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Floyd Cardoz isn't just an Indian chef, but he is one of the city's best Indian chefs. So we were pretty excited for a chance to watch him make his version of chicken tikka makhani, the "butter chicken" that's the sweeter, creamier version of chicken tikka masala, at the New York Culinary Experience.
Long ingredient lists and some unfamiliar techniques can make cooking Indian food at home daunting, but chef Cardoz showed just how easy this kind of home cooking can be. He gave boneless, skinless chicken thighs an overnight marinade in a purée of yogurt, chilies, ginger, garlic, and some basic spices, then cooked them simply on the grill. Stop there and you have some damn good chicken tikka for summer. But it doesn't take much to make the buttery tomato gravy—an easy mix of tomatoes, onions, butter, cream, and a couple spices and aromatics—for a ridiculously luxurious Indian meal.
The secret, if there is any, is to not forget the fenugreek, the slightly bitter, maple sweet herb that adds a ton of complexity and personality to the sauce. It's worth seeking out at an Indian grocery or online—your home cooked Indian dishes will thank you.
Check out the slideshow for step by step instructions on how to make this dish, or head straight to the recipe below.