After quite a number of requests, I bring you my butter chicken recipe this week. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser, liked by all ages, owing to its creamy tomato flavour. As the name suggest it contains butter – quite a lot if I’m honest – and cream, so perhaps this is one that you cook once in a while as opposed to each week. It’s delicately spiced as opposed to spicy so by default appeals to most palates. It is the one curry that using the breast meat works well. Typically I would always suggest using chicken thigh or the whole chicken cut into pieces by your butcher, but for butter chicken breast meat is perfect.
Whilst it is super straightforward to make there are a few stages to consider. You need to marinate the meat – minimum an hour or even overnight if you are really organised. After this you then char the chicken in a pan (grill also works well). Using the same pan you lightly bronze the onion and blitz that into a smooth paste. Next step is to create a buttery, creamy tomato sauce before adding the onion and meat and allowing it to simmer and infuse together. It can be cooked in advance so is certainly a good one if you are entertaining. I think you are going to like it. If you are on instagram and you make please tag me @chilliandmint #chilliandmint
Have a good week everyone.
Serves 6 (if serving with other dishes)
750g chicken breast or thigh (boneless), cut into bite sized pieces
3 tbsp full fat natural yoghurt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
juice from half a lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or regular butter
2 tbsp oil
2 white onions, roughly chopped
creamy tomato sauce
75g salted butter
400g passata (or fresh tomatoes)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar
1 tsp salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
150ml double cream
1 tbsp dried methi/fenugreek leaves
- First you need to marinate the chicken. Mix all the marinade together and then cover tightly with cling film/foil and place in the fridge for an hour – to overnight.
- Once you have marinated the chicken sufficiently heat the ghee/butter in a frying pan. Add the pieces of chicken so that they sealed and charred on both sides. This takes about 3-4 minutes on each side. They won’t be completely cooked at this stage so don’t try and nibble a piece quite yet! You will need to char the chicken in batches so that it does not overcrowd the pan. You do not want to steam it so don’t overcrowd the chicken or put a lid on the pan.
- Once all the chicken pieces have been charred, place in a bowl and keep to one side.
- In the same pan add the ghee and gently fry the onion so that it begins to bronze – this will take around 6 minutes. Remove from the pan, with all the charred scrapings from the bottom and blitz into a smooth paste using a small blender.
- In a deep pan/karahi, add the butter. When it is melted add the spices followed by the passata, black pepper, salt and jaggery/sugar. (If you are using fresh tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes in the pan and then blitz these too into a smooth paste and then return to the pan to follow the next steps.) Allow to simmer on a gentle heat for 7 minutes, by which time the sauce will have thickened sufficiently.
- Add the double cream, onion puree, chicken and dried fenugreek. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes on a low heat. Taste test and add more salt (and butter if you fancy) if needed.
To serve add a pinch more dried fenugreek and a drizzle of double cream. Equally fresh coriander on top would work well to serve.
It is delicious eaten with naan or rice. Accompanying dishes that would work well would be my chana dal and I will be eating mine with my tindora/ivy gourd curry.
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