Last year during hubby’s birthday, we went out for lunch at an Indian restaurant, Mughals, at Adams Arcade. I had some butter chicken, which in my opinion is by far the best boneless chicken curry I’ve ever eaten. After that I embarked on looking for the recipe but most of what I got seemed too complicated to do but that was until January 8th this year. I was busy reading through the Saturday magazine pull out in the Daily Nation and what do I see, Chef Aamil Mughal owner of Mughals has been reviewed and the recipe for the butter chicken detailed. Needless to say I was very happy, I even borrowed the magazine (I gifted my self).
Anyway, so even after getting the recipe I took a while before trying it, reason being, I’ve been so busy so I just get home and do quick fixes for dinner and at times hubby does the cooking (yeah, he’s heaven sent).
The recipe is pretty simple and it calls for ingredients can be easily obtained.
3 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
3 teaspoons garam masala powder
2 tablespoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
3 chopped green chillis (optional)
600 grams boneless chicken (cut in cubes)
100 grams crushed cashew nut powder
1/2 litre milk
3 ripe tomatoes
1 bunch coriander chopped
salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cream (optional)
This recipe serves 4.
As I was preparing the ingredients I realised that I didn’t have butter, fresh tomatoes and coriander but that didn’t stop me from making this recipe. I just figured I would substitute the missing ingredients. For the butter I used two tablespoons of vegetable oil, for the tomatoes I used two tablespoons of tomato paste. Since the coriander is for the garnish, I thought I could do without it. also didn’t use fresh cream since I didn’t have plus it was optional, nor did I put chilli because hubby doesn’t fancy chilli.
In the event you use butter, place it in a cold pan then switch on the heat and add the garlic when it is melting. Since I used oil, I just let it heat for a minute or so then I added the garlic.
Once slightly browned add the chicken cubes and stir.
Add the garam masala, turmeric and chilli (if using). Maintain a steady temperature. If too hot it will burn very quickly.
Now add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Let it simmer gently for a few minutes. Since I was using tomato paste there wasn’t a lot of simmering so I added about a tablespoon of water to it.
Add salt and keep tasting.
Add milk and stir and let it boil.
Once the milk has boiled, add the crushed cashew nuts and stir. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Before I forget, for the cashew nut powder, all you need are the cashews then you crush to make the powder. You can choose to use a mortar and pestle or if your blender has a spice mill, that will also do.
Finally you can add the chopped coriander, stir and take it off the heat.
My butterless butter chicken
It was great though not as delicious as the one we ate at Mughals maybe it’s because of the substitutions.
If I could do it over again:
I would definitely not do the major substitutions of butter and tomatoes. I especially feel the tomatoes are very vital in this recipe so that the sauce is even more and not as thick.
All in all, this is an easy recipe and it doesn’t take long to prepare.
According to Chef Aamil it’s best served with hot butter or garlic naan but can go well with toast. I served it over rice.