Butter Chicken Recipe - Ultimate Curry's

Butter Chicken is very much a universally loved Indian dish. Somewhat a mid point between a Korma and a Tikka Masala. Though this recipe may take a little more effort than a standard home-cooked curry, I can guarantee you that it's so worth it. Despite the long ingredient list and process heavy nature of this recipe, it's straightforward and easy to follow, you will need a blender of some sort though (a handheld one will do).

Serves: 4-6 with rice

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Difficulty: Medium, not because it's difficult to cook but because of the amount of processes. They are straightforward to follow though so don't let that put you off!  

Spices Used: Fenugreek, Garam Masala, Cardamom, Cloves (Silk Road Chest), Cayenne Pepper (Gunpowder Chest).

Ingredients:

For the Marinade: 

2 tsp Fenugreek Powder

60 ml Plain Yoghurt

1 tbsp Webley's Freshly Ground Garam Masala

2 1/2 Teaspoons Sea salt (if using table salt use half as much)

One inch piece of ginger, peeled then finely chopped or grated

900 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch bitesize cubes

For the sauce:

1 1/4 tbsp Fenugreek Powder 

3/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 pod cardamom

1 whole clove

1 tbsp Webley's Freshly Ground Garam Masala

1 tbsp Sea Salt (if using table salt use half as much)

800 g tinned whole tomatoes with their juices

28 g raw Cashew nuts (about 10-15 nuts)

300 ml water

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium white onion chopped

1/4 tsp baking soda

One inch piece of ginger, peeled then thinly sliced

4 medium cloves of garlic, smashed then roughly chopped

120 ml's double cream, plus extra for drizzling

60 g butter

Warm Basmati rice for serving

Recipe:

For the chicken marinade:

Set a baking sheet in a baking dish so it makes a boat with 1 inch sides for the chicken to sit in. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the yoghurt, Webley's freshly ground garam masala, salt, grated ginger, and fenugreek.

Add the chicken thigh pieces to the bowl and toss so the marinade evenly coats the pieces. Transfer the chicken to prepared baking sheet, arranging pieces in a single, even layer. Set aside for the time being whilst you prepare the sauce.

For the sauce: 

Add the green cardamom and clove to small pan and place it over medium heat. Toast, tossing frequently, until spices are quite fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Crush these toasted spices in a pestle and mortar (if you don't have a pestle and mortar, use your imagination - a rolling pin would be my go to..)

Add these crushed spices to a small bowl with the fenugreek, Webley's freshly ground garam masala, cayenne pepper and salt.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine cashew nuts and 1/4 cup (60ml) water. Microwave on high until cashews look plump and have softened slightly, about 1 minute. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven or something similar to a casserole pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onions and baking soda and, using a wooden spoon, stir to coat onions in oil and distribute baking soda. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have completely broken down, most of their moisture has cooked off, and they begin to brown. Don't cook the onions too fast - it's essential in curries to cook onions slowly to break them down and not to burn them. If at any point they brown too quickly or unevenly then add a tablespoon of water and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom.

Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for about a minute. Using a wooden spoon, push onions into center of pot to form a mound. Add ground spice mixture to the mounded onions to prevent spices from scorching.

Cook the spices, stirring constantly, until onions are coated in spices and the mixture is very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cashews and their soaking liquid, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes and their juices plus 1 cup (240ml) water and, using the back of wooden spoon, crush tomatoes.

 Turn up the heat a little and gently bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a light simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are completely broken down and liquid has reduced, about 40 minutes.

Whilst the sauce is reducing, adjust oven rack to about 3 inches below your grilling element and preheat the grill to 230℃. remember to use the grill, not the fan setting.

Put your chicken on the oven rack below your grilling element, checking the chicken frequently to ensure it's not burning and to release smoke, until chicken is charred in spots and is fully cooked through, about 14 minutes (time will vary depending on the strength of the broiler). Remove chicken from grill and set aside.

Using an immersion blender blend contents of Dutch oven off the heat until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Alternatively, transfer contents of pot to blender and blend until completely smooth. Add the butter and cream, and blend until completely smooth and emulsified (about another 2 minutes).

Finally, add the grilled chicken along with any juices in the sheet pan to the sauce and stir until chicken is well incorporated and warmed through. Ladle chicken and sauce into serving bowl and drizzle with additional heavy cream. Serve immediately with rice alongside.

Tips:

In Indian Cuisine it is so important to cook spices low and slow as it is very easy for them to catch and burn which will completely ruin the delicate balance of spice.

Onions demand similar attention and will also have quite a negative effect overall on a curry if they catch and burn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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