OK, so I have good news and bad news...and since I'm highly pessimistic I'm going with the bad news first. For those of you who are familiar, I'd put up a poll a few days back and now I have the results. Can you believe that majority of votes were for 'the way I write about my experiences and adventures/ goof up's in the kitchen' and a close second the 'food photographs' (which I'm quite flattered about), but crickey, about 5 people said recipes. Now that doesn't really serve the purpose of a food blog eh? I wasn't depressed or anything, because in all honesty, I don't surf around food blogs only for a recipe either. In fact I'm a tad worse than you guys, I sometimes don't even read the entire recipe, but look at the picture, drool and then comment (sorry if I hurt any one's feelings, but that's reality). Now the bad news is, till I get my groove back, I might only just post a few pictures of things I whip up without elaborate and boring recipes...and since its the babbling you guys prefer, I'll throw in a bit of that too...what say???? (oh this is the good news BTW!). The truth is, I'm thoroughly enjoying the photography part of it and since you any way need to make meals at home (and in my case just a meal..yeah only dinner) what better subject to dress up and perfect than a bowl of food? I haven't decided from when I'm gonna start doing this...but when you suddenly see just some food photographs, don't get alarmed...its just a phase! And of course, since I started this blog for my own convenience, the occasional recipe shall make its appearance, especially if it is something that is bound to make its way through to the kitchen more than once. (Oh trust me...a whole lotta things Ive blogged about, is def not making a second come back)
Coming to the recipe, Tamarind is a Michelin starred restaurant here in London, and this is a recipe by one of the head chefs there. I am a big fan of butter chicken, but the mere tediousness and the richness of the dish kinda puts me off the whole thing. But recently I had a craving for some aloo paratha (which I didn't make, but discovered that the frozen ones by Pillsbury was stupendous) and butter chicken and even before I knew, I was surfing the net for a recipe that didn't involve deep frying the chicken. Landed on this recipe by video jug and I must say, its a keeper.
Chicken thighs- 500 gms, boneless and skinned
For the marinade:
Ginger paste- 2 tbsp
Garlic paste- 2 tbsp
Yoghurt- 65 ml
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 1/2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
For the sauce:
Ginger- 1 tbsp
Green chillies- 4
Cinnamon sticks- 4, half inch
Cardamom pods- 5
Bay leaves- 2
Water- 100 ml
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Single cream- 60 ml
Honey/ sugar- 1 tbsp
Tinned tomatoes- 400 gms
Kasoori methi- 2 tsp
Butter- 50 gms
Cashew nuts- 50 gms
Oil- 2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients in the 'to marinate' section. Pour it on top of the clean and dry chicken thighs. Cover with cling film and keep aside for at least an hour.
After the marinating period, place the chicken pieces on a baking tray lined with paper or foil and grill under a grill pre heated at 175C for about 20 minutes on either side.
While that's cooking get the sauce ready. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and sauté the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf till nice and fragrant.
Throw in the ginger and green chillies and sauté for a few minutes and then add the peeled tinned tomatoes. Stir well and keeping the heat on low, add about 100 ml water, close with a lid and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or till the tomatoes are more or less purée like.
Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for a while and then either using an immersion blender or in a mixer, purée the tomato and make it into a paste like consistency.
Place the mix back onto the hob top and on high heat, bring to a boil
Also blend the cashew nuts to a powder and with a wee bit of water make it into a paste like consistency and add to the boiling tomato purée. Mix well till combined.
Add the chilli powder and honey/ sugar and stir again.
After about 5 minutes, add the butter and sugar and stir till it melts. At this stage, throw in the kasoori methi as well. Leave it on to bubble on medium heat.
By this time the chicken would have grilled to perfection. Take it out and cut them into bite size pieces.
Throw them into the bubbling tomato gravy and stir till they are all covered in the masala.
Add the cream and check for salt spice etc. and add as needful.
Simmer the entire mix on medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes and then take it off the flame.
Just before serving drizzle some cream on the top or garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with parathas, naan or even pulao.
Notes: Chicken breasts can be used, but I think thighs are more flavourful.
You can cut the chicken before you marinate it, so you don't have to mess your hands in between and slice them after they are grilled.
Canned tomatoes can be replaced with about 5 or 6 medium sized tomatoes.
I didn't have cashew nuts, so skipped that part.
It tasted even better the next day for some reason :)