich than Gulati's. While, Motimahal is still the best restaurant for butter chicken. But, West & South Delhiites can relish on their butter chicken at Gulati's 'coz its convenient for them.

But please count your calories while having Butter Chicken at Gulati. It wasn't a discovery 'coz the place was known to most of west-delhiites. But still one more addition to the growing list of good Butter Chicken eateries in Delhi. And, for that, you can always go back to Royal, National, Motimahal while in and around Connaught Place to have your favorite butter chicken. And i am thankfully to myself that a part of Delhi is still alive in me, The Calcuttawallah.