Recipe VIDEO above. Make this iconic curry at home!!! It's a stunner - and although there's an extensive looking list of ingredients, it's astonishingly straight forward. Far better than paste in a jar, less oily than restaurants, and you can get everything you need from supermarkets!Spice level: Low. Marinating time: 3 - 24 hours
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and mix. Add chicken and turn well to coat.
Cover with cling wrap and leave in fridge to marinate overnight (3 hours minimum).
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan over high heat until smoking. Add half the chicken and spread out. Leave for 2 minutes or until charred. Turn each piece and cook the other side until charred - don't worry if not cooked inside. (Note 4, also Video helpful here) Remove into bowl.
Scrape out charred bits left in pan and discard. Add more oil if required and cook remaining chicken.
Wipe skillet with paper towels (or do this part in a pot as you need a lid). Turn heat down to medium high.
Add oil and butter. When butter is melted, add onions, ginger and salt.
Cook, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn't burn, until the ginger is starting to turn golden and the onions smell sweet, about 5 - 7 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and paprika, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the Curry Sauce Spices, and cook a further 2 minutes, stirring.
Add tomato passata and water, and mix. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low.
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour curry into a bowl, then use a stick blender to puree until smooth (Note 5).
Return sauce to skillet. Add cream, sugar and butter. Stir to melt the butter.
Add chicken, stir. Simmer for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Optional: Sprinkle with a pinch of extra garam masala at the end.
1. Chicken: Please don't try this with chicken breast! The high temp cooking required to achieve the char grilled crust on the chicken will overcook it and dry it out.2. Garam Masala is a spice mix that is found in major supermarkets in Australia (Woolies, Coles etc) that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It smells like curry powder.3. Oil - Or canola, coconut, grapeseed or other neutral flavoured oil with a high smoke point. NOT olive oil.4. Charring - Try to keep the charred coating on the chicken, but don't fret if most gets stuck to the pan - you still get the flavour. This is the reason I use a non stick pan - less risk of charred crust sticking to pan (though you can make this in a well seasoned cast iron pan which is brilliant for getting that charred crust).5. Don't skip the blending. When all those caramelised onions cooked with the garlic and ginger gets whizzed up with everything else, it's magic. It's one of the steps that we felt made "all the difference" - and restaurants do this too. It's all about the silky smooth curry sauce!I transfer into a bowl because it's difficult to use a stick blender in a skillet. If you're making this in a pot, you can probably tilt the pot to use a stick blender. Or let cool slightly and do this in a blender - do not blitz piping hot sauce in a blender, it might blow the lid off and curry sauce will hit your ceiling!GENERAL NOTES: * Indian cooking uses a lot of oil. Don't be tempted to skimp on the butter and oil for this recipe, it really affects the resulting richness of the dish at the end. We were quite surprised at the difference it made. AT MOST you can reduce the cooking oil by 1 tbsp and omit the butter at the end (but taste it first!). And even using the full amount of butter + oil, it only works out at about 1.7 tbsp per serving which isn't as obscene as one might expect. :) * You can use ghee instead of the oil/butter used to sauté the onion. I find oil + butter produces a similar end result. I do use ghee sometimes - if I have it on hand (which I usually don't). * The dish is deliberately saucy because it's SO GOOD! * The salt level looks high but curries need it. Generally, intense flavours = more salt required.5. Storage / make ahead - Chicken can be marinated for up to 48 hours in the fridge, or pop it straight into the freezer then it will marinate while defrosting overnight in the fridge. Cooked curry will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freezer for 3 months (defrost then reheat in microwave or on stove with splash of extra water). However, unlike stews, curries are at their prime freshly made, when the spices are at their most aromatic. A good trick to freshen up curries is to add a pinch of garam masala when reheating.6. Recipe references: See in post.7. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings (excludes rice, naan etc).