I picked out Bill Granger’s book ‘Easy’ a few weeks ago, intending to cook just one dish, but I ended up making twenty and I could have cooked the entire book. The first and most important consideration whenever I cook is flavour, and Bill’s recipes deliver flavour in spades.
This dish is one that I have cooked a couple of times for lunch, though it is hearty enough to make an excellent dinner, and is definitely elegant enough to serve to guests. It’s quick and simple to make as well.
Traditional butter chicken is made with lashings of butter and cream, all that fat is what delivers the sumptuous flavour. Here, Bill has used cashew nuts and Greek yogurt to deliver the unctuousness. The man is a genius.
RECIPE – Serves 4
2 tbsp ghee (or groundnut oil)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp masala paste
750g boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
125ml chicken stock
100g cashew nuts, ground into a fine powder
125g Greek yogurt
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp caster sugar
coriander leaves, chopped
Finely chopped onion
Heat the ghee in a large pan, then saute the onion over a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until soft and just starting to colour.
Add the masala paste. While stirring constantly, cook it out for a couple of minutes until aromatic, then add the chicken pieces and stir thoroughly so each piece is well-coated in the masala paste, then cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often.
Add the tinned tomatoes and chicken stock, stir to combine and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for around 10-15 minutes until the chicken pieces are just cooked.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t already done so, blitz the cashews in a food processor (or bash down in a mortar and pestle) until they are a fine powder. Add to the simmering sauce and cook for at least 5 minutes; the sauce will thicken.
When you are ready to serve, remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, yogurt and sugar.
Garnish with finely chopped onion, chopped coriander leaves and lime wedges, and serve alongside Basmati rice and naan bread.