Jane once said to me ‘If food is not the problem, then eating is not the answer’. I love that line, it makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? But sometimes, most times, food does have the ability to cheer me up, keep me going, when all around is cold and dark and grey.
I’ve been watching Gordon Ramsay on TV for the past two nights, his new adventures take him to India. Now, those who know me, will know that I ADORE Indian food. So when I saw his new book, based on this series, in Waterstones, I just had to have it. Butter chicken is the first recipe I’ve tried from it. It’s worked really well and I must say, it’s the first curry I’ve ever made that contains no onions! But really I couldn’t detect that they were ‘missing’ in the final dish.
It’s a two-stage curry, in that the chicken pieces are first marinated and baked before putting into the sauce and cooked for a little longer. Usually that is something that puts me right off a recipe, but today I thought ‘No, I’m not going to let that put me off’. And I’m so glad that it didn’t.
The curry was creamy, spicy, buttery, really delicious.
800g boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3-4cm pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
2cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp hot chilli powder
1½ tbsp lemon juice
75ml natural yoghurt
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil, for brushing
For the sauce
1½ tbsp ghee or melted unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2cm ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 cardamom pod, seeds lightly crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp hot chilli powder, or to taste
275ml tomato puree (I used pasatta, not purée)
1 tbsp lemon juice
40g unsalted butter
100ml double cream
1 tbsp chopped coriander, to garnish
1. Place the chicken in a bowl with the garlic, ginger, salt, chilli powder and lemon juice. Mix, cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Mix together the yoghurt, garam masala, turmeric and cumin and add to the chicken, making sure that each piece is well coated with the mixture. Cover again and chill for 3-4 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Put the marinated chicken pieces on a grill rack set on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes. Brush the chicken pieces with a little oil and turn them over. Bake for another 10-12 minutes until just cooked through.
3. For the sauce, heat the ghee or butter in a pan and add the garlic and ginger. Fry for a minute or so then add the cardamom, cloves, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir well and fry for 1-2 minutes until they give off a lovely aroma. Stir in the tomato puree and lemon juice and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and stir well to coat. Finally, add the butter and cream and stir continuously until the butter has melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a warm bowl and serve hot, garnished with chopped coriander.
Note: I added about 1 glass of water to the sauce.
It did cheer me up, for all of five minutes…..I really need to get a life.