Hello there and welcome back to my blog! I know I’ve been away for awhile and are probably wondering if I was ever going to come back! Balancing my daily life with four boys just seemed to take over thus giving me less time to focus on my personal passions. Although, I was not posting, I did keep cooking and creating new recipes. If you were to pick up my phone, you’d see how many pictures of various recipes I have stored on it from the last year! I just didn’t have the time to write them up and post. The last few months, I’ve spent lots of time trying to find my way back and I think it was this last weekend when everything seemed to start falling into place again. So here I am. I can’t promise the frequency of my posts, but can say that I have a long list of yummy recipes in the works and hope to present them to you all very soon!
It’s funny when inspiration can hit you! Of course it happened at a place where I probably spend about 75% of my weekends, the soccer field. As much as I love watching my kids perform, I also tend to zone out and just start thinking about random ideas. Much like any other day, my mind was less at the game and more focused on the chicken I had taken out of my freeezer and left to thaw before heading out. I think I speak for many cooks out there when I say that the hardest thing to do is what to cook for dinner that day?! So, all I could think about was what I could possibly make with this chicken that day? I was craving something spicy and creamy, something we could eat with naan (because that’s all my kids want), and of course, something easy to make. Thus came the idea for Butter Chicken!
So, what is Butter Chicken? Originating in Northern India, Butter Chicken is a boneless chicken dish that is cooked using various spices, butter, tomatoes, and heavy cream. The nutty, smoky taste from the butter, sweetness from tomatoes, and a creamy texture from the addition of the cream is what makes Butter Chicken so delicious. It is most frequently paired with naan, an Indian flatbread, but can go well with rice as well. When it comes to Butter Chicken, I always tend to go for the store bought masala packages to help me out. Just mix it with the chicken and follow the directions on the box(ok, fine I can finally admit to this). I think they are a huge help, especially if you are tight on time or a novice cook. This time, however, I really wanted to make it from scratch, exploring various spices and ingredients that could help make it more of a restaurant-style dish. I think with a little tweaking and addition of a few items, I came close to a version that is simple to make and super creamy and delicious. Hope you enjoy!
For the Marinade:
2 lb boneless chicken thigh, cubed
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp salt(adjust to taste)
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red pepper powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp orange food color powder(optional)
For the Masala:
5 tbsp salted butter
1 finely chopped onion
3 chopped roma tomatoes
1/2 cup roasted cashews(minced into a fine paste using water)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves(crushed)
2-3 green chilis
1. In a large bowl, mix all the “marinade’ ingredients together and let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Heat 4 tbsp salted butter in a pot on low heat until melted.
3. Slowly add the marinated chicken to the pot and mix together on medium-hi heat. Allow to cook until the chicken is fully cooked, but still have some of the stock remaining.
4. In a blender, add the onion and tomatoes. Blend together into a smooth paste.
5. Now add the paste to the chicken and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
6. As this is simmering, slowly add your cashew paste and heavy cream. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
7. Sprinkle the dried fenugreek leaves and green chilis into the butter chicken and mix together.
8. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of butter, cover, and let simmer about 5 minutes until melted.
Serve with Naan or White Rice.