I judge restaurants by a couple of key dishes and Murgh Makhani, or butter chicken as we better know it, is one of those benchmarks to judge by. Butter chicken as its name suggests, incorporates an obscene amount of butter into the recipe. Scrimp on the butter and you loose the taste, the whole effect and you’ll just be disappointed.
Marinate some boneless chicken thighs in garlic, ginger, salt, lemon juice and a some tandoori paste. The longer the better, but at least 4 hours. On a hot BBQ, grill the chicken on a high heat and get plenty of colour and charring on the surface. Don’t worry about cooking it too hard, as the burnt edges and surface will add to the flavour. At the same time the chicken will be quite raw on the inside, again don’t worry, as we’ll finish off the dish simmering in the sauce. Once off the BBQ, cut into portion size and set aside ready for the sauce.
Now the sauce is key to this dish.
Finely chop and sautee 1 large red onion in a little oil or butter. Let it sweat down but not really colour and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Add about half a jar of tomato passata, a table spoon of grated garlic and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger and a handful of cashew nuts. Add a tablespoon of butter, some water, sugar, malt vinegar and salt to taste. Sprinkle in Chili powder and garam massala powder to taste.
When all combined, add some chicken stock and simmer the sauce until all the flavours are combined and the cashews are soft.
Puree with a hand-blender until smooth. Lastly, pass the mixture through a sieve to ensure it is creamy and lump free.
When you’re ready to serve, heat the sauce, add cream and the chicken and simmer till cooked through. Before serving, add another tablespoon of butter and chopped coriander. Swirl the melting butter through and serve.
As a final note- it really is important not to use weight watcher cream or low fat butter. It just wont taste the same.