A little while before Mr Good and I were married he was offered the opportunity to work in India for a couple of months. He loved it and he loves Indian food as a result (actually he probably already liked Indian food), but unfortunately I’ve never really mastered the art of Indian cooking. And now that we have the girls and their palates prefer very mild levels of spice there is rarely a curry coming out of my kitchen. Tonight however I decided to test out the butter chicken recipe from the slow cooking recipe book I borrowed from the library. Butter chicken is a super mild, creamy, rich and tomatoey Indian dish that the whole family can enjoy. This one probably isn’t ideal for cooking while I’m out at work all day as it only takes four hours and I think the chicken would dry out if cooked for too much longer than that. It also involved a bit of work to get it going so would be better suited to cooking either in the evening or on the days I’m not working (like today). But as we all know curries are much better eaten the next day anyway, so it would be the perfect one to have ready cooked in the fridge just needing to be reheated when we want dinner.
12 chicken thighs, no skin
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon chilli powder (adjust to taste, 1 teaspoon makes it mild enough for the kids, add more if you want a bit more heat)
3/4 cup Greek style yogurt
5cm piece fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium brown onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
410g tinned tomato
2/3 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon honey
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 cup pouring cream
1.3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed coriander leaves
Mix the lemon juice and chilli powder together and combine with the chicken pieces, cover and leave for half an hour.
Add the yogurt, ginger and half the garam masala and mix together until the chicken is well coated.
Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan and cook the chicken in batches until browned on all sides. Place the cooked chicken in the slow cooker. Then add the onion and garlic to the same frying pan, cooking until the onion is softened. Add the rest of the garam marsala and other spices, stir over the heat until it becomes fragrant. Take the pan off the heat and then stir in the tomato paste, tinned tomato, stock, honey and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the slow cooker and give it all a good stir. Turn the cooker to low and cook for 4 hours.
Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve crumble over some fresh ricotta cheese and coriander leaves. Serve with steam rice and flat bread.
Once again I found the sauce a little thin, so took the lid off and turned the slow cooker up to high for the last thirty minutes. I think I need to start adjusting the amount of liquid I put in too. In terms of taste, it was delicious and even with a slightly thin sauce the flavour was lovely and intense! I ate far too much and am regretting it now. Mr Good was well satisfied, but it still didn’t quite match up with authentic butter chicken (no surprises there I guess). I’m pretty sure they cook the chicken in a tandoor first, I’m never going to be able to recreate that.
The flat breads I served it with were technically flour tortillas (from here) which I made the other day and froze. I didn’t roll these ones out as thin as I would for wrapping and I think they worked really well with this curry. I just warmed them up a little in the oven first.
And most importantly it got the thumbs up from BOTH girls, that must be the first dinner Miss Three has eaten all week.