Butter Chicken on Spiced Rice

Good evening all!

I know this post isn't about cake, but . . .

Last night I was fortunate enough to be invited to a cooking demonstration by Ray McVinnie (one of the judges from Master Chef, amongst other things) (he did the cooking, not I was invited by him). It was amazing. He believes in good, fresh simple food (with no additive nonsense as he pointed out to me haha) and drawing inspiration from older societies which have had long histories of good food made from few ingredients. Now all I have to do is somehow source a rack of lamb for my flat  . . .

Mix this inspiration with my re-visited obsession for World Kitchen and we have a need to a) travel and b) try making some (semi) authentic cuisine. I decided to try out Nici Wickes's Delhi  Style Butter Chicken. From scratch I must say. None of this canned and bottled rubbish (much to the horror of some people in my food class - you know who you are :) )

Overall I think it was a success, although not as SPECTACULAR as my Mum's one (which is epic and hard to beat I must say).

The initial expenditure for all the spices can be a bit pricey but well worth it. Remember, you can get more than one use out of each one. Once you are set up, it is a relatively cheap meal to cook.

Nici Wicke's Delhi Style Butter Chicken slightly ammended

Serves 4

3 diced chicken thighs or breasts (chunky is good)

5 cloves of garlic, diced
2cm ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
1 heaped teaspoon cumin
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons (or a good squeeze) of lemon or lime juice
1 cup of natural yoghurt (they come in small 150g pottles which is ideal)
2 tablespoons of cooking oil

Mahkani Sauce:
2 tablespoons of butter
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 cm ginger, grated
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cardamom pop, split and crushed (with a cooks knife, flatten them - this should split them open then just throw this opened pod into the sauce)
800g crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon (or squeeze) of lemon juice
25 g unsalted butter
100ml cream (I used reduced fat)
Fresh coriander to garnish


In a plastic container or bowl, mix your marinade ingredients together. Mix through the chicken and leave to sit in the fridge. This can be done the morning or night before for extra flavour. Once it is time to cook the chicken, turn your oven onto a high grill, place chicken pieces in a greased oven dish and grill until the pieces are browning on the outside (this is to imitate the tandoor). Once one side it nice and done, flip the pieces over and repeat on the other side. Once both have been done, remove from the oven.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a deep dished saucepan, add your garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes. Then add your spices and cardamom pod. Cook for a minute or two then add your lemon juice and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add your cooked chicken pieces. Stir in the cream and butter and then season to taste. Serve this atop basmati rice with a sprig of fresh coriander and you are ready to roll!

Mix your marinade ingredients together
 Place along with your diced chicken inside a snap lock bag. Pop into the fridge for 15 minutes or overnight

 For the sauce, fry your garlic and ginger in the butter

 Add your spices and cook for a few minutes to activate them
 Add 800g of tomatoes

 Place your chicken in an oven dish and grill on high until browned (10 or so minutes)

 Once cooked, stir into the sauce. Then add the cream and rest of the butter.

 I rinsed my marinade bag out with the cream, as to include all that spicy goodness.

and one more knob of butter for luck!

Or . .

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, while your sauce is simmering, make up this tasty spiced rice.

Spiced Rice with Dried Fruit (according to Mum on the phone who was reading from the Ripe Deli Cookbook) and off the top of my head again.

50g butter
2 onions, diced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds (or just less than a tablespoon of ground cumin)
1 cinnamon quill (or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon)
4 cardamom pods, split and crushed as above
1 cup of dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, diced dried apricots, diced prunes, whatever really)
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 and a bit cups of water

In a saucepan, saute and soft the onions in the butter. Do not brown them. We don't want the caramelised flavour in this. Add your cumin seeds and cinnamon quill (or ground cinnamon), cardamom pods and fruit, stir and cook for a minute or two. Add the rice. Stir for 2 minutes to make sure it is nice and coated with butter. Add the water, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes (stirring occasionally) then pop the lid on, remove from heat and leave to sit for 15 minutes. This should work, if not then pop the rice in a microwaveable container, add a splash more water and microwave on high for another 3 minutes or so. Hmm not very specific I know. Just as long as the rice isn't crunchy! :) Once nice and done, serve underneath (or along side) your delicious butter chicken and devour like the hungry students that you are.
Cook the spiced rice in a pot


I hope you enjoy

We sure did!