The Sephardic Community of Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Recipe: Chicken Makhani

This dish is relatively quick and inexpensive but is incredibly flavorful and delicious.  I only eat meat very rarely but I always have this dish – it’s that good!  Enjoy!



  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½  tablespoon ginger garlic paste (basically just chopped finely together)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garam masala spice (McCormick Select is OU)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup canned crushed or chopped tomato
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in margarine, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, coriander and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add canned tomato and water and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper to taste.
  2. Put cashews and water into a blender or food processor.  Process on high for 2 or 3 minutes until the cashew turns into a foamy cream. Stir the cashew cream into the sauce and maintain a low simmer.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon coriander. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce or water to deglaze the pan. Stir cooked chicken into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

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