Sunday, January 10, 2010

Butter Chicken - Week 2 of 52

This week’s recipe brings back memories of Queen’s University. The first time I had butter chicken I was at Curry Original in Kingston. I decided I needed to see how one of my favourite dishes is made.

This is Trish Magwood’s recipe and I have some changes. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off – all of the spices can be found at Bulk Barn. This is a much more affordable alternative than buying full jars of the spices, not knowing whether or not you may use them again. All of the spices below cost approx $1! As well, this recipe requires the chicken to be marinated (up to overnight).

Recipe tastes great and although takes a little bit of planning, is worth it!

Did you know – I decided to serve this with Patak's brand of pappadums (crispy lentil chips) which can be found in most ethnic sections of your grocery store. The package indicates “For best results, fry; you can also microwave”. When they say “for best results, fry” - they are not joking! I tried a test pappadum in the microwave and it left little raw/uncooked bits - read, not good. Frying was fun – the pappadums expand quite quickly – it takes approx 5 sec for it to expand and cook.

Did you know – Garam masala is from Hindi garam ("hot") and masala ("mixture") is a basic blend of ground spices common in Indian and other South Asian cuisine. Some common ingredients are black & white peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, black cumin, cumin seeds, cinnamon; cardamom, nutmeg, star anise and coriander seeds.

Butter Chicken – Serves 4


• 1 cup (250 mL) yogurt, balkan style
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground coriander
• 2 teaspoons (10 mL) cayenne pepper, or to taste * I left this out
• 1 teaspoon (5 mL) garam masala
• 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground turmeric
• 2 tablespoons (10 mL) minced fresh garlic
• 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
• 2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt
• 3 pounds (1.5 kg) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless *I substituted 3 large chicken breasts, cut into chunks
• Fresh lime wedges
• 3 tablespoons (50mL) butter or ghee
• 1 cup (250 mL) cashews, ground to a paste *optional for those with nut allergies
• 1 medium onion, minced
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh tomato purée * I substituted half a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy (35%) cream
• 1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh coriander, chopped roughly

1. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, cayenne, garam masala, turmeric, garlic, ginger and salt (to taste) in a medium bowl. In a re-sealable bag, add chicken and cover with yogurt marinade. Seal bag and toss to coat chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
2. Preheat grill or oven to 400 degrees (200 Celsius). Cook until juices run clear, about 20-25 minutes. Finish with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice. Set aside. Keep the juices, as these will go into the sauce.
3. In a high-sided sauté pan, heat butter or ghee over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic, garam masala and cook until fragrant. Add tomato purée and cashew paste, if using. Season with salt, stir and lower heat to a simmer. Add cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Use blender to puree until smooth.
4. Add the chicken and juices to sauce. Stir to coat chicken with sauce and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully warmed. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve it with basmati rice and naan (Indian flatbread) to soak up all the sauce or pappdums.

1 comment:

  1. Ok. So you're talking to the girl who made chickpea masala with the WHOLE package of spices instead of 2-3 tablespoons as was recommended. I am exuding garam masala scent. I'm going to try this recipe, but I'm going to omit the butter. Do you think that it is going to be a disaster?