I have to share a secret…
This is my very favorite meal in the whole world. (And I’m excited because I only make it two or three times a year…after all it is butter chicken!)
I’ll admit this recipe may look intimidating at first glance because of the long ingredient list and drawn out instructions. But take a deeper look…a lot of the ingredients are probably things you already have in your fridge or pantry, and not including marinating the chicken, this dish only takes about two hours to prepare.
Think about it this way: you’re only two hours away from heaven. And on a Sunday afternoon, what could be better than the smell of curry filling the house?
I invite you all to try my favorite dish and let me know how you like it. By the way, I’d love to hear what your favorite meal is!
- 4 teaspoons garam masala (check out this post for the spices in garam masala)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 5½ teaspoons Spice Mix
- 1½ to 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into large bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2 medium-large onions, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 5½ teaspoons Spice Mix
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (more or less to taste)
- 1 (14.5 oz/411 g) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup golden raisins (sultanas)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup chopped minced fresh parsley or cilantro, plus more for garnish if desired
- Prepared basmati rice
- For the spice mix, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- For the chicken, combine all ingredients in a large bowl; cover it and marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
- For the sauce, heat the oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat; add the onion and jalapeno and cook until softened, but not browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another 30 seconds, then add the Spice Mix and lemon juice and cook 30 seconds more.
- Add the sugar, hot sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; cool slightly.
- Puree the sauce until completely smooth using an immersion blender or in batches using a regular blender.
- Return the sauce to the pan and add the bay leaf and raisins. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter until melted, then turn off the heat. Stir in the cream (don’t let it come up to a boil again once the cream is added).
- While the sauce is cooking, you can cook the chicken. The chicken can be skewered and grilled, cooked in a broiler, or cooked in a very hot oven until it’s no longer pink.
- Add the parsley (or cilantro) and the chicken to the sauce. Taste and season with salt as desired.
- Serve with prepared basmati rice.
Update (January 14, 2015): I made this dish again and perfected the recipe and snapped a few pictures, so I decided to update both the recipe and the photos in this post. As a point of comparison to show how much my photography has evolved, I kept one of my original photos (below).