June 22, 2006

Butter Chicken!

I am a sucker for Indian food (downright amazing, given my earlier fear of curry). I particularly like to experiment with hitherto unknown dishes when dining in restaurants, but for the most part my home cooking adventures in Indian cookery focus on known quantities. I like spicy food, and Indian cuisine has it in spades, but there are also more temperate dishes - full of spices and flavours, but not necessarily focused on heat.

Butter Chicken is a funny one, though. Almost every place you have it (and it seems to be available everywhere, it's that popular here), it's quite different. My local neighbourhood joint makes it mild and fragrant with coriander, and sprinkled with methi (dried fenugreek). I've had it richly tomato-y and red, mildly orange and creamy and, on myfirst attempt to make it at home, bright pink. I concluded pretty quickly that I had used too much tandoori paste on the chicken, and subsequent batches were less terrifyingly barbie-toned.

I have quite a few recipes for Butter Chicken, but most of them are eye-rollingly daunting, or involve and actual tandoor oven or other equipment that I am unable to really equal in my western kitchen. Eventually, I stumbled on the website for Mamta's Kitchen and got the bones of a workable version. My version has remained quite true to the nature of hers, but is tweaked for my own convenience. I am quite lazy, so I have no problem substituting natural cashew butter for cashews that have been soaked one hour, and then ground. Although, just for fun, I did do it that way once, my shortcut allows me to carve away a significant chunk of prep-time, which makes me that much more likely to make this on a weeknight.


jenjen said...

Oh this looks yummy, I can just imagine dipping some naan bread or roti into your butter chicken.

Dawna said...

Hi Jenjen - yes a bit of naan would be just the thing!

Katy said...

Looks great, I just made butter chicken a few days ago (with photos and all to blog about too) yours is actually quite different from mine-the argentine ingredient limited version, and yous I have to say looks great!