Chunky juicy tandoori chicken pieces dipped in buttery tomato gravy.
Mix lemon juice, salt and Chilli (either of the three-paprika/ degi mirchi powder/ Kashmiri chilli powder).
Dip chicken pieces in the marinade, and coat the pieces nicely, with the marinade. Cover the bowl with a cling film, and keep in the refrigerator for half an hour
Make a rough paste of the garlic/ green chilli and ginger.
Mix all the ingredients of the second marinade together - yoghurt, ginger garlic green chilli paste, mustard oil, saffron dipped in water, cumin powder, tandoori powder, garam masala powder, salt, hand crushed kasoori methi ,red chilli powder.
Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces (which are already marinated in the first marinade), cover these with the second marinade.Mix well.
Cover the bowl with a cling film, and keep marinated in the refrigerator for a minimum for 4-5 hrs, or even overnight if you are preparing these ahead of time.
If you are using cashews and melon seeds- Make a paste of these.
In a thick bottomed pan, heat butter .
Add bay leaf, and rest of the whole spices-cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon stick.Temper this for a minute.
Add grated ginger and garlic, sauté these for 2-3 minutes, till the raw aroma goes away.
Add chopped onions, and sauté, till these are golden brown.
Add tomato puree, and sauté till the masala leaves oil on the sides, and is done.
If you are using the cashew/ melon seeds paste, add the paste at this step, and mix well. You need to keep stirring so that the paste does not stick to the pan. This would need 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Now add the dry spices-salt, red chilli powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, garam masala, kasoori methi.Mix well.
Add a cup of water, and simmer for a minute, till it starts boiling
Add cream, and mix well.
Add a little sugar or honey. You can even use jaggery to sweeten this.Mix well.
Put the marinated chicken pieces, on a skewer, and heat on a wire rack for about 15-18minutes at 180 degrees
Turn them once after 10 minutes, so that it is done on all sides.
once almost done,Brush butter on the chicken pieces.and grill it for almost 2-5 minutes.
Once everything is done- the chicken is cooked and the gravy is ready, add the tandoori chicken pieces in hot gravy and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add a dollop of butter, and a splash of cream.Mix. Garnish it with ginger jullienes, and slit green chillies, more cream. Serve it hot with butter naan, and Indian pickled onions.
Options to replace dairy (butter and cream)-
The above alternatives are only incase if you want to avoid adding any dairy products, for maybe health reasons, or any other reasons. Otherwise I would really suggest you use the real ingredients to enjoy the real butter chicken!!As I always say, workout a little more the next day, but enjoy the true taste of real natural food:), and anyways as I said,nobody eats butter chicken everyday , just enjoy it once in a while.
If you do not have an oven, you can use the pan to cook the marinated chicken. Add a little butter in the pan, and lay down all chicken pieces in single flat layer, and cook them for about 7-8 minutes on one side. Then turn the side and cook nicely on all sides.