I’m super excited today!!! There’s a couple of reasons why. The first reason is that by this time tomorrow I’ll be on a plane to Mexico!!!! Whoot whoot! We planned this vacation almost 10 months ago and it’s finally arrived. I’ve never been to Mexico and I’m really looking forward to spending several days beaching and pooling.
The second reason I’m super excited is that I get to share this incredible recipe with you all. In my circle of friends and family, Bobby’s moms Butter Chicken is legendary. I mentioned last week that my good friend (not Bobby) was teaching me how to properly cook Indian food. He prefers I not mention his name, but he is an incredible cook. One recipe that has always stumped him though, is his best friend’s (Bobby’s) moms butter chicken. Until now she would never give him the recipe, but he’s always experimented and tried to figure it out. Over the years, he’s come pretty close to the real deal and lucky for me I’ve often been the beneficiary of some of his attempts.
After several years of asking, a couple weeks ago Bobby’s mom finally gave him the recipe. Well……… mostly. She gave him the cooking method and the ingredients, but she didn’t give him any exact measurements. He had to figure that out on his own, by tasting as he went. As such, the measurements below aren’t exact, they’re more of a guideline. When you start adding the spices, start with the smaller amount and as the dish cooks, add more if you think you need to. You’ll also have to use your sense of smell to help you determine when it’s time to move from one step to the next.
Now, just because it’s called butter chicken, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with other options. If you wanted to make a vegetarian dish, you could use tofu or a mix of vegetables. Another idea to try is adding prawns. I would cook them first and then just stir them into the dish right before serving.
When it’s cold and wintery out, there’s something to be said for spending an afternoon stirring a pot of delicious, warm, comfort food. Though this recipe does take a few hours to get to completion, I promise you that it’s entirely worth it. Happy cooking!
Extra virgin olive oil
3 – 156mL cans of tomato paste
4 small onions finely chopped
2″ piece of ginger, minced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 green peppers, finely chopped
2 – 3 green chilis, minced (the quantity depends on how spicy you want it to be)
2 -3 tbsp tumeric
2-3 tbsp garam masala
4 lbs chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and quartered
1 1/2 litres half and half cream
500 mL heavy cream
- Before you being cooking, get the veggies and chicken ready to go into the pot. The first few steps require a bit of attention and you’ll want to be prepared
- Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and add the tomato paste. Cook for about 10 mins over medium heat, adding a little more oil if the tomato paste starts to stick to the bottom. After about 10 minutes, the tomato paste will start to become really fragrant. This is how you’ll know you’re ready to move on to the next step.
- Add the green peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the onions and cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring often to prevent sticking and burning. You can add a small amount of water if needed.
- Add in the ginger and cook until fragrant. 2 – 3 minutes. Then add in the chilis and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for just a minute or two before adding in the spices. You’ll cook the spices just long enough for them to become fragrant (1-2 minutes) before adding the chicken.
- Cook the chicken until the outside of the pieces look cooked (are white), then add all the cream.
- Slowly continue to cook the whole mess over low heat for about 3 hours. While it’s cooking make sure to stir and taste occasionally, salting and adding a little more of the spices if needed. If you fell like you want it to be spicier, you can add a little cayenne at this point.
- Serve with basmati rice, naan bread, roti or just eat it straight from the pot. Totally our call, I won’t judge 😉
- This recipe serves about 8 – 10 people.