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Indian Butter Chicken

How to make a mouth-watering Butter Chicken from scratch. It is surprisingly simple and so satisfying. I have seriously lost count of how many times I have made this dish.

You will be amazed.

You will eat more than you set out to.

You will make friends.



BUTTER CHICKEN (serves 4- 6)

2cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

75g (1/2 cup) blanched almonds

150ml (2/3 cup) thick plain yoghurt

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons garam masala

4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

400 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1kg skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets cut into fairly large pieces

3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter

1 large onion, thinly sliced

6 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

4 tablespoons thick cream

Crush the garlic and finely grate the ginger and mix them together.  Grind the almonds in a food processor or finely chop.  Put the paste and almonds in a bowl with yoghurt, chilli powder, cloves, cinnamon, garam masala, cardamom pods, tomato and salt and mix together. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat thoroughly. Cover and marinate for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Heat the ghee in a heavy based frying pan. Add the onion and fry until softened and brown. Add the chicken mixture and fry for 2 minutes (the smell is amazing). Mix in the fresh coriander*. Put the mixture into an oiled shallow baking dish, pour in the cream and stir with a fork.

Bake for 1 hour. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving. The oil will rise to the surface. Before serving, slightly tip the dish and spoon off any excess oil.

Serve with basmati rice and fresh coriander.

*Okay, to be honest, I really cannot taste coriander when it has been cooked and believe it is better added at the end of the cooking process to the top of the dish. But that could be just me.