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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: 'Light' Butter Chicken

Author's note: This was first published back at the beginning of 2015 and my photography and food styling skills have improved dramatically since then, so I thought it was time to update! These images are the result of a highly enjoyable lunch. Keep checking back to see more favourites updated with mouthwatering images. 

Welcome to the second of my 'Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook' series; this week it's butter chicken that I'm making. Now, butter chicken does't sound healthy but this (despite the name) has no butter and yet tastes every bit as good as the original. It also uses just a few ground spices rather than a shop-bought paste, and light cream with low fat yogurt. I got the idea of the dish, and in particular the spices, from Not Quite Nigella but have changed bits from the rest of the recipe to suit my tastes and to have (hopefully) only store cupboard ingredients - I can't find coriander roots in the supermarket, funnily enough. The first time I made the recipe, I noticed that whilst it tasted delicious, there was no heat at all - it tasted like a slightly unusual tomato sauce - which is not what I want in a murgh makhani. So this time, I added some chilli oil (almost no chilli was involved - I tried some on its own and thought I'd got the wrong oil) and some chilli flakes. My only note of caution is that you can always add more chilli but you can't take it away, so start off small!

It's also quite fast to make - about 30 minutes - that is if you don't get distracted by camera settings and food styling like I did and forget that supper was supposed to be at 7.30 and not an hour later!

Light butter chicken recipe
Serves two but easily doubled
If you only have whole spices (like me) then just grind them using a pestle and mortar
Serve with rice

2tsp oil
½ onion, diced
1 minced garlic clove
½inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 chicken breasts
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
½tsp garam masala
Pinch of chilli flakes, crushed (chilli powder should also work but use it sparingly)
125ml tomato passata (I lost my jar so just used a stick blender to blitz part of a tin of tomatoes)
125ml chicken stock (preferably reduced salt etc)
40ml low fat natural yogurt
20ml light cream

If you need to grind your spices then do this first.
Heat oil in a large pan on a medium heat.
Prepare the onion, garlic and ginger and add to the hot oil, stirring occasionally.
Whilst the onions are softening, dice the chicken into bite sized chunks and add to the pan once the onions are soft.
Add the coriander, cumin, garam masala and chilli, turning the chicken to coat.
Pour over the passata and chicken stock and mix everything together.
Leave to cook, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked through.
Test the seasoning, adding salt if desired and more chilli if you want.
Remove from heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Stir in the yogurt and cream.
Serve over rice.

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I love to cook and this blog follows my successes (and a few failures) in the kitchen. If you enjoy my posts, or think there is a problem with a recipe then please let me know