Recipe: Butter Chicken


Serves 4
Prep 20 mins
Cooking 45 mins

1 ½ tbsp peanut oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 tsp ghee
2 tsp lemon juice 
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger 
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small fresh red chilli
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 cup (250ml) tomato puree
sea salt and pepper, to taste
500g skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3cm pieces
2 tsp garam masala 
2 tsp sweet paprika
60g cashews, ground
1 tsp fenugreek seeds, ground
½ cup (125ml) cream
¼ cup (60g) yoghurt

  1. Heat half the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until softened. Add ghee, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, chilli, cumin, turmeric and bay leaf and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.

  2. Add tomato puree and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 mins. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. 

  3. Heat remaining peanut oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with garam masala and paprika. Cook chicken, stirring, for 5 mins or until browned lightly. Stir in half the sauce and simmer for 5 mins or until liquid has thickened slightly and chicken is coated. Add remaining sauce and simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 mins or until chicken is tender and sauce is thick.

  4. Stir in ground cashews, fenugreek, cream and yoghurt. Serve.

TIP: Use a small food processor or mortar and pestle to grind the cashews and fenugreek seeds.

Cristy Houghton