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As far as we are concerned, Butter Chicken should be (very!) high on the top ten list of best chicken curry recipes. For that matter, it should also be on the top ten recipes for chicken! Ever! You only need to do two things right with this recipe: just lightly cook the chicken and ensure that the sauce is delicious, tangy, aromatic and just the right level of tart sharpness before you add the chichen pieces. Enjoy!

Butter Chicken
So popular!

Ingredients


  • 1 kg chicken breast fillets, cut into 2-cm cubes
  • juice of a lemon or lime
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 8 – 10 peppercorns
  • 10-cm piece of whole cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 ml coriander seeds
  • 5 ml cumin seeds
  • seeds from 4 or 5 pods of cardamom
  • 8 – 10 almonds
  • 5 ml dried chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 5 ml turmeric
  • 250 ml plain yoghurt
  • 30 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 15 ml garlic, finely chopped (or to taste)
  • 10 ml fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 x 400 g can of tomato puree
  • 500 ml prepared chicken stock
  • small handful of curry leaves (or dried fenugreek leaves)
  • salt and sugar, to taste
  • 90 ml butter or ghee
  • fresh coriander leaves to garnish



Chef's hint: Do not overcook the chicken - a few minutes is all it takes. It should be tender, moist and just-just cooked for the best results.

Method


Place the chicken in a glass or plastic bowl and add the lemon or lime juice and set aside.

Heat a dry, clean pan over medium heat and add the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds, almonds and chili flakes. Toast until aromatic then transfer to a grinder. Grind until powdery then add the mixture to the chicken together with the turmeric and yoghurt. Mix well, cover and set aside to marinate for at least an hour.
 
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Sauté until golden then add the garlic and ginger. Cook lightly then add the tomato puree, chicken stock and curry or fenugreek leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer without a lid until it has reduced and thickened to your liking.

Heat half of the butter in a large frying pan then add the chicken with the marinade. Sauté lightly before adding the mixture to the sauce. Season to taste, bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Do not overcook.

Stir in the rest of the butter, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
 
Serves 6 – 8