ruby curry

Prep 15 min
Marinate 6 hr+
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

700g skinless, boneless chicken thighs
20g unsalted butter, melted
50ml double cream

For the makhani sauce
35g garlic (7–8 cloves)
175ml vegetable oil
20g fresh root ginger
800g chopped tomatoes (fresh or good-quality tinned)
2 bay leaves
6 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp fine sea salt
1½ tsp deggi mirch chilli powder
30g butter
1 tsp garam masala
20g granulated sugar
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kasoori methi powder, crushed to a powder between your fingers
½ tsp fresh dill fronds
80ml double cream

For the marinade
10g chopped fresh ginger
20g chopped garlic
5g fine sea salt
1 tsp deggi mirch chilli powder
1½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garam masala
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp vegetable oil
75g full-fat greek yoghurt

For the garnish
Ginger matchsticks
Coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds

First make the makhani sauce. Peel and finely dice 15g of the garlic. Warm a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Toss in the chopped garlic and fry until light golden brown and slightly crisp – about seven to eight minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Grate the remaining garlic and the ginger to a fine paste on a microplane (or grind in a mortar). Using a blender, blitz the chopped tomatoes to a fine consistency.

Put the saucepan containing the oil back on a medium-high heat and add the bay leaves, green and black cardamom pods, and the cinnamon sticks. Let them crackle for one minute, stirring regularly, then turn down the heat and add the garlic and ginger paste. Cook for five minutes, allowing the paste to brown but not burn.

Add the tomatoes, salt and chilli powder to the pan. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook until reduced by half, stirring regularly so it doesn’t catch – this should take about 30 minutes. Add the butter and simmer for a further five minutes. Add the garam masala, sugar, honey, cumin, crisp garlic, kasoori methi powder and dill fronds, and cook for a further 15 minutes. Add the cream and simmer gently for five minutes. The sauce is now ready to use.

For the marinade, blitz all the ingredients to a smooth paste, then transfer to a bowl. Cut the chicken into 4cm chunks, add to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for six to 24 hours.

Heat the grill to medium-high. Put the marinated chicken on a rack in the grill pan, brush with the melted butter and grill for eight to 10 minutes, until cooked through and nicely charred.

To finish, warm a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the makhani sauce, cream and grilled chicken, and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Serve the curry garnished with ginger matchsticks, chopped coriander and pomegranate seeds, with a bowl of steamed rice on the side.

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