Indian food is something I’ve probably abused over the years, whether it be via cheap take away or by preparing quick meals at home using a supermarket curry mix. Butter chicken certainly falls into this category. Never made it from first principles, but eaten plenty of impersonations.
India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant is another in the Phaidon series. Has over 1000 recipes allegedly. Not a bad book, but then again I like most of the stuff Phaidon puts out.
The first difference in cooking from first principles is that you marinate the chicken in yoghurt and a spice mix prior to cooking. To make marinade mix together:
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder (I used 2 tsp cayenne pepper)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
salt to taste
2 tbsp lime juice
500 ml natural yoghurt
Cut a whole chicken into pieces, place in marinade, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
To cook chicken, heat 6 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large heavy based pan over low heat. Add chicken and marinade, cover and cook for 25 mins turning occasionally.
To make sauce melt 1tbsp of butter in a saucepan, add 750 ml tomato puree and cook for 5 mins. Add 115g butter and allow to melt, add 1tsp of chili powder and cook for 1 min. Then add 1/2 tsp Garam Masala and season with salt. The recipe also requires the addition of 2tsp of crushed, dried fenugreek leaves at this point but I didn’t have any.
Combine everything and add 3 tbsp of cream before serving.
The real thing is better than the packet/bottle thing, as if there was ever any doubt!