Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Butter Chicken (Maybe)

Recipe for my experimental butter chicken.  Recipe is for 2 pounds of chicken, usually serves about 5 people.  Adjust ratios (or not) for different measures.  Use fresh ingredients when you can.  Will take about an hour and a bit if you're efficient.


  • Chicken thigh filet cut into small pieces (works with drumsticks and bone-in just as well; try not to use breast though; gets too dry)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1.5 tablespoons of whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder/cayenne pepper (adjust according to the heat you want)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika for color 
  • 2 tablespoons of fenugreek powder or crushed dried fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • A fistful of unsalted cashew nuts (salted works just as well, just adjust for it)
  • 3 green chilies (chopped - again adjust for desired heat)
  • 2 onions (medium; chopped; red or white work just as well)
  • 3 tomatoes (medium; chopped)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (use real butter, non of that margarine nonsense)
  • A fistful of chopped cilantro for garnishing
  • Oil; water; heavy cream; ketchup

Marinate the chicken with half the garlic and ginger paste, red chili powder, coriander, and salt and set aside for a couple of hours if you can.  If not, no worries.  

Heat the oil in a large skillet, preferably stainless steel instead of non-stick.  When the oil is hot, flash fry the chicken.  Fry till chicken is "browned" (which is weird, because it turns white - *insert your own politically incorrect joke here*).  Don't worry if the marinate sticks to the pan.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  

In the same pan, add the cumin seeds, the onions, green chilies, the rest of the ginger and garlic paste, cashew nuts, red chili powder, coriander, fenugreek, and tomatoes - I prefer to do it in this order.  Then add the water and slowly scrape the browned masala from the bottom of the pan.  Cover, reduce the heat and let it come to boil.  Let it slow cook for an arbitrary amount of time.

Pour the mixture into a blender (Vitamix ftw).  If you don't have a Vitamix let the mixture cool a bit so you don't blow up your blender.  Blend into a fine paste or liquefy depending on the texture you want.

In the same pan, throw in the stick of butter, let it melt and the pan get hot.  Throw in any water that might have oozed out of the chicken that was sitting on the sidelines.  Add the blended mixture.  Add some ketchup (depending on how tangy you want it to be), add some heavy cream (depending on how creamy you want it to be), bring to a boil and then toss in the chicken, add the garam masala, reduce heat, cover and let it cook for an arbitrary amount of time till the chicken is fully cooked (I would say 10-15 minutes should suffice).  

Take off stove.  Garnish with some more heavy cream and the chopped cilantro.  Let it sit for a few minutes and serve.  Voila!  

Should look something like this

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