I have a pot luck on Monday, as since Monday is a work day, I have to get the food all ready by tomorrow. I had decided to make the classic butter chicken as one of my choices. It is hard to go wrong with what I think is India’s signature curry. For some of you who know this dish as Chicken Tikka Masala, do not despair, at the risk of appeasing all, I believe my recipe can be called by either name.
I have probably made variations of this recipe for countless number of cooking classes, I was a little startled to realize that I actually do not have this recipe on this site. Seriously!!! I had to simply correct this error. One of my biggest challenges, is to track and keep up with popular recipes, I tend to blog with the seasons and what inspires me to cook. Simple homestyle dishes rather than the ones that are most requested by people, so I am often at a loss when I am asked to forward or provide a recipe.
I will emphasize that what I am doing is a little blasphemeos, in the butter chicken circles. Butter chicken, is a dish of North Indian origins, it is essentially tandoori chicken or chicken tikka that is later bathed in a rich tomato cream sauce, finished with some butter. This is not hugely different from a Chicken Tikka masala, however the pundits insist that there are differences. The reality is that the chicken tikka is the westernized child of the butter chicken that was created by Indian chefs in England. Where the dichotomy lies is that there are more variations to the Tikka masala formula, than there are to the Butter chicken recipe, and hence it is dubbed as less authentic. On a different note, I always think that authentic really is a difficult concept to nail down, since strictly speaking, when it comes to Indian cooking, small variations in spices will change the nuances of the flavor and depending on the judges perspective render the dish non-authentic.
Talking about a completely different dish, a coconut based bengali shrimp dish, Sandeepa here is rather surprised that this dish can have mustard and still be considered authentic.
Interestinly enough, while my mother would never use mustard in the malai curry, I have myself run into versions where people do add the mustard paste and call it authentic, so the point being with Indian cooking, authentic does become a tricky concept!
Well, call it what you will, this recipe is my go to recipe for days when the sun is just not bright enough, the work day is longer than I like, for company whose tastes I am unsure of, or when I want to present an Indian dish that I know is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Even the health conscious husband seems to forgive that this dish has both butter and cream.
On yet another sell, for this classic, it freezes well, without the cream. So, I often freeze the dish and then re-heat it and add in the finishing touches of the cream and butter and this makes it almost as good as new or freshly made. This is recipe is a two-in-one recipe, if made from the scratch, because it is essentially using grilled boneless chicken tikka and simmering it in the curry sauce.
Now, a recipe for chicken tikka, I do have, so I have linked it right here rather than re-writing it again for you. This can also be made in a larger quantity and then frozen. So, it really does work ok, when simmer in the curry sauce. A note on frozen, I have finally learnt that my frozen may not really be my style, but it certainly beats something commercial and so when life give you a little extra, rather than boring the family with it for a week, it is ok to freeze it for that late evening at work day. I promise you, the husband will be surprised that you pulled out dinner from nowhere without his help.
A delicate flavorful and creamy creation of possibly one of the best known Indian curries in the Indian international lexicon. Ingredients Instructions
A delicate flavorful and creamy creation of possibly one of the best known Indian curries in the Indian international lexicon.