Here is the headline that caught my eye -
Teen leaving the nest? Give them a taste of home with these recipes.
I'm fully immersed in my empty-ish nest now, the (hardly any) good parts and the bad, but the promise of being able to deliver 'a taste of home', will always draw me in. The recipes in the article are created by the hugely talented Romy Gill whose daughter started at university earlier this year. The dishes are all Indian themed and are selected to be delicious and super easy so that teenagers can learn to cook them before they leave for pastures new.
It was the Butter Chicken that caught my eye, with its promise of 'all the ingredients simply mixed in a casserole … light on washing up and great for those who are short of time'. I was in!
So what is Butter Chicken?
It's arguably one of the most popular dishes to come out of India (the second most searched Indian dish globally last year) and this version is oven-cooked with a mildly spiced creamy tomato sauce, thickened with ground almonds and balanced with a spritz of lemon. The predominant spice is tandoori masala, which may not already be in your cupboard, but it is worth a small amount of effort to track it down - a quick Google and I found it at Tesco and Amazon. Or if you are feeling like going the extra mile (I can confirm that I am not this person), you could make the spice mix from scratch.
Hella was quick to declare this as 'the real deal, Mum' which I think means it tastes just like the best dish that you might order from the takeaway.
What have I learned about making this dish?
- It is genuinely a 'throw it all in a casserole dish' and then 'cook it in the oven for an hour' kind of dinner.
- I have also successfully mixed everything up earlier in the day and cooked it later in the evening.
- I have rearranged the ingredients order in the recipe so that, if you add everything in that order, you will find it easier to avoid annoying lumps from the ground almonds.
- When the dish is ready to go into the oven it looks like there is not enough chicken and too much liquid, but it really thickens up and comes out perfectly balanced.
- Most of the heat comes from the chilli powder - I've been using closer to ½ a teaspoon and that feels right for us.
- The curry continues to thicken as it cools, so if you have leftovers you may want to add a little water before reheating.
- The recipe quantity really does serve 2-3 and it's so delicious that you may only get 2 servings out of it.
How might you serve this Butter Chicken?
I'm a fan of rice with this curry and a bit of naan bread on the side. It's a fairly rich dish, so I also like to balance it with some raita, a tomato salad and some mango chutney.
Why am I sure that you will love this curry?
- With the exception of the Tandoori Masala, you'll probably have most of the ingredients already. I'm a fan of that.
- This version of Butter Chicken is truly delicious and tastes so good that you will undoubtedly impress your friends and family with your prowess. It might feel surprising that there's no butter in the ingredients but instead it benefits from the richness of the ground almonds.
- The chicken comes out incredibly tender, especially considering it has only cooked for an hour.
- It is so quick to put together that it's probably faster than ordering a takeaway (especially if you use cooked rice from the freezer).
So perhaps this Butter Chicken won't give my children a 'taste of home', but this empty-nester might cook it for them when I next visit and I'm certain that they will love it. And that kind of food love is enough for me…