Over the years I have tasted many different type of butter chicken and am not sure which one is the most authentic one,each on tastes nearly the same but some how different.Every time I eat butter chicken ,I am trying to evaluate its taste against the butter chicken we used to get at CHOICE in late 1980 ,at their Sea side restaurant at Kannur.
CHOICE seaside was my favorite restaurant at Kannur ,run by a family friend. Every month my parents used to take us to this restaurant order our standard Sweet corn soup,followed by American Chopsuey/Chicken Fried Rice ,then Battura and Butter chicken.The restaurant was built on a cliff that over looked the sea which closed dining section as well as a open one and was the crowning glory of this restaurant, for it was the only seaside establishment in Kannur district those days.
Most of those times this large seaside establishment’s restaurant section would be almost empty ,owing to its Room service ,so we would get to really enjoy the ambiance and the lovely sea breeze in the open restaurant with the best and lovely food prepared with care,under the supervision of the Owner Ibrahim uncle.Sometimes,like the during the monsoons when eating at the restaurant was not a “good” idea,we would bring in parcel.Unlike today,they dint have carry away boxes ,so they would pack the dishes either in plantain leaves or in Plastic covers,to avoid that my dad used to tell them to prepare the dish and carry a container to get back the dish,the best thing about CHOICE and its parcel service was the cook would take care to make so much gravy so as to fill the container,no matter what our order size was and we loved him for it,as we were very fond of the gravy.
Its been decades since the restaurant closed down due to internal issue and we were very sad when they did.Though they did open a sister concern in the middle of the town with the same name and the management,it never was the same as the Sea side resort.Over the years even the name sake has lost its charm and glory owing to many other restaurants that have opened and offered services/menu to cater to the changing taste of the population,but CHOICE still remains to be the choice to people who have lingering taste from all the wonderful food they used to serve in the awesome seaside restaurant.
As mentioned earlier,its my dream to achieve the exact same BUTTER CHICKEN that was served at the restaurant ,there fore I keep experimenting with many different types ,hoping some day it will click.
This is one such experiment,based on a recipe of a butter chicken I had ,had at a friends place in Rockford,where in she told me she used Baked Tandoori chicken,2 different ones I saw on the internet one belonging to Sanjeev kapoor and the other and more inspiring one : http://www.hildastouchofspice.com/2013/01/butter-chicken-without-tandoor.html
.Here it goes:
- 10-12 Pieces of Chicken Cut into pieces.
- 1 tsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Shaan Tandoori powder
- 4 tomato
- 20 ie handful Cashew
- 1tsp ginger garlic paste(ie 1/2 tsp ginger + 1/2 tsp garlic paste)
- 3-4 cloves,3-4 cardamom
- 1/2 tsp chilly powder/paprika powder
- 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
- 1/2 tsp tandoori masala
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1tbsp heavy cream
- salt to taste
- pinch of kasuri methi
- Marinate washed and dry chicken,and marinate it with all the items in the marinade .
- Refrigerate it for atleast 8 hours,best kept over night.
- When its time to make the dish,heat the over at 400F .
- Dribble some oil on the chicken and bake it for 35 mts,every 10 mts turn the pieces around and make sure the place the pieces in the marinade that would have dripped onto to the baking sheet.
- when its 25mts,place small pieces of butter over the Chicken pieces and continue.
- If there is left over marinate in the baking tray(that is not burnt) save it to add to the gravy.
- Soak Cashew in luke warm water,and make a paste of the same.
- Blanch and puree tomato.
- In a pan,heat some butter.Fry the cloves,cardamom and ginger garlic paste.
- To this add Cashew paste and fry on medium heat,while move it around to avoid sticking to pan,till the paste is like light brown.
- To this add tomato puree ,mix it and saute it till it becomes thick.
- Add Garam masala powder,paprika powder,Marinade left over from the baking tray and tandoori masala,mix it together.
- Add Chicken pieces and mix well.
- Add honey,adjust salt and add a cup of water ,and bring to a simmering heat.
- Crush kasuri methi in between your palms and sprinkle over the dish.
- Mix well,and some butter(optional)cook on low heat for 20mts add water and mix well to avoid burning at the bottom.
- At the end add heavy cream,mix well and bring to boil.
- Let is settle for 20-30mts before serving,it gives it a nice thick gravy.
- Serve with hot Basmati rice or roti.