Saffron, White and Green make up the three colors of the Indian National Flag. As a tribute to the Indian Independence Day, which was a few weeks, I thought of creating a dinner plate, which had the tricolor. Butter Chicken with a dash of cream, and garnished with some Kasoori Methi sealed the deal. A culinary tribute to the Indian Independence day made for a vibrant weekday dinner.

Butter Chicken is a favorite in our household. It packs the biggest punch in the taste department, it makes for a colorful plate, and the best part is that the picky toddler enjoys it too. Every other Indian restaurant has Butter Chicken in its menu. But I am often appalled at how often the Indian Restaurants in Kansas City, make an massive massacarre when they re-create iconic Indian dishes. Adding tons of food color and curry leaves to even North Indian preparations, is not representing a proper pan Indian plate. So whenever I have cravings for any particular Indian preparation, I make it at home. At least I know, I am not compromising in the taste department.

While Mire Poix is the Holy Trinity of French Cooking, Onion-Ginger-Garlic paste is the holy trinity of Indian cooking. Its used widely in different curries, or as a marination for kebabs. Butter Chicken is no exception to this trend. I use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven for my Mutton Curries and also my Butter Chicken.

Indian Cooking is a lot about adaptations and recipes will often vary in terms of details from kitchens to kitchen, and family to family. So its difficult  to say that there is one sacrosanct way of making things. This is my adaptation of Butter Chicken and I love it. I am always looking at ways to make Indian cooking simpler, and using hacks without compromising on the taste. I have a step by step guide , if you wanted to make Butter Chicken at home. Goa head and give it a try. If you like it, then don't forget to let me know.


Ingredients : 

Grilled Chicken : 
Chicken : Boneless and Skinless : 1 lb
Onion : 1/2 large
Ginger : 2 inch
Garlic : 3 to 4 large cloves
Tandoori Masala : 2 tbsp ( I used SWAD Tandoori Masala)
Salt : to taste

Curry/Gravy : 
Onion: 1/2 large
Ginger : 1 inch
Garlic : 3 - 4 large cloves
Butter : 1/2 to 1 stick (Cold)
Fire Roasted Tomatoes - 1 can - 14 oz
Fresh Roma Tomato : 1 large (fineky chopped)
Paprika : 1 tbsp
Salt : to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp
Garam Masala: 1/2 tsp
Kasoori Methi (optional) : 1/2 to 1 tsp
Heavy Cream
Cashews : Raw - 1/4 cup (soak in water for an hour prior to cooking)

Cut the chicken in 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes. Make sure you are using skinless chicken. Make a marinade of yogurt, salt, Tandoori Powder and onion-ginger-garlic paste. Or you could also use dried onion, garlic and ginger powder for marination. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight for best results, or for at least two hours if you are in a rush.

Grill the chicken till its cooked through. If you want to use your oven, then put an aluminum foil on your turkey roaster with rack. Use a knife to poke holes through out the foil. Place your marinated chicken pieces, on the foil. The liquid which is released from the chicken while its baked , collects in the roasting pan below. Bake at 350F , till its cooked through. Broil it for the last 5 mins.

If you don't want to either Bake or Grill it, then sear the marinated chicken in a pan. Once the chicken pieces are seared on both sides, then transfer them to a plate and keep aside. De-glaze the pan in which you seared the chicken, with some hot water and a dash of apple cider vinegar, and reserve the deglazed fluid. You can add it to teh curry whilst its cooking, and it will lend to the flavor profile. Remember to cook the chicken longer in the gravy, if you are searing it, so that you don't risk uncooked chicken .

Make a paste of onion-ginger-garlic for the Curry.

In a deep pan, or a Dutch Oven, heat some oil. Add in the whole cumin seeds and bay leaves, and let them crackle.

I used a mix of Fire Roasted Tomatoes , and fresh tomatoes for a balanced taste.

Lightly brown the onion-ginger-garlic paste. Then add a can of fire roasted tomatoes. one fresh tomato(finely chopped), sugar ,salt and paprika. Mix well.

Once you see oil leaving the sides of the pan, then add in your soaked cashews. Cook for around 10 minutes.

Then carefully remove the bay leaves and discard them. Blend the rest of the curry and its ingredients in a blender till smooth. Transfer back to the same pan, and add in your grilled tandoori chicken, garam masala, and fresh cream.

Let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes, covered. Then turn the heat off. Add in half a stick of Cold Butter, and mix it in.

Garnish with dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi) and a dash of heavy cream.

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