This is the first time I think I really nailed an Indian dish. Normally there is that little something missing, but this time I think the depth of flavour was there.
In my head, I am comparing it to a dish I had last week, when I went with a colleague to a restaurant near the office. The version there was excellent in flavour and the inspiration for tonight’s experiment. In contrast to my version, however, it was radioactive red; nevertheless, I think my humble interpretation is not lagging behind in flavour.
I made the extra effort of boning the chicken thighs, and then made a soup with the bones. Bonus points! To make butter chicken, I sightly modified the recipe I found in the wonderful book by Sanjeev Kapoor, “How to Cook Indian.”
- 8 bio chicken legs, deboned
- 1 teaspoon red chile powder
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the marinade
- 150 g Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
For the sauce
- 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons double cream (45%)
- Mix the chicken pieces in a bowl with the chile powder, lemon juice, and the salt. Leave to stand in the fridge for 30 min.
- Add the marinade ingredients to the chicken mix, and leave to stand for three to four hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C, fan. Put the chicken in a large baking sheet in one layer and bake for about 20 min.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the kasoori methi and toss for 2 minutes to make it crisp. Set aside.
- Place a pan over low heat and add the butter. When it melts, add the cardamom and nutmeg, and cook until fragrant. Add the sweet paprika and cook for about a minute more.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and tomatoes, and stir well. Add the kasoori methi. Cook for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes become pulpy.
- Transfer the sauce mixture to a liquidizer and process until smooth. Strain into the bowl and discard any remaining solids in the strainer.1
- Return the mixture to the pan and add the baked chicken. Add the honey. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the double cream and turn off the heat.
- Serve with basmati rice.