This recipe, from the June edition of Good Food magazine, did a pretty damn good job of scratching the takeaway itch for a fraction of the points and should be serves with rice and naan and a smug smile. As with most curry recipes it is well worth cooking a day or so in advance to allow the flavours to develop and freezes well.
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Thumb sized piece of ginger, grated*
2 green chillies, seeds and all, chopped
Small bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stalks roughly chopped
3 tbsp ghee**
2 onions, sliced
2 tsp each turmeric, garam masala and ground cumin
1 tsp ground fenugreek
4 chicken breasts, cubed
12 cardamom pods, lightly crushed and seeds removed
1 cinnamon stick
400g can tomatoes
150ml pot plain yoghurt (we used low fat to no ill effect)
50ml double cream
Serves 4, 13 pro points per portion
* Buy a large piece of root ginger and keep, unpeeled in your freezer. You can grate it, skin and all, whenever a recipe calls for it - it is not only easier to grate this way, it integrates better into the finished dish AND keeps forever.
** I bought a huge tin of ghee, which is clarified butter, from Tesco. I figured that for butter chicken this was not an ingredient to skip. You could sub for oil or normal butter.
In a small processor, or with a pestle and mortar, grind the garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander stalks into a paste with a generous pinch of salt.
Heat 2 tbsp of the ghee in a large pan and cook the onions slowly
until caramelised - we found this took about 10 mins. Add the paste, turn up the heat and cook for 5 more minutes then add the groud spices for a further 2 mins.
The fragrant onion mixture can now be removed from the pan. (And, as a slight aside, look at my gorgeous Le Creuset pan! You know you're middle aged when you get one of those babies for Christmas and are HAPPY about it).
Anyway, now you're going to heat the final tbsp of ghee and cook the chicken pieces until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside, covered.
Proceed to add back the onion mixture, the whole spices, the tomatoes and a can of water. Season, then bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 40 mins.
Remove the lid and now add the meat back to the sauce and cook gently for a further 10 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.
Finish the sauce off with the cream, the yoghurt (bring this to room temperature before stirring through to help prevent splitting), further seasoning as required and the coriander leaves.
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