When we have guests for dinner, and I find that I have ran out of ideas of what to make, the one dish I end up with in confidence is the butter chicken with butter nan. I will post the recipe of butter nan in future, inshaallah but for now let me rant about the Butter Chicken. It is one of those dishes which has that tantalising look and smell and after tasting, has won me rave reviews.
I am of the opinion that the presentation of the dish, its colour and its texture has almost equal importance to its taste. So if the dish is eye candy, you have half won! And if it is equally delicious, then you have reason to rejoice. I have a friend who presents even the common place ordinary food with a great deal of creativity and often I have found people (including me) express their greatest adoration for her food. Though I am not that good at presenting a dish with such perseverance, I have found some of my dishes winning admiration just by their texture and colour. Of course Butter Chicken is one among them.
The creamy and delicious gravy which coats the chicken pieces with such fascinating mirth, is what made me a fan of this dish in the first place. Call me a curry crazy nut or a texture conscious snob, I always would be bowled over by a bowl of this wonderful chicken curry. And it is also one of those dishes which we often order from Indian restaurants. You can make it mildly spicy or intense in flavour depending on your taste. Try this at home and it would become one of your trusted face saviours while having guests.
And... don't forget to let me know if you won or lost ;)
And the recipe...
Things you need:
800g skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into small square pieces
( medium pieces with bone is also great! I usually make it that way)
2 onions, sliced
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric pdr
1 tsp chilli powder (cayenne)
1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli pdr
1/4 tsp powdered cumin (jeeraka podi)
2 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 piece of cinnamon(abt 2 inches)/patta
6 cloves (grampoo)
3-4 pods of cardamom (elakka)
2 bay leaves
3 to 4 tbsp of tomato puree/ 3 tomatoes ground
1 tsp garam masala pdr
6-8 cashew nuts
1/4 cup thick cream
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
What you do:
- Soak the cashew nuts in a little water for 1 hr. Heat vegetable oil in a sauce pan and saute onions in it until translucent.Remove it from the pan and grind it with the soaked cashews into a fine paste.Keep aside.
- Heat butter in the same sauce pan and saute the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves until aroma comes out. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 5 minutes in low heat. Add turmeric powder, chilli powders and saute in low heat. Now add the tomato puree and saute for a couple of minutes.Add the chicken pieces, adequate salt and half a cup of water and cook covered in medium to low heat for 45 minutes or until the chicken is well cooked.
- When the chicken is well cooked, add the cashew onion paste , cumin powder, garam masala powder, kasoori methi powder and stir well to combine. Cook in medium heat for a couple of minutes more until the gravy is nicely coated on the chicken pieces.
- Remove from heat and garnish with cream and coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with rice or butter nan.