I'm a crazy compulsive Mistress of Spices amongst other things, and have an addiction to Indian food - the preparation of it as much as the consumption.
I make a Butter-Chicken-ish thing, it has the same spices, a lot of the same cooking technique, but no cream & no butter. And it tastes wonderful (in my opinion anyway!). Give it a go, I promise you'll like it! And try to get hold of the methi leaves, they make such a difference! Apologise for the randomness of my recipe, I tend to go with the flow in my cooking rather than follow any particular structure...
Marinate boneless chicken (for an hour to a day) in: Puree of 6 garlic cloves & about an inch of ginger, 1t chilli powder, 1/4t ground coriander, ½ t ground cumin, ½ t ground garam masala, ½ t salt, 2 t lime juice, 400ml or so natural yoghurt (fat content of your choice!).
Take a can of crushed tomatoes, put them in a saucepan with cinnamon sticks, a few cardamom pods, & as many dried chillis as you desire. Bring to the boil then simmer until they’ve reduced by about half. Strain through a sieve, keep the lovely rich spicy tomato sauce.
Grill the chicken, bake the chicken, bbq the chicken. Cook it in some way. Shred it or cut it into pieces.
Put the cooked chicken into the nicely reduced sauce. Add ½ a teaspoon of Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) if you can get hold of them, they really make the whole thing amazing. Add another teaspoon of garam masala.
Take the whole lot off the heat. Add a little of the SAUCE into another 100g of yoghurt. NOT the other way around or very bad things will happen, especially if you’re using low fat yoghurt. Add a little more sauce into yoghurt, mix it up, add a little more, this way the yoghurt gets gently heated. By the time you’ve added about half the sauce/chicken mix into the yoghurt you should be safe to mix the whole lot together.
You can heat it VERY gently if it’s cooled down too much, but don’t let it boil or the sauce will separate. Yuck.
Such a yummy meal, and won’t make you feel like you’ve eaten a brick afterwards.