This week I am indulging in my love of Indian food. It is a simple recipe but with a little secret ingredient you can get the flavor of a tandoor without the extra step of grilling the chicken. What's the secret? Black cumin seeds which I discovered in India and am now totally in love with. (I also like putting them on my naan bread or cheese toast before cooking too - totally yum!)
This recipe is perfect when you have a crowd to feed or don't have a lot of time because there isn't a lot of prep or cooking time involved. I made this for dinner for my brother and sister-in-Iaw and it got their seal of approval so I know it's good.
A few things you need to know is that for best results the chicken should marinate for at least 3-4 hours and can be left overnight too stored in an airtight container, also the black cumin seeds and fenugreek really add a layer of flavor that gives an authentic taste - you can get both of these at any Indian grocery store or order it online.
Now prepare to make the easiest, tastiest butter chicken you have ever had!
This recipe reheats very well so you can make this dish the day before your function or dinner party and save yourself for more important things on the day
You can marinate the chicken, grill it and eat it just as an appetizer served with a squeeze of fresh lemon
You can use normal chilli powder if you don't have Kashmiri chilli powder
You can buy tomato passata ready made at most grocery stores - it is just liquefied tomato
YOU WILL NEED
1kg | 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs cut into cubes
1 tablespoon lemon juice OR vinegar
1 heaped teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
2.5cm | 1 inch of ginger finely grated
½ a medium sized onion finely grated
1 cup plain yogurt (I used lactose-free but any is fine)
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons ghee
2-3 large garlic cloves crushed
1 rounded tablespoon garam masala powder
½ teaspoon black cumin seeds (nigella/kalonji seeds)
½-1 teaspoon fenugreek powder
½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
½-1 teaspoon chilli Kashmiri powder
250ml tomato passata (liquefied tomatoes)
250ml tomato paste
100ml/3 rounded tablespoons thickened cream
In a medium glass bowl add chicken cubes, lemon juice/vinegar, chilli powder, grated ginger and onion, yogurt and salt. Cover with plastic wrap to ensure it is airtight and allow to marinate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
To make gravy take a large saucepan or wok and heat ghee over a medium-high heat.
Once the ghee is hot turn heat down to medium and add the garlic, garam masala, black cumin seeds, fenugreek powder, sugar and chilli powder and give a quick stir.
Add the tomato paste and tomato passata and stir through again.
Add the marinated chicken and allow to cook through (this usually take about 7-10 minutes depending on how big your chicken pieces are).
Add cream and stir through. If you want a thicker gravy, continue to simmer stirring regularly until you get the desired consistency.
Serve with rice, naan and salad.