How To Be A Less Shit Cook: Takeaway-Style Butter Chicken

How To Be A Less Shit Cook: Takeaway-Style Butter Chicken

The luxurious, creamy sweet feel of a takeaway butter chicken is an indescribably gorgeous sensory experience that combines the eroticism of a soft titty-fucking with the comfort of Frank Ocean singing a lullaby. 

For years I’ve dreamed of the day when I could say ‘Fuck the law’ and host my own BYO at home, with one bottle per person. Or hell, even two bottles. 

But I could never quite perfect that recipe. Try as I might, nothing ever came close to that takeaway goodness. I knew there must be some secret ingredient or process I was missing, but I just couldn’t work out what. Then one day I realised I was an idiot and it was incredibly obvious all along. Apart from the obvious fat and sugar, the secret ingredient is blending. 

Here’s a recipe for a dirt-cheap butter chicken type operation you can make at home. It doesn’t require any special pastes or anything, just tomatoes, coconut cream, and the standard spices you’ve got in the drawer. 

  1. Get a frying pan or a big stone pot (don’t use a saucepan). Slap it on a medium heat. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in there, or go 50/50 butter and oil to make it go further. The more the better. 
  2. Get a couple of onions, slice them up, chuck them in. Once the onion gets soft and kind of translucent, add fucking heaps of garlic. 6 or 7 cloves, finely chopped, should do the trick. 
  3. Turn the heat down a bit, and chuck a little splash of coconut cream in there, maybe like ¼ of a cup. Then get your curry powder and go nuts. You’re going to need at least 3 tablespoons worth, but honestly, you can’t really overdo it. Fry it until it gets down to a thick paste, that way you’re gonna activate the spices and make it real yum. A teaspoon or so of coriander, fresh ginger, and mustard powder can each be added at this point. 
  4. Chuck in two cans of tomatoes. Chopped is fine, but whole tomatoes are better because there’s more goodness locked in the skin. Stir it all up. 
  5. Now either grab a stick blender or put the whole damn lot in a blender. Blending is the key to getting that smooth, creamy takeaway-quality curry. 
  6. Pour it into a large pot – if you were using a non-stick pot before, just re-use that. Add one can of coconut cream.
  7. Cover the pot, and put on a high heat until it boils. Then turn it right down as low as it goes and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  8. While that's simmering, cook your chicken (ideally you marinated it but not necessary) on at least medium heat. You want to fry it for a couple of minutes until the sides are brown, and then chuck them into your curry mix once there is 10 minutes of simmering to go. Make sure the chicken is cooked before you turn off the heat.
  9. Add sugar to taste. Takeaway butter chicken is very sweet, so don’t be afraid of putting a fair bit in. 
  10. Try not to fuck up your rice, and enjoy!
This article first appeared in Issue 14, 2018.
Posted 9:46pm Thursday 5th July 2018 by The Scarfie Chef.