This week a couple of my foodie friends posted recipes for tandoori chicken and after I had done wiping my keyboard dry, I decided to take this as a tasty segue to my recipe of butter chicken. There are many recipes for tandoori chicken and everyone has a special way they like to make it at home with the spices they like to use. Some like to grill on charcoal, some on gas and some just throw it under the broiler; I’ve done all three at one time or another.
I love tandoori chicken, especially the one that comes from a true tandoor, a big clay pot oven. However, I’ll take chicken that is thrown on a searing grill too with a charcoal fire burning underneath. Most of the flavour comes from the marinade the chicken absorbs and it is important that it gets a chance to soak in this spicy, garlicky bath.
I am not going to post my tandoori chicken today (you can find my marinade in the chicken tikka masala post) but please check out the ones posted earlier this week on Simple Gluten Free Kitchen and The Lady 8 Home, both use different spices and different cooking methods but I guarantee they both taste exquisite. After you have enjoyed a piece or two of the tandoori chicken, use the rest to make this butter chicken curry. This stuff is amazing and that is the reason why it’s so popular at restaurants.
It’s worth it to make extra tandoori chicken just to make this butter chicken (murgh is chicken and makhan is butter) or chicken tikka masala. If possible, search out the dried fenugreek leaves for that authentic butter chicken flavour. Fenugreek leaves or methi, are strong, pungent, slightly bitter leaves that South Asians thoroughly enjoy as a dried herb and as fresh greens. They are easily available in dried form at any Indian grocery store.
Now, butter chicken, as the name implies, is not a low calorie curry. There are ways to lighten it and many people do…lighten everything. I am of the thinking that I cook this once in a while but when I do, I do it the right way. This is not on our weekly dinner roster so when I do make it, I do add the cream and I do pour on the butter. I make butter chicken like twice a year. Now, if you want to make it more often then by all means lighten it or omit the fat, but I enjoy the full fat version once in a while.
Serves: 6 servings
- 2lbs/907g tandoori chicken, diced in big chunks
- 7 tomatoes, diced very finely (I used plum tomatoes)
- 3 tomatoes, puréed
- 6 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons kasoori methi/dried fenugreek leaves
- ½ cup/118ml cream
- 4 tablespoon/57g butter, melted
- 2 green chillies
- cilantro to garnish
- salt as needed
- In a large fry pan, pour in 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.
- Add the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick and let them release their aroma.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft.
- Press with the back of the spoon to mash them and soften them, 10 minutes or so.
- Add the pureed tomatoes and continue to cook till the sauce begins to thicken a little.
- Add the kasoori methi leaves, rubbing them in your palm to break them up a little.
- Add the green chillies.
- Add the cream and simmer gently.
- Add the diced chicken and mix through until chicken is heated.
- Check for salt and add as needed.
- Add the remaining melted butter over the top and blend in gently.
- Sprinkle with fresh cilantro leaves.
Spring time is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate then to get the grill going and cook up some tandoori chicken. Make sure to keep some aside to rustle up this quick butter chicken.
Hope you are all having a great week and keeping warm. It’s been freezing here but I see we have some sun in our forecast this weekend. Time to thaw out a bit.