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Butter chicken

I have been doing a bit of research into Indian cuisine over the past few weeks and I stumbled on this recipe that we cooked a lot at the Troughs café. It is a great recipe, quite rustic and very much the forerunner for the ever popular Tikka Masala. It has a little kick to it, but is very aromatic and fragrant.

As with making most curries, get all your preparation done first, before you start cooking. It may seem a little bit of a faff, but once you get into it you'll be surprised how easy it is.

There are 3 recipes; 1 for a classic Garam Marsala spice blend, 1 for the marinade and 1 for the actual curry. If you can, try and use whole spices and grind them yourself in either a Pestle and Mortar or a Coffee grinder. You should be able to find whole spices in most supermarkets, but failing that try and use the freshest ground spices you can really is worth it for the end result.

So, here we go!!

Garam Marsala

2 tsp Cardamon Seeds
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Cloves
1 Whole Nutmeg
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Coriander Seeds


1. In a dry frying pan gently roast the spices over a low heat for 3 minutes or so, moving them occasionally. The heat will help release the essential oils of the seeds and help give you a more vibrant curry.
2. Once roasted, place the spices into the pestle and mortar, or the grinder and grind to a powder (dont worry if you can't get it completely fine).
3. Place in a jar with a tight fitting lid, this spice mix will last for a month if kept out of sunlight.


1 tsp Fresh Ginger - grated finely
1 tsp Garlic - crushed
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
Juice of half a lemon
12 Chicken Thighs - boned and skin left on if possible (your butcher will do this for you)
100g Natural Yoghurt
1 tsp Garam Marsala


1. Mix all the ingredients into the yoghurt, then rub it all into the chicken thighs
2. Leave for at least 30 minutes, but you will get a better result if you can leave this stage overnight in the fridge.

Curry Recipe

4 Tins chopped Tomatoes
1 tbs Fresh Ginger - finely diced
4 Cloves Garlic - thinly sliced
4 Cardamon Pods
2 Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
80g Butter
2 Green Chilllies - split lengthways, seeds still intact
100ml Single Cream
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Garam Marsala
3tbs Vegetable Oil
2tbs Fresh Coriander - roughly chopped
2 Bay Leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 250C
2. In a thick bottomed roasting tray heat on the hob until very hot, place a splash of oil into the tray and carefully add the marinated chicken skin side down. Once all the chicken is added, place in the oven for 15 minutes until you achieve nicely blackened edges and skin.
3. Remove the chicken from the oven and remove the chicken from the tray onto a plate.
4. Place the tray back onto a medium hob, add a little more oil and add the onion, garlic and half the diced ginger, fry for 1 minute, add the chilli powder and Garam Marsala, fry for 30 seconds, then add the chopped tomatoes.
5. Add the cloves, cinnamon, bayleaves and cardamon to the tomatoes, then place the chicken back into the curry (with any juices that may be left on the plate), cover the tray with foil and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Remove the foil lid and add the split chillies, remaining ginger and the cream to the curry, stir in and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Stir in the butter and season the curry, then finish with the chopped coriander.
Serve with Pilau Rice or Naan Bread or both!