Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken – the celebratory, spice laced comfort dish that satisfies every single time. It’s quite possibly the most famous and popular Indian dish too. The ultimate Butter Chicken requires a perfect balance of creaminess, sweetness & heat. All levels need to sing together harmoniously to create a decadent dish that you want to stick your face in.

So this wasn’t a “passed down” recipe, it’s one I’ve spent a little time perfecting in my own kitchen. After much tweaking, recipe developing and eating, (I’d like to think) I’m now onto a winner!

Interestingly Butter Chicken is not a “home-style” dish – it was created relatively recently (in the 1970’s) in a restaurant in New Delhi as a way or dressing up unsold tandoori chicken. It was an instant hit and over time became the dish most synonymous with Indian food all over the world.

If you missed the live cookery class of me teaching this, but want to catch up and watch, you can do so by clicking here. Also, if you have any dish suggestions for the next class which will be on 24th July, comment below or drop me a message on Instagram or Facebook. I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, happy cooking! x

Butter Chicken

Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Food processor (optional)
  • Pestle & Mortar (optional)
  • Heavy bottom pan

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 500 g skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • Juice of 1/4 lime/lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 2" ginger grated
  • 3/4 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder/mild paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the Butter Masala:

  • 1 good tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves optional
  • 4 green cardamoms optional
  • 3 cms cinnamon stick/cassia bark optional
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder optional
  • 2 onions (approx 175g) finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves grated
  • 3" ginger grated
  • 8 tbsp tomato passata/blitzed plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp double concentrate tomato puree
  • 2 bird eye chillies 1 finely chopped & 1 halved vertically
  • 12 cashews soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, made into a thick smooth paste (using a food processor)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder/mild paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp double (heavy) cream
  • 3 good pinches kasuri methi/sun-dried fenugreek leaves

To Finish:

  • 1 black cardamom crushed into a powder (optional)
  • Juice of 1/4 lime
  • Handful fresh coriander finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Turn your grill on at the maximum temperature. Place all "marinade" ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Ideally allow to marinade or 2-3 hours (overnight is best). Then, place the marinated chicken on a foil lined oven tray. Grill for 10-12 minutes or until just fully cooked (the chicken should be white all the way through with a slight char all over). Remove from grill and keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat the butter and allow to melt. Using a pestle & mortar, coarsely crush open the cloves and green cardamoms and add to the pan along with the nutmeg powder and cinnamon. Then, add the onion along with 1 tsp salt. Cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent.
  • Now add the garlic and ginger and mix. Cook for 3-4 minutes until light golden in colour. Add the chillies and mix. Then gradually add the tomato passata and tomato puree. Now add the creamy cashew paste and mix well. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes on a low/medium heat.
  • Add in half of the fresh coriander now. Then add the garam masala, coriander powder, Kashmiri chilli powder/paprika, turmeric, salt and sugar mix well. Add in 5-6 tbsp water and allow the spices to cook for 1-2 minutes. Now grind the the kasuri methi into a powder using your fingers and then add to the pan and mix.
  • Now add the cream and mix well. When you see the oil begin to separate from the masala paste, at the edges, add the grilled chicken as well as any juices on your grill tray.
  • Add ยผ cup (60ml) water and bring to boil (I like to deglaze the grill tray with water and use that for maximum flavour). Pop a lid on the pan and allow the chicken to absorb the flavour of the masala for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Finish with black cardamom powder, lime and fresh coriander. Allow the butter chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before digging in. Serve with steamed basmati rice or hot and fresh naans!

Notes

If you are vegetarian, instead of chicken, use 225g paneer and 2 handfuls of peas. You do not need to marinate the paneer so you will not need the marination ingredients.
Using a good quality tomato passata and tomato puree makes a big difference in this dish!

Mutton Keema Conchiglioni


A spicy, carby Indo-Italian Mutton Keema Conchiglioni. It’s what you make and need after returning home from a 44km bike ride ๐Ÿšฒ . Truth be told, I made this dish up as I went along and I’m so happy I did. Oh and in true mashup desi/Indian style, I ate it with my hands and it hit the spot.

I also had no intention of sharing the recipe but when I popped a photo of my dinner up on Instagram (as you do), I had a LOT of followers messaging me for it. So I thought – hey if it’s what the people want then that is what the people shall get!

Conchiglioni are essentially pasta shells and I used the jumbo ones which work well as they catch all the lovely keema inside to create mini parcels of spicy deliciousness. If you can’t source them, you can of course use whatever pasta you like!

Mutton Keema Conchiglioni

Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 300 g Conchiglioni (jumbo pasta shells) or a pasta of your choice
  • 7-8 tbsp oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves crushed into a coarse powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2" piece of a cinnamon stick
  • 400 g minced mutton/lamb
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 large onion (180g) finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 6 tbsp tomato passata
  • 2 tsp double concentrate tomato puree
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 3/4-1 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Handful fresh coriander chopped

Instructions
 

  • To make the mutton keema:
  • Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the bay leaves, crushed cloves and cumin seeds.
  • Then add the mince along with the salt and garam masala. Mix well and cook on a medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until the mince has changed colour and is completely cooked.
  • Remove the cooked mince from the pan with a slotted spoon, draining the oil as much as possible – we will be cooking the masala in this oil.
  • Reheat the oil in the pan and add the diced onions as well as the garlic. If you feel like the pan is a looking a little dry, you can add a little more oil.
  • Add 1/2 tsp salt to the pan and cook on a medium heat for 6-7 minutes. Once you see the paste has turned light golden in colour add 3-4 tbsp water and continue to cook for 7-8 minutes on a low/medium heat until deep golden. If it ever catches, add a splash of water or a little more oil.
  • Now add the pasata and tomato puree as well as the chillies. Cook for a minute then reduce the heat.
  • At this point add the remaining salt and the sugar as well as all of the dry spices. Cook for 30 seconds or so. When you see the oil separate from the masala, add theย cooked keema and add about 30ml water (you can also use the pasta water if you are cooking simultaneously). Place a lid on the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.

To make the pasta:

  • Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta . Stir occasionally and simmer on a moderate heat until the pasta is cooked (jumbo conchiglioni require about 15 minutes). Once cooked, drain immediately.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the keema as well as the fresh coriander and mix well. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly. Serve immediately!

Spiced Methi (Fenugreek) Parathas

Methi ie. fresh fenugreek is one of my favourite greens! It is incredibly fragrant and flavourful and works well in so many different South Asian dishes.

In today’s recipe I have used fresh fenugreek to create a spicy paratha which is delicious as a side or even on it’s own as a snack. The gram flour adds nuttiness and the cooked potato is my secret weapon for ensuring that the parathas stay soft…even at room temperature.

They are also great for freezing! If you make a batch, you can layer the parathas between sheets of greaseproof paper. Feeling a little peckish? Heat up your pan and pop one on! Smear over some melted butter/ghee and pair it with a generous dollop of yoghurt. Mango pickle on the side? Don’t mind if I do!

Give them methi parathas a go and let me know what you think on InstaTwitter or Facebook. love to see a pics of your recreations!

Oh and donโ€™t forget to join me next Friday on 12th June for my next live cook-along class. Keep posted to my social media over the next few days to see what we will be making.

Happy cooking x

Spiced Methi (Fenugreek) Parathas

Servings 5 rotis

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin
  • Chapati tava/non stick crepe pan/non stick frying pan

Ingredients
  

To make the dough:

  • 1 cup/130g chapati/wholewheat flour I like to use "chakki" chapati flour which is stoneground
  • 1/4 cup/30g gram/chickpea flour
  • 1 small potato (100g) cooked, peeled & mashed
  • 1/4 red onion very finely diced
  • 2-3 chillies very finely chopped
  • 15 stems fresh fenugreek de-stemmed & chopped (equates to 1cup/30g leaves). If you can't source, use fresh spinach.
  • 1 small garlic clove grated, optional
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tso coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek/kasuri methi optional

You will also need:

  • Warm water
  • Oil
  • Extra chapati flour in a wide shallow bowl for dusting
  • Ghee/Butter

Instructions
 

  • Place all of the dough ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
  • Very gradually add 1/2 cup (115ml) warm water gradually to the bowl, constantly mixing and combining the dough together with your other hand.
  • You should see the dry flour and vegetables begin to clump together
  • At this point, you may need to add an extra 1-2 tbsp of water to form the dough. Only add a tiny little bit at a time and gauge how you much extra water you need to by feel – the dough should be soft and slightly tacky but not too sticky. (If you do feel like it has become too wet, you can rescue by adding some dry chapati flour and a pinch of salt).
  • Very lightly grease your fingers and hand and knead the dough lightly for a minute to create a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, place a little oil on your hand and re-knead the dough until smooth. Divide the dough into 4-5 smooth balls.
  • Now, place your pan on medium heat. Whilst the pan is heating up, take 1 dough ball and press it into the dry chapati flour on both sides. Shake off any excess.
  • Place on your work surface and roll out gently until it is 4-5โ€ณ in diameter and even in thickness all the way around (about the thickness of ยฃ1 piece). Increase the heat of your pan to the maximum setting.ย Carefully pick up the paratha, web your fingers and flip the paratha from hand to hand to get rid of any excess flour.
  • Place it on the hot pan for 10-12 seconds. When it changes colour and small bubbles begin to appear, turn it over and cook the other side. Brush oil on this side and flip it over and brush the other side. Cook on each side until you see golden spots all over and it is crispy.
  • Finish by smearing a teaspoon of ghee or butter. Make the rest of the parathas using the same process.

Notes

Tip: If you can’t source fenugreek, use spinach instead!
Tip: Try to cut you vegetable very finely so when you roll them out, they do not create cracks. If you find the paratha is cracking as you try and roll it out, add a little more chapati flour (and a pinch of salt) to the dough and re-knead.
Tip: If you are not serving the parathas straight away, place on a grill tray. This is better than placing directly on a plate or foil. Otherwise condensation will form and will make your paratha soggy. You can re-heat on the pan later or just eat them at room temperature – they are delicious either way!