Last night I made it for a dinner party and was truly surprised that it was all finished by the end of the night! That certainly made me really happy. This recipe is easy to make, and doesn’t even require a lot of ingredients. The spices used are standard cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and cardamon pods; I preferred not to use any more as I felt they were a bit unnecessary. There’s basically three parts to this recipe. First of all, marinade the chicken for a few hours, then cook the chicken in butter or use an oven or open grill if you prefer, and finally cook the gravy and mix the chicken into it. The tomato puree tends to make the chicken a bit too sour for my taste hence I like to add more than one cup of cream to sort of neutralize the tomato sourness. So just keep extra cream at hand and feel free to taste and alter the amount as you like.
1 kg boneless chicken, chopped into cubes
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon garlic paste
2 tablespoons ginger paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup yoghurt
2 tablespoons mustard oil
1/2 teaspoon mixed cloves, cardamon pods, cinnamon and black peppercorns, crushed to a powder
For the gravy:
50 grams butter, softened
1 tbsp mixed cloves, cardamon pods, cinnamon and peppercorns (whole)
2 onions, chopped and blended with a little water into a paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
4-5 green chillies, chopped
200 grams tomato puree
1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cloves, cardamon, cinnamon and black pepper, crushed to a powder
salt, to taste
1 cup fresh cream
1. For the marinade: Mix the chopped chicken, lemon juice, red chilli powder, ginger and garlic paste, salt, yoghurt, mustard oil, and the crushed spices together. Use a fork to pierce through pieces of the chicken. Cover the marinade and leave this in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight.
2. Heat half of the butter in a pan. Separate the chicken from the marinade liquids. Reserve this liquid for the gravy. Cook the marinated chicken in the heated pan for about 10 minutes or until the chicken pieces have become white. Alternatively, you can pierce the chicken pieces through skewers and place them on an open grill or oven at 220 C until the chicken is cooked.
3. For the gravy: In another pot, add the remaining butter and whole spices. Saute for about two minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger paste. Saute for another 2-3 minutes and then add the green chillies, red chilli powder, powdered spices, salt and tomato puree. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Finally add the reserved water from the marinade into the gravy. Cook on low heat for about 5-10 minutes.
4. Add the chicken to the pot and cook until tender, for about 5 minutes.
5. Mix in the cream just before serving. Serve hot, with white rice or naan.