I love cardamon. I first tasted it when my sister in law cooked Pulla, a type of sweet bread flavoured with cardamom. For years she would bring me back little packets of distinctive smelling goodness from her trips home to Turku. Now, of course, you can get cardamom in most supermarkets. But I still prefer the pods. Cracking them open makes me smile. A foretaste of the banquet ahead.
This recipe in its purest form, it is yogurt-and-spice-marinated chicken dressed in a velvety red bath comprising butter, onions, ginger and tomatoes scented with garam masala, cumin and turmeric, with a cinnamon tang. And of course, my added cardamom.
Butter Chicken & Cardamom Recipe
Ingredients: 25g butter & 2 tablespoons butter extra
2 onions, halved and finely sliced
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 teaspoons each of garam masala, Turmeric and ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
12 cardamom pods, seeds removed
1 cinnamon stick
500g fresh tomato passata
50ml double cream
fresh coriander, chopped
cooked rice, to serve naan breads, to serve
Method: Heat some of the butter in a large pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for about 5 mins until soft. Blitz the ginger and the garlic, then add this to the onion. Add the spices except the cinnamon and cardamom. Continue to cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes.
Remove this to a bowl for later. Add the chicken to the pan with some butter, and continue to fry until turning golden brown. Remove once almost cooked. Add the spices, garlic, ginger and cardamon and passata to the pan, with the cinnamon and cardamom. Leave to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the chicken back into the sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes, uncovered.
Just before serving, stir in the extra butter, yogurt and cream, season to taste and serve scattered with coriander, and with the cooked rice
and some naan breads on the side.