Okay! I admit it, I am a Naan Bread person. I love my curries and my Naan. It satisfies my hunger in a way rice never could, well, except for biryani that is. This Butter chicken is absolute exhilaration. It is a celebration of extremely simple spices on your palate giving you robust blend of flavour. I will tell you this for sure, the sapid flavours of this dish you eat, firstly, with your sense of smell. The aromatic smell of ginger being fried in oil makes you remember all the ginger biscuits you have ever tasted your whole life. The ginger fragrance while being infused in oil is breath-taking.
Butter chicken is perhaps the most popular dish to emerge from India and is one of the most infamous dishes in the culinary world. Here is the surprising bit though, this buttery creamy curry originated accidentally. Imagine, an accidental dish that now holds immense value in the Indian cuisine. Every Indian restaurant you will ever visit will surely carry this dish due to its popularity. ofcourse, all thanks to a man named K. Gujral. He introduced the concept of tandoori chicken in the 1920’s in his restaurant. unfortunately, he faced a dilemma of the leftover chicken pieces and didn’t know what to do. He added the leftover chicken to a tomato-based gravy the following day and hence emerged this gorgeous and luscious curry now known as Butter chicken.
The dish gets the punch of flavour from the ginger and the addition of fenugreek leaves. The cream adds to the richness of the sauce and cuts the spicy flavour from the red chilli flakes and the dollop of butter just takes it to a whole other level. The brilliance of the dish lay in the skilfull combination of the spicy tomato-based gravy with the sweetness of the dairy. The sauce is tangy and spicy with a perfect blend that is “Just Perfect”.
Julia Child once wrote, “if you are afraid of butter, use cream”, I guess there is a third category of people in the world like me, who aren’t only afraid of using butter or cream but audacioisly fuse the two together to make a coherent whole.
Extremely easy to make with very little effort and this dish serves itself with extravagance and lavishness. Your dinner guests will think you’ve made volume of effort in preparing it whereas the reality will be far from it as Elizabeth Olsen says, “I get way too much happiness from good food”.
The end result was sensational.
1 kg (970g) boneless chicken cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup Yogurt
10 Cloves (whole)
10 Black Peppercorns
1 inch Ginger Julienned
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Oil
3 tbsp Butter
1 cup Tomato chopped
1 cup cream
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tbsp Red Chilli Flakes
1 tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
Coriander To Garnish
- In a pan heat the oil and add the Julienned ginger. Fry this for a good 2-3 minutes.
- Once the ginger starts to shrink and turns golden, add the cloves, black peppercorn and fry for a few seconds.
- Add the chicken pieces, salt and yogurt.
- Cover the pan and cook for a good 15 minutes on high heat.
- Once the water has evaporated and the oil has separated from the yogurt, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan.
- Add the turmeric, red chilli flakes, lemon juice and fenugreek leaves.
- Stir and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cream and chopped coriander.
- Cover and let steam for about 5 minutes before turning the heat off.
- Serve this with Naan, Rice or Frozen Paratha (easily available in all retail stores).