One of the first things I ever wanted to make when I started cooking was Butter Chicken. I looked through a lot of recipes, talked to some owners of an Indian store and set off on my quest. I think I was quite successful and through the years I have modified my recipe to make it quicker and more flavourful without adding a ton of ingredients. The easiest way to make any curry more flavourful in a short amount of time, is to layer the spices. When you grind your spices together, layer them in at every step, this helps give it that ‘slow-cooked’ taste. Most of these ingredients are readily available in major grocery stores, but if you are having a hard time finding anything, make that trip to an ethnic food store, you will rarely get through a bag of spices before you need it again! You can easily change the protein. I did this with tofu to try something different but I usually do chicken; beef, or lamb would also be perfect additions. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do.
Serve with rice of your choice, basmati would be most traditional, pictured here served with roasted cauliflower!
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Paprika, Caraway, Fennel, Coriander
1/2 tsp Garlic, Turmeric
2 tsp Garam Masala, and Curry Powder
Pinch of Chili Flakes
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 package Extra Firm Tofu (Or any protein of your choice)
1 can Tomato Paste
1 Large Can Tomato Sauce
½ cup Fat Free Sour Cream
¼ cup Low-Fat Milk
Handful of Cilantro
Coconut (to garnish, optional)
S and P to taste
Firstly, measure out all of your spices and grind them together.
Chop your onions and garlic and sauté together in oil until translucent.
Cut your protein, in this case tofu, into bit size pieces, a bit bigger for animal protein as it will stay more moist.
Add into your onion mixture and cook through, tofu will start to turn brown around edges.
This is where you will start layering your spices in. Sprinkle some of your spice mixture into this layer and let it cook until dark golden brown.
At this stage, add in your tomato paste, with a bit more of the spice mixture and let it cook through until it gets dark rusty brown. This is really important as it wakens up the taste of canned tomato paste and let’s the metallic taste cook out.
Stir in your milk and sour cream and more of your spice mixture.
It should have a beautiful rust like colour, simmer for as long as you like to build the flavour. Keep tasting through out to make sure the spices are just right.
Add in half of your chopped cilantro about 5 minutes before serving to cook it in to the sauce.
Garnish with fresh cilantro, lime juice, and sprinkled with coconut!
-Taste your dish at every step, you will be able to tell if the spice level, salt level, tomatoey level is to your liking, you know what you like so why not taste it and see!
-Toasting your seeds isn’t necessarily needed but if you don’t have a grinder, I definitely would. A small coffee or spice grinder will only run you about $15, so not a bad investment for fresh ground spices!