Butter chicken is probably India’s favourite dish. It sure is the most ordered one in restaurants across the country. There’s something so delicious about tandoor cooked chicken and smooth and creamy tomato sauce laced with fresh cream. Of course, you can’t forget the butter here. It’s used in the cooking as well as a garnish. How dare one use just oil or ghee?! It’s sacrilegious, for the love of food! Alright, enough drama. I’ve had butter chicken at most restaurants in Bangalore and here in Delhi/Gurgaon. And the best butter chicken according to me was had at Downtown pub, Gurgaon. Yep. A pub. Silky smooth gravy and superbly cooked chicken. Not sweet like I’ve found plenty others to be and not bland either.
One thing was for sure, no onions in the gravy as opposed to what many other restaurants do down south. My mum added onions as well. Now I know that wasn’t really butter chicken. So this time I gave it a shot myself. I decided to keep it real simple and easy. Most recipes call for cooking the chicken in the oven and then tossing it in tomato puree with cream. By tweaking the process a little I got more buck for my tomatoes. First I cooked them down first before pureeing them. And pan roasted the chicken instead of cooking it in the oven. It was absolutely divine. Key is, keep it really simple.
10 mins + Overnight marination
30 – 40 mins
Boneless chicken – 500 – 600 gm, cut into small pieces
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric -1 tsp
Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
(Marinate chicken in above ingredients overnight or 4 hours)
Tomato – 5 large chopped
Garlic – 4 cloves chopped
Green chillies – 1 finely chopped
Cumin seeds / jeera – 2 tsp
Butter – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
Fresh cream – 1/4 cup (you could add more if you like it rich)
Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp (2 tsp if you like it sweeter)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Kasuri methi – to garnish
Heat a nonstick pan and cook down the tomatoes in low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
Once done, let it cool down. Puree it and keep aside.
In another nonstick pan heat the oil.
Pan fry the chicken till the pieces are charred on both sides. Take them off the heat and keep aside.
Get a pan back up and add 2 tbsp butter.
Once the butter melts, add the cumin seeds and green chillies.
Saute for a minute and add the tomato puree.
Add the chilli powder, sugar and salt.
Now add the cream and mix well.
Toss the chicken in and mix. Let this come to a simmer.
Take it off the heat and garnish with fresh cream, green chillies and kasuri methi.