Through my old blogs, I have shared many Indian foods you need to try and some links to recipes to try at home – if you haven’t read those, follow this link. This week I thought I’d share not a food recommendation, but my recipe for one of my favourite dishes: Butter Chicken, a simple dish but really delicious to eat.
The first tip before I start the recipe is to use good quality spices, not the 70p ones you find in the supermarket spice aisle. Go to the international aisle and get the brands suggested there, or if you have the facility or access, buy it from an Indian shop. Believe me, it will make a ton of difference.
Secondly, when marinating the chicken, let it marinate for as long as you can. My advice would be overnight as it gives the protein time to take on all the flavour and make the chicken more tender and flavourful to eat!
Okay, let’s get to the recipe:
This recipe makes 4 portions.
We start off by marinating the 1kg of boneless and skinless chicken thighs – you can use chicken breast, but thigh meat is much more tender when marinated and takes on the flavour very well, whereas chicken breast, when cooked for long, can turn out to be a bit dry. But if you prefer it, go ahead and use it.
For the marinade, you will need:
250g of Greek yoghurt, 20g of ginger garlic paste, 15g of Kashmiri red chilli powder (if using normal chilli powder, decrease the measurement if you don’t like it too spicy), 10g of coriander powder, 10g of cumin powder, 5g of turmeric powder, 5g of dried and roasted fenugreek, 10g of garam masala powder and salt to taste.
• Chop the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces.
• In a bowl, mix all the spices with yoghurt until combined, then add the chicken to the marinade, cover and let it marinate overnight.
• When it’s time to cook, either cook the chicken pieces in a frying pan, or what I personally like to do is put the chicken onto skewers and roast them in an oven until almost cooked – they will finish cooking in the sauce so you don’t need to fully cook them. My advice would be to cook the chicken after making the mixture and before blending the sauce as it should be cooked by the time you have to blitz and start boiling the sauce again. It will just save you time.
For the sauce/curry base, you will need:
2 medium-sized red onions, 20g of ginger garlic paste, 500g fresh tomatoes, 50g of cashew nuts, 10g dried fenugreek, 5g cumin seeds, 5g red chilli powder, 10g coriander powder, 10g garam masala powder, 5g turmeric powder, 25ml of double cream, 25g of butter, oil and salt to taste.
• For the sauce, roughly chop the onions and tomatoes into small cubes.
• In a saucepan, add the butter with a tablespoon of oil – the addition of oil just prevents the butter from burning too quickly.
• Once the butter is melted and hot, add in the cumin seeds and dried fenugreek and fry it for a minute.
• Now add in the onions, cook them until slightly brown, and add ginger garlic paste.
(We cook the onions first before adding the paste because if ginger garlic paste is added too early, it loses its flavour and fragrance quite easily, and onions can take a while sometimes to cook. Hence it’s advisable to add it after they are cooked.)
• Cook the paste with the onions for a minute, then add in the chopped tomatoes and cashews with a splash of water.
• Cook the mixture until the tomatoes start going soft. Once they start going soft, add in all the spices and let the mixture cook till the tomatoes turn all mushy. (Add in additional water if the mixture looks a bit dry.)
• Once the mixture is cooked, cool it down to room temperature and then blitz it all in the blender until smooth and has a sauce consistency. In the same pan where the mixture was cooked, pour in the sauce (do not wash the pan as it has still got all the flavour in) and put it back on the heat.
• Once the sauce starts heating up, check the seasoning and adjust it to taste, then add in the cooked chicken pieces and let it boil with the sauce to finish the cooking of the chicken.
• Finally, add in the cream, give it a final mix, boil it for a further 1-2 minutes, and your butter chicken is ready to be served.
• Garnish it with coriander if you like with a tablespoon of cream and butter on top and enjoy it with naan bread or rice, whatever you fancy it with!
And there you have it, my way of making a delicious butter chicken, simple yet delicious 😋.
If any of you fancy an Indian anytime soon, instead of ordering, try and make it at home. It might require some labour but would be so worth it! Hopefully you’ll like it and send us a picture or tag us over on social media if you decide to give it a try. ☺️