A cringeworthy title, I know. Especially since, when I hear it in my head, it is always with a Jewel in the Crown Raj accent -- spices of "Indjah". But, since this is truly not authentic, I was hard pressed to come up with a better descriptive title for this sauce than "spices of India". Basically, I was in the mood for Murgh Makhani, but had neither chicken on hand, nor the inclination to make the time-intensive sauce that makes butter chicken so delicious. For those of you who do, this recipe is a good base recipe.
My quick and easy sauce definitely fulfilled my needs for the flavors and unctuous mouthfeel of butter chicken, and took five minutes to make. I served it over eggplant fritters and couscous (illustrated below), but I do think that this sauce is versatile enough to work over grilled chicken, sauteed mushrooms, pan-fried tofu, braised greens...Leftovers make a nice base for a lentil soup or one with blitzed roasted tomatoes.
1/3 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsps butter
2 tsps white onion, grated
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp garam masala
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of hot Kashmiri chili powder, or ground red pepper flakes
pinch of cardamom powder
Salt to taste
Measure the spices (except for the garam masala), the butter and alliums into a small pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and bubbly, the spices have bloomed and smell fragrant and the onion is cooked through. This will take a minute or two.
Add the tomato concentrate to the pan and stir to combine with the spiced onion mixture. Lower the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds, to remove the tinny taste of the tomato paste, before adding 1/3 cup of water to the pan.
Stir well to create a homogenous sauce and bring to the boil. Add the sour cream and bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the garam masala and salt to taste.