1 ¾ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast chopped into chunks(substitute chicken thigh or combination)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 shallots, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
1/3 white or yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Garam Masala spice mix + for sprinkling
1 ½ teaspoons finely ground red chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 bay leaves
1 cup tomato purée (2 medium tomatoes, puréed in a food processor)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup half and half
2 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/3 cup cold water
Fresh cilantro leaves to garnish
In a wok or large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil on high heat. Sauté the garlic, shallots, ginger and onion for about 2 minutes until fragrant and translucent.
Add the butter, lemon juice, Garam Masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaves. Sauté again for just another minute until well mixed. Carefully pour in the tomato purée and stir for a few minutes until bubbling.
Lower the heat to medium low, adding the yogurt and half and half, stirring and simmering for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the salt, sugar and black pepper. Stir gently until well combined; remove from heat.
In another wok or large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on high heat. Cook the chicken chunks for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, sprinkling Garam Masala evenly over the chicken. Once the chicken has lightly browned, slowly add the sauce mixture to the chicken, stirring gently to mix, lowering the heat to medium high. Add a few spoonfuls of the cornstarch mixture as needed to thicken the sauce. Simmer for just a couple of minutes. Serve immediately with fresh cilantro to garnish.