Butter chicken is the biz. Everyone knows that.
Making it without using a packet was a strange and wondrous experience.
2 T peanut oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped (I used a fennel bulb instead)
1/2 white onion, peeled and chopped (I used a fennel bulb instead)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed or chopped
2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp garam masala (I mixed my own approximation based on a quick google search)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf (I used lots, because they were fairly old, then removed them because they’re gross to actually eat)
3 T natural yogurt
1 c cream
1 c tomato puree
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 T cornflour
3 T water
[Serve with rice. Naan bread and natural yogurt are really nice with it too.]
- Sauce: Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Fry the shallots and onion (or fennel) until soft.
- Stir in butter, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, half the garam masala, chilli, cumin, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Add tomato puree and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Stir in cream and yogurt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Heat the rest of the oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about ten minutes. Reduce heat and season with the rest of the garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced and chicken is no longer pink. Spoon the cooked chicken into the sauce.
6. Mix together cornflour and water, then stir into the sauce. Adjust seasonings and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
7. Beg children to eat it.
8. Decide to stick to packet mixes in future.
Louisette was SO SO excited about making butter chicken, and assured me she loved it. As you can see, she gave it “side thumb”. This pattern of wanting food and then refusing to eat it is very familiar to us by now.
Tim is giving a thumbs up… to the plain chicken that I set aside partway through the recipe, knowing he’d most likely turn up his nose at the delicious sauce. Which he did.
Yum Factor: 4.5 (for anyone with good taste)
Health: 4 (I added carrot and water chestnuts to the mix, so it even had vegies)
Easy: 3 (gathering that many ingredients takes time)
Will make again? I know it’s heresy, but the packet mixtures are pretty good. I’ll stick to them in future. (Of course, the kids don’t eat them either, so we don’t have them often.)