This first recipe for Butter Chicken comes from Co-Director Jessica Mayo. She received it from her brother-in-law Susmith, who is Indian. He recommends smelling each ingredient separately before you add them, and then smelling the mix as you cook to help you get the right blend of spices for your taste.
Butter Chicken Recipe
- 3 tablespoons (tbsp) of butter
- 1 onion (½ will do, don't do 1)
- ¼ teaspoon (tsp) of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic (4 - 5 cloves)
- 2 teaspoons of crushed ginger (½ - 1 inch)
- ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of chilli powder (for mild, avoid it totally, maybe 0.25 - 0.5 tsp for mild taste)
- 1 tablespoon of coriander powder
- 400 grams / 14 oz of skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
- ¼ to ½ cup ground almonds + or cashews
- 225 gram / 8 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with juice pureed (3 large)
- ¼ - ½ cup of unsweetened yogurt (use ¼ first, then taste, add more if req.)
- Salt - to taste
- ½ tsp saffron powder (optional, mix with yogurt)
With chicken there is always a risk of food poisoning, so it is important to clean your hands, board and knives before and after working with the raw meat.
- Trim and cut the chicken into small cubes, cover and put aside.
- With a clean knife and board slice the onions into thin wedges (lyonnaise).
- Heat a large saucepan or frying pan and melt 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter until it is frothy. Add the onions and the cinnamon to the pan and fry lightly. When the onions are soft and translucent, stir in the crushed garlic and ginger. Stir constinuously.
- Then add the turmeric, chilli and coriander, and sauté over a medium heat. The spices are fried first to release their maximum flavour and this really enhances the dish.
- Add the cubed chicken and sauté stirring constantly until the chicken has turned white.
- Pour in the ground almonds + cashews, tomatoes and mix thoroughly.
- Add sufficient water (just so all the chicken is immersed fully).
- Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add the yogurt and heat through mildly.
- Before switching off, add 1 tsp butter and serve hot on rice and/or with Indian bread (Naan) if desired..