Butter Chicken – the weeknight version
Butter chicken is one of those curries that won’t scare those opposed to heat and is great for kids. Not a chilli in site!
While curries are a bit famous for taking a very long time to cook – this version is actually quite quick (on the table within 40 minutes, including preparation) and doesn’t require going to the supermarket to purchase 10 different kinds of spice.
It’s a bit of a cheats version – but don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for that! This uses a store-brought mild curry paste. Some brands of these are better than others. I find Sharwood to be superior and the flavour is really fantastic. It’s all fine to spend a bit of time on the weekend grinding up your own curry paste, but it’s not something for during week.
You’ll notice that the quantities are enough to feed a small army – and that’s because I was cooking it not only for our dinner, but also as additional meals for my dad to put in his freezer.
So, why not cook a large batch – serve it up for dinner, then pop the rest in an air-tight container for the freezer. It’ll give you a night off when you can’t face cooking.
- 3 heaped tbs of mild curry paste (Sharwood is my prefered supermarket variety – but there are fabulous ones at Indian supermarkets)
- 2 large red onions, finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2cm nob of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbs of dried ground coriander
- 2 tbs of tomato paste (this is a key ingredient, not only for flavour, but colour as well)
- 2 kg of chicken thigh fillets, chopped into 2cm cubes
- 500ml of thickened cream
- 1/2 a cup of water
- 1 large handful of chopped, fresh coriander (optional)
In a large, heavy-based saucepan add the paste, onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and dried coriander and cook until the spices become fragrant, about five minutes. If they start to burn and catch on the bottom of the pan, add a little water.
Add the chicken and cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the chicken’s juices start to loosen the mix. This will take 5-10 minutes. Add the water and the cream and stir well. Allow to simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the curry is a lovely, rich orangey colour. Add the coriander, if using. and season to taste with salt and pepper.
My Groovy Kitchen Tunes track choice for the cooking of this recipe would have to be something warm and comforting, just like this dish. As soon as this song comes on, I can’t help but smile, which is how I feel when I put the first fork full of butter chicken in my mouth. The Temper Trap is my new absolute favourite band right now, in and out of the kitchen! Their album Conditions was a big feature of the playlist at our engagement party in May. Their incredible – as is this song – Fader. Have a listen!
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