I made butter chicken. Except I didn't.
You, too, could not really make one.
Butter chicken is the first Indian thing I ate, back when I were a wee lad, so it has a special place in my heart. In fact, it usually starts burning at about 3am and wakes me up.
The pilau rice (right, above) is my own. I started by toasting some cumin and brown cardamom in a dry pan and then 'setting them aside'. I fried a chopped-up shallot in ghee, added the cumin and cardamom (after bashing them up a bit) plus some cloves and turmeric, which gives it the yellow colour. Then the rinsed rice is stirred around in all that, gently, and then water is added, along with some cinnamon and a bayleaf, and the whole lot cooks by absorption under a lid.
The butter chicken came from a kit. Here it is.
Now in austerity packaging.
It contains a packet of chopped spices, a 'base sauce', and the main buttery mixture. To do this properly (ie correct cheating) you should really marinade the chicken pieces in the base sauce and then grill them, briefly, to brown them off. But I couldn't be arsed, so I did it all in the pan.
I pimped it very slightly, with some more brown cardamom and a birdseye chilli I had left over, but otherwise followed the basic instructions. I could have seared the chicken pieces a bit more aggressively but no matter.
This is the best curry kit I've ever tried, and I've tried quite a few. It really did taste like butter chicken. 'This is like being in a restaurant,' said my home critic, except none of the crockery matched, and the waiter was bad-tempered and a bit pissed.
I recommend it. The kit, I mean.