My friend gave me this recipe months ago. In fact, it’s been sitting on my kitchen counter so long that I fear it will be unreadable soon. Also, I had a whole chicken in my freezer that has been speaking butter chicken to me. It’s a grey, grim day outside, yesterday was grey and grim and my mood is grey and grim. When grey and grim is the prevailing spirit, something that simmers for a long time and fills my home with a warm, soothing fragrance is in order.Of course, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I made do.
Here’s what I did;
Heat all these ingredients together in your skillet until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Cover it and let it cool, then strain. The seeds have done their work, you now have a wonderfully flavoured oil.
4 Tbsp fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
1 large can tomatoes
1/2 small can of tomato paste
1 container of fried onions (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup butter
Heat the flavoured oil, toss the ginger and garlic in your blender or food processor with a splash of water and puree to a paste. Add to the flavoured oil along with the tomatoes, tomato paste, onions and butter. Simmer on low heat. Smash the tomatoes with the back of a spoon or use your potato masher.
Add the rest of your spices;
2 Tbsp chili flakes
3 Tbsp curry powder
3 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp tumeric
2 Tbsp garam masala
(coriander and cardamom would be great in this sauce, too, but I don’t have any on hand)
Simmer for a few minutes, then add one whole, cut up chicken. Of course you could use all thighs or breast or even add cut up cubes of chicken.
Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. For bone in chicken parts, about 45 minutes.
Add a bunch of cilantro, chopped and 1/2 cup of cream. I used half-and-half because that’s what I had on hand and it was delicious. Whipping cream would make it richer.
Serve it over basmati rice or with naan bread and enjoy.