Garam masala give this Indian Butter Chicken its full-bodied flavor.
Notes: If you can't find garam masala, use these seasonings: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon cracked dried bay leaves, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro onto individual portions of butter chicken, if you like.
1 onion (1/2 lb.), peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh jalapeño chili (about 1 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon salad oil
2 teaspoons garam masala (see notes)
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breasts, rinsed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine
6 cups hot cooked white basmati rice
How to Make It
In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine onion, ginger, chili, and oil. Stir often over high heat until onion is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala. Scrape mixture into a blender; add tomato paste and chicken broth. Whirl until very smooth. Pour mixture back into pan, add cream, and bring to a gentle boil over high heat (mixture is inclined to spatter). Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 3 cups, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl. Rinse and dry pan.
Mix chicken with pepper and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set pan over high heat; add 1 tablespoon butter and the chicken. Stir until chicken is no longer pink on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink in the center (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes. Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into sauce until melted.
Spoon chicken and sauce onto rice. Add salt to taste. Squeeze lime juice over portions.