Fall in love with a tongue-tingling classic of exotic spices and rich sauce, our recipe for Butter Chicken with Pilau Rice is perfect for spicing up the menu. With great flavours from an all-star line-up of herbs, diced chicken breast and a generous dash of butter, this curry stands above the rest. As the be-all and end-all of Indian sides, homemade pilau rice adds depth and character to complete the feast.
Resting in a marinade of minced garlic with chopped onions and chicken stock, flavours emerge from a heated blend of ground coriander, cumin, chili powder and fresh ginger to name a few. These layers of heat and nuance deliver a touch of zing, while also acting as a fitting contrast to the buttery and satisfyingly creamy base of the marinade. Together, flavours are balanced and mild, delivering that classic curry flavour you know and love.
Over a medium heat melt 30g Lurpak® unsalted butter and cook the onions and garlic for 10 minutes until soft and starting to brown slightly. Then add the ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, chilli, ginger and cook for a couple of minutes to release the flavours of the spices. Place the chicken in the pan with the spices and mix to evenly coat all the pieces and brown the chicken.
In a separate medium sized frying pan, add 1 tbsp Lurpak® unsalted butter and when sizzling add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and cook for 1 minute. Pour this mixture into the chicken with the fenugreek. Season with salt and black pepper. Add chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock or water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Dot over the remaining butter and stir into the curry until all the butter is melted. Set aside and make the rice.
To make the rice, grind the coriander, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and bay leaves in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Melt half the butter in a heavy based pan and add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 mins. Add the turmeric and mustard seeds and ground spices. Fry for 1-2 minutes over a medium heat until the mustard seeds start popping.
Stir in the rice and coat with the spice mixture. Add the stock and season with salt and black pepper. Stir and when the rice begins to bubble, turn the heat down low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat and leave for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile fry the red onions in the butter for 10 minutes until golden. When the rice is cooked, dot the butter over the rice and fluff with a fork. Put the cover back on the rice and leave until ready to serve.
Serve the rice with butter chicken, naan bread, lemon wedges, coriander and top with red onions.
Tips & Tricks
The Indian kitchen has been around for centuries, with its use of spice and balance acting as a source of inspiration to countless culinary styles across the globe. Its methods and recipes have been tuned and adjusted through generations to the point of perfection and getting to know the ins and outs of its many ingredients and recipes is easier said than done. That being said, with a few tricks up your sleeve, getting up to speed is just a matter of knowing where to start.
Getting your chicken perfect every time is down to preparation. Removing your meat from the fridge at least an hour before cooking allows the chicken to distribute heat evenly when cooking, resulting in succulent white meat consistently. If your chicken has been in the freezer, be sure to thaw it in the fridge at least 24 hours before dinner. Since we want our chicken to cook with an even sear to seal in juice and flavour, your melted butter should be at the optimal temperature before adding your chicken to the pan. This means cooking both butter and chicken over medium to low temperature, slowly increasing the heat as your chicken seals on all sides. This ensures juicy and tenderised chicken with a satisfying sear.
For our rice, we want them fluffy and creamy without feeling soggy or sticky. To prevent this, adding a few drops of lemon juice to the water while cooking your rice separates the grains without affecting flavour or texture – enjoy.