Quick and easy healthy butter chicken recipe.
If you have time, you can marinate the chicken overnight with a cup of yogurt, some sliced onions, garlic, ginger and a pinch of cumin. (I usually skip this step).
Combine all the dry spices and salt. Stir until well combined and set aside.
Cut the chicken breasts (or vegan substitute) into half inch cubes.
Add 3 tablespoons of oil to a large pan (that comes with a with a lid). Add the chicken to the pan. Cook the chicken on low heat or until it's golden brown on all sides.
Sprinkle approximately one third of the dry spice mixture on the chicken and stir until it's well coated. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add one more tablespoon of oil to the pan. Lightly sauté the onions on low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with a third of the dry spice mixture. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir until well combined.
Add the chicken stock and the bay leafs to the pan and stir. (Add the soaked cashews to the pan now if you're making the dairy-free variation).
Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan. Add the remainder of the dry spice mixture. Put the lid on the pan and allow the flavours to meld together for about 20 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally.
Turn the burner off. Remove the bay leafs. Allow the sauce to cool down a little. Carefully ladle the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth.
Put the blended sauce back into the pan. Turn the burner to low heat. Add the cream and butter (or vegan butter, or olive oil) to the pan and stir. Add the browned chicken back to the pan and stir.
Put the lid on the pan and allow everything to simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes or longer. That should be enough time for the chicken to finish cooking and for all the flavours to come together. Taste for salt. Add more if necessary.
Serve the butter chicken with rice, naan or cauliflower rice. Garnish with some red onion slices and some fresh cilantro.