“Claudia’s family are obsessed with butter chicken, so I tracked down the grandson of the chef who invented the dish to find out how to make the original. It’s fragrant and layered with a good back note of heat that’s not too spicy so great for the whole family. An absolute winner! ”
For the first marinade, put the chicken in a bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice. Peel the ginger and garlic and finely grate over the chicken. Add a pinch of sea salt and the chilli powder, and give it all a good rub and mix up. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
For the second marinade, stir the ground spices into the yoghurt and season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Pour it over the chicken, mix well and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight
To get the first part of your sauce started, soak the cashews overnight, if using, in 150ml water. When you’re ready to cook your curry, drain the liquid then grind to a paste in a pestle and mortar (or use a powerful blender), adding a splash of milk to loosen, if needed. Set aside.
For the onion pickle, peel and finely dice the onion, then place in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Add a good pinch of salt, toss well and leave to pickle.
Now back to your sauce: peel and finely chop the onions and place in a large pan on a medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.
Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pan with a good pinch of salt. Cook for 15 minutes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon, until they’ve cooked right down. Add the chilli powder and cumin, cook for 1 minute more, then strain the tomato mixture through a coarse sieve set over a clean bowl.
Halve and deseed the green chillies, then place in a large clean pan on a medium-high heat with the butter. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden and aromatic, then pour in the tomato sauce. Stir in the fenugreek and 1 heaped tablespoon of your cashew paste and leave to simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the chicken in a hot griddle pan on a high heat, until gnarly all over but still slightly pink in the middle.
For the mint yoghurt, pick the mint and pound to a paste in a pestle and mortar. Squeeze in the lemon juice, then add the mango powder and a pinch of sea salt. Stir it through the yoghurt and set aside.
To make the naan, combine the flour, yoghurt and honey in a bowl and mix until combined. Tip onto a clean flour-dusted surface, knead until smooth, then cut into 6 even portions. Stretch and press each piece into an oval shape, then make pocket marks with your fingers.
Carefully remove the chicken from the griddle and cut into large chunks. Add to the sauce and simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through, then swirl through a little double cream.
Cook the naans in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes, or until golden, then flip over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Repeat, cooking to order. Brush with a little melted butter, if you like.
Dish up your curry with the naan, onion pickle and a dollop of mint yoghurt. Garnish with a few coriander leaves, and tuck in!