Monday, June 17, 2013

Better Butter Chicken recipe

So, I've posted a butter chicken recipe before, but you know me... always looking looking for something better.
My best friend, you tube, had some awesome videos! many many videos.
I liked the one with VahChef. His charisma made it! I love people who are so helplessly passionate about what they do.

Oh how I judge things.

He doesn't say too accurately the amount of spices. But just look at the amount of chicken he is using and just trust your eye. I eye ball every time, and each time, it comes out delicious.

Like he says, I add some spices to marinate the chicken (I also add some yogurt to the marinade too), then some spices towards the end to adjust the seasoning. I see many ppl pureeing onion and tomatos separately, but I'm too lazy for that.  After simmering the Tomato mixture until tomatoes are mushy, I just blitz everything together.

here's the ingredient list of things I use...

for chicken and marinade:
5-6 chicken thighs cut into finger size strips
1 tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp ginger garlic paste (i just grate them with my microplane)
3 tbsp yogurt
1tbsp garam masala

For tomato "gravy"
3-4 tbsp butter
1 large onion, cut into rough dice

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1tsp chili pepper (more or less. whatever you like)
1tbsp garam masala
1tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3-4 tomatoes
some cloves
one bay leaf
1 small can tomato sauce (you can really use any kind here. if you want to stretch the gravy, add more)
a little ketchup (yes, a secret)
salt and pepp
1/2 cream
maybe some sugar

1. I marinade the chicken for a couple of hours. I'm sure longer is better and less time is also fine.

2. in a large sauce pan, heat some oil and cook the chicken pieces until golden in color. cooking it all the way through at this stage is not necessary. remove from pan. set aside.

3. in the same sauce pan,  melt the butter and add onion, ginger garlic paste, bay leaf and spices. saute until onion is translucent. De-glaze the pan with water to get all the brown bits.  Add tomatos, saute. when tomatoes had some chance to mingle with hot butter and onion, add salt and pepper and cover to simmer for about 30 min.

4.  Once the Tomatoes are soft, carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and blend it til smooth. (I always wish that I didn't have to do this step since my blender is so teeny tiny that it requires a few separate batches. BUT, it DOES take the dish to the next level). Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and bring it to simmer. Put the chicken pieces into the tomato gravy and simmer for 10 min.

5. Taste for seasoning. crush the Methi (fenugreek leaves) in your palm and add it to the pot. add the cream. I usually end up adding more garam masala, chili, and or cumin. This is also where you would add the ketchup. It does make the dish more mellow. I usually end up simmering this for another hour or so, which probably is unnecessary :) but the chicken pieces really get more tender as time passes.

If the gravy is too... striking (?) add a small spoon-fuls of sugar at a time and taste. 

finish with some cilantro if you like.

ps. I have made this dish in so many different ways. as long as all the ingredients go in the pot, they usually come out tasting delicious. so experiment!

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