Silky Butter Sauce also commonly known as Butter Makhani sauce is a rich, buttery sauce made with fresh tomato puree and aromatic spices. It exactly makes a silky and smooth thick tomato gravy dish. Makhani sauce as the name suggests is a sauce made with makhan (butter). It is a delicately flavoured sauce which has a taste of tomatoes, Indian aromatic spices, butter and cream blended together.
This dish is rich gravy loaded with calories but extremely flavourful, exotic and very popular. It is one dish that dominates in most of the menu cards of any Indian restaurant serving north Indian food. This wonderful smooth and silky sauce can be used with chicken or paneer (Indian cottage cheese). This sauce is generally used to make the traditional Chicken tikka masala, Butter Chicken, Paneer butter masala or Paneer tikka masala etc.
The sauce is a mix of aromatic Indian spices in the melted butter releasing out its magnificent aroma mixed to fresh tomato puree and some cream or milk for a smooth finish. Indian cooking is famous for its spices and spices have not only been used to hide signs of putrefaction in food but also to make dishes delicious and mouth-watering. The way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach, but perhaps even more through his taste buds, and what better way is there to affect the taste buds than the use of spices?
Indian spices have several potential health benefits which make it worthwhile to include them on your dinner table and the fragrant spices commonly used in Indian cuisine enhances the dishes with their incredible and exotic flavours and an unmatched richness to the dish. Generally the masalas or spices and other seasonings ground together form the basis for Indian sauces. There are no hard and fast rules for the use of spices in particular recipes, but there are basic guidelines based on common-sense. It is said that Indian spices is attributed to have aphrodisiacal properties; when you try them out, it is important that they be used in combination with food that would be delicious and appetising even without the spices in order to achieve maximal effect.
This makhani sauce is very aromatic butter based tomato cream sauce seasoned with spices and herbs which are the base gravy for most of the tomato based creamy dishes in the Indian restaurants. This lip smacking sauce is usually added to the Paneer Makhani or Paneer butter masala (Indian cheese in a butter sauce), Malai Kofta (Cheese balls stuffed with nuts raisins and spices cooked in a creamy sauce), Dal Makhani (creamy buttery lentils) or the world famed Murgh Makhani or Butter Chicken served in most Indian restaurants all over the world.
The word Makhani comes from ‘makhan’ which means butter. The origin of this sauce is from the northern regions of India (Punjab). Traditionally fresh butter and cream were used to cook this basic sauce. Most of the dishes made with silky sauce are served with naan, roti, parathas, roomali roti or steamed rice.
There are various versions for this recipe and of all the spices added to the dish, it is the dried fenugreek leaves which is known as Kasuri methi that makes the greatest contribution to the characteristic flavour of this dish. Addition of kasoori methi to any dish gives it a slightly bitter taste and a pungent flavour, but does not significantly change its nutritive value.
To prepare this luscious, mouth-watering 2 minute Silky Butter Sauce, firstly heat some butter in a pan and while the butter is melting, add in the spices (chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, kasuri methi, turmeric powder, salt, pinch of sugar) all at a time and stir well. Add browned onions or onion powder, tomato ketchup and fresh tomato puree and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on simmer to reduce the tomato sauce, till done. (You will know when the fat and the spice mix/masala leave the sides of the pan and the oil separates and you will definitely smell it!). Be careful as the sauce will bubble and splatter.
Simmer the heat and add heavy cream or milk little by little and stir continuously. Simmer for few seconds and switch off the flame.
You can add chicken pieces in this sauce and make a yummy butter chicken dish or add paneer and it would turn into paneer butter masala.
The amount of cream added to this at the end will depend on the recipe you are going to make with this.
This is a great recipe for parties and get-together’s where you will really hear the “wow” when the dishes cooked with this sauce looks and tastes so professionally done. Check out the link on making of this dish: