indian curry

B's butter chicken masala

Last August, my whole family went to Devon for a week for my step-mum's 60th birthday celebrations.  And oh, it was so very beautiful. 

Devon sea.jpg

She rented the most gorgeous big house, called uh, The Big House, in Ilfracombe and it was idyllic.  We went on long walks and to the Tunnels beach and we ate and drank a lot and played games and cards after dinner every night.

Rachel Walder Devon

Each evening, we took it in turns to cook.  

And this year for my step-mum's birthday, I made her a photo book and cook book with all the recipes in it ... and now I can't seem to stop making my sister-in-law's butter chicken curry.

It's really simple and very, very good.  Last year I only got to eat the leftovers the day after she and my step-brother had cooked as I wasn't there the first two days (er, CARNIVAL!) but I'm really glad I got to try the leftovers (in fact it might even have been better the day after).

So I thought I'd share the recipe as I'm starting to feel it might be a butter chicken sort of Sunday evening tonight ... 

Here's what you need to serve four: 

1 tbsp of butter, ghee, or oil

2 onions, minced

1 tsp of minced ginger

1 tsp of minced garlic

2 tsp of coriander powder

1 tsp of chilli powder (use Kashmiri for best results)

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

1-2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)

1 tomato, pureed

1 tbsp of tomato paste

1 large pinch of kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves (I didn't have these so left them out and it was still delicious)

1 cup of milk

250 gm of skinless, boneless chicken, cubed

1 tsp of garam masala or chicken masala

3 tbsp of cream or pureed cashew paste (soak and grind cashew nuts)

1 small bunch of coriander leaves, to garnish


Here's how you make it ... 

Heat the butter in a pan and add the minced onions and fry until golden brown

Add the ginger, garlic, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric, and salt. Fry for a minute until fragrant.

Add the pureed tomato and tomato paste and cook for 3-4 mins.

Throw in the dried fenugreek leaves, the milk and the cubed chicken.

Cook covered for 8-10 mins until the chicken is soft. The chicken will let out more water, so just check on it once or twice and give the curry a stir.

Keep it simmering gently.

When the chicken is cooked soft, open the lid and cook for a further minute or two. If the gravy is too thick, add some water at this stage.

When done, add the garam / chicken masala and the cream or cashew paste, and give it a good stir, but don’t let it boil.

 Adjust salt, garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with rice.  If you have any rice-cooking-fear - and lots of people do - here's my really easy and totally foolproof method

Do let me know if you make this curry - and what you think!

Rachel Walder Devon B's butter chicken masala