The tight lanes, and back streets, filled with life, from street hawkers, to housewives doing thegeneral shop, the tourists and of course the famous dhabas, street food kitchens perched onthe edge of the curbs and where the Old Delhi Butter Chicken legend was born.

It is said that arestaurateur didn’t want to throw his unsold tandoori chicken away, but no one would buy aday-old dish, so hecreated one. He simmered the succulent grilled chicken in a rich creamybuttery sauce, which was an instant hit.

This luxurious dish is not for the fainthearted or health conscious. It’s a three-stage recipe.

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken.
  2. Rub the marinade into the chicken and coat the pieces well. Cover and refrigerate for 2hours. Preheat the grill.
  3. Skewer the chicken pieces and place under the grill turning once after 5minutes until thechicken is almost cooked. Remove from the grill.
  4. When cool enough tohandle, pull off the chicken from the skewers and set aside.
  5. Then heat the butter andadd the ginger, garlic, ground cashew nuts, chilli powder, garammasala and salt and mix for a minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes. Take off the heat, and let it cool a little then blend the mixture to create a smooth texture. Return the sauce to the pan and reheat.
  7. Add the chicken pieces and cook for another 2 minutes more. Stirin the honey, if using, and swirl in the cream.
  8. Garnish with the Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leavesand serve with rice or naan.

    500gboneless and skinless chicken, cut into 2 cm pieces8-10 wooden skewers, soaked in waterFor the marinade:1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger3-4 garlic cloves, crushed1 tsp paprika 4 tbsp natural yogurt1/4 tsp garam masala1 tsp lemon juice1/2 tsp ground cumin1/2 tsp ground corianderthe seeds of 6-7 green cardamoms, ground1 tbsp sunflower oilFor the sauce:1 tbsp butter1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger4-5 garlic cloves, crushed1/3 cup cashew nuts, ground1/2 tsp chilli powder1/2 tsp garammasalaa pinch of salt

Words & Photography: Monir Ali umamistories.co.uk
Recipe: Manju Malhi manjumalhi.com
Styling: Tracey Clark

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