My Butter Chicken
This is a recipe that I have had for decades and sparingly made because I reserved it for very special occasions. I felt guilty cooking such rich food and adding to our daily calorie count. However, after we came to Malaysia, I started grilling meat instead of frying it and experimented with all my recipes until I came up with delicious alternatives. This is one such and a joy to behold and cook. The rich, vibrant colour of the gravy makes it a knockout every single time.
500gms boneless chicken cubes, washed and drained.
Grind 1 tsp chilli powder; 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste; 2 cloves; 2 cardamom pods; 1/2 tsp methi seeds, roasted; 1 tsp vinegar or to taste; salt to taste; juice of 1 lime; 1/2 cup curds. Marinade overnight.
For the Gravy: 500gms tomato puree - tinned or fresh; 50 gms cashew nuts, roasted and powdered; 1/4 tsp pepper powder, freshly crushed; 1/4 tsp chilli powder; 1 tsp brown sugar or more to taste; 1 tbsp butter; 1/2 cup water to mix with the tomato puree.
For the Garnish: 2 tbsp milk powder mixed with 2 tbsp water- should be a thick, pouring consistency; coriander leaves, chopped.
Next day grill the chicken in a preheated oven at 250 Celsius for 5 to 7 minutes both sides. The first side takes longer, so watch the chicken carefully. When done cover and keep hot.
In the meanwhile make the sauce. Mix the tomato puree with the water and keep ready for use. Heat a deep nonstick pan and heat the butter on a medium flame until it melts. Lower the flame, add the cashew nut powder and stir fry golden brown. You have to be very quick as the cashew can burn easily. Pour in the tomato puree, add the salt, chilli powder, pepper powder, sugar and taste to adjust the flavour. Increase the heat, keep stirring until the gravy is thick and dark red. Add the chicken, bring to the boil and remove from the fire. Transfer to serving dish. Just before serving garnish with the milk powder and coriander leaves. Serve hot with Jeera Rice or any Indian Bread.
NB: I use fresh, ripe tomatoes for the puree. Just grind it together and use.