Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken


1kg boneless chicken skin removed
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to suit your taste)
6 cloves
8-10 peppercorns
1 stick of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
8-10 almonds
Seeds from 3-4 pods of cardamom
1 cup fresh yoghurt (must not be sour)
3 Tbsp vegetable/canola/sunflower cooking oil
2 onions chopped
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
400g chopped tomatoes, ground into a smooth paste in a food processor
0.5L chicken stock
2 Tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
3 Tbsp unmelted, soft butter
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish


Mix the chicken, lime juice, salt and red chilli powder in a large, non-metallic bowl. Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Heat a flat pan or griddle on medium heat and gently roast the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves and almonds, stirring frequently till they darken slightly. Cool and add the cardamom seeds. Now grind into a coarse powder.

Mix the yoghurt, above whole spice powder (from previous step), coriander, cumin and turmeric powders together and add them to the chicken. Allow to marinate for another hour.

Heat the oil in a deep pan on medium heat. When hot, add the onions. Fry till a pale golden brown in colour and then add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry for a minute.

Add only the chicken from the chicken-spice mix and fry till sealed (chicken will turn opaque and the flesh will go from pink to whiteish in color).

Now add the tomato paste, chicken stock, kasuri methi and remaining part of the yoghurt-spice mix to the chicken.

Cook till the chicken is tender and the gravy is reduced to half its original volume.

Melt the butter in another small pan and then pour it over the chicken.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with naan.

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