Butter Chicken Curry

Butter Chicken was introduced to Chennai by tandoori restaurants. I used to frequent the Piccadilly Tandoor restaurant in the late ’70s especially for their divine butter chicken. I longed to make this at home, but I was never satisfied with the results I obtained from recipes I found in books. It was only after watching several YouTube videos that I understood the technique of making butter chicken, and starting making it regularly at home. This recipe gives a better butter chicken than what many restaurants serve – if I do say so myself 🙂 Butter chicken is usually served with naan at restaurants. I also usually have it with Homemade Naan, but this time I tried it with homemade bread, and the result was just as heavenly!

Butter Chicken Curry - Kalas Kalai

Butter Chicken Curry

Nutritive Value

Butter Chicken Curry is definitely a big No to weight watchers and those who are on low fat diets. This is definitely a dish for those who live to eat. Though the chicken gives 25g of protein per 100g, and the tomatoes give a whopping amount of beta carotene, the dish explodes with calories thanks to the oil used for deep frying, the butter, and the cream. This is a high protein and very high energy preparation.

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 900-1,000g skinless and boneless Chicken
  • 3 T Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Pepper Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying

For the Curry

  • 1 large Onion, sliced
  • 3 T Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 4-5 Green Chillies, deseeded
  • 7-8 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 ½ tsp Cumin Powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
  • ¼ C Cashew Grits
  • 2 T Butter
  • 2 T Vegetable Oil
  • 2 T Fresh Cream
  • 2 tsp Salt, or to taste

Method

For the Chicken

  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces.
  2. Marinate the chicken with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, chilli, coriander, pepper, and cumin powders and salt for 1 hour.
  3. Deep fry the chicken on medium heat. Do not brown. Drain and set aside.

For the Curry

  1. Pulse the cashew grits in a mixie or a blender for 10 seconds at speed 1.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai or wok. Add the onion, and fry till translucent.
  3. Add the green chillies, and fry till white spots appear on the skin.
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste with 2 tablespoons of water, and fry till a fragrant aroma arises.
  5. Add the tomatoes and mix well.
  6. Cook stirring constantly till the tomatoes are tender.
  7. Add the spice powders (chilli, cumin, turmeric, garam masala) and blend well. Add the kasuri methi and continue to cook.
  8. Add the ground cashew and cook for a minute.
  9. Remove from heat, transfer to another vessel, and cool to room temperature.
  10. Pulse the tomato mixture in a mixie or blender at speed 1 for 10 seconds.
  11. Heat the pulsed tomato curry in the same wok, and add the butter.
  12. Adjust salt and add water if the gravy is too thick.
  13. As soon as the mixture bubbles, add the chicken and cook for a minute.
  14. Remove from heat, add fresh cream, and stir before serving.

Notes

  1. Always keep homemade ginger-garlic paste in your refrigerator. Equal amounts of ginger and garlic ground in a mixie or blender without adding water will keep in the refrigerator for almost 10 days. You can also use store bought ginger-garlic paste, but the homemade paste tastes better.
  2. I prefer using Kashmiri Chilli powder as it combines a mild flavour with a fiery red colour.
  3. Do not brown the chicken when you fry it. If the chicken is fried to the crisp state, it will lose its tenderness.
  4. I do not strain the tomato mixture after pulsing as it causes wastage, though some cooks prefer to do that.
  5. If you are using country tomatoes, which are very sour, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar to the curry.
  6. I prefer to use Tandoori Chicken, but I have used deep fried chicken in this recipe for those who do not have access to a baking oven. If you do have a baking oven, use Tandoori Chicken (without making any other changes to the recipe) as it gives the best results.
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