Vivek Singh, born in West Bengal but now based in London, think The Cinnamon Club, is my hero and this dish is based on one of his recipes. If I ever get to meet Viv then I’ll have to ask him about the Delhi connection because I spent one week there a couple of years ago and I never came across it.

Poussin is a young chicken and the meat has a delicate and succulent flavour and texture with very little fat. Poussin is from the French language, of course, and sometimes they are referred to as spring chicken. My pair (brace) weighed in at 600g each making it one bird apiece or if cut up and served with vegetable side dishes then this would feed four.

Serves 2 very hungry curry munchers

2 poussin, spatchcocked

To spatchcock place the bird breast side down and then using scissors cut away both sides of the back bone (discard). Turn the bird over and press with the palm of your hand to flatten.

For the marinade:
Small tub Greek yoghurt
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs garlic and ginger paste
1 tsp salt
1 tbs red chilli powder
1 tbs ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp garam masala
Juice of one lemon

Mix all of the above and then smother over the birds – refrigerate overnight.

Bring the birds up to room temperature. Pre heat the oven to 200°C and place the birds on a roasting tray then cook for 40 minutes, reducing the temperature to 180°C, turning once half way through. Check that the meat is cooked by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. It’s cooked when the juices run clear. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.

For the sauce:
Large tin peeled whole tomatoes, break them down using the back of a wooden spoon
1 large onion, peeled and blitzed to a paste
1 tbs tomato purée
2″ piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 green cardamom pods, split
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp red chilli powder
80g butter, diced
1 large green chilli, slit lengthways
½ tsp salt
2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp garam masala
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar
2 tbs vegetable oil

Heat oil over medium heat in a deep sided frying pan then add the onion and cook gently, stirring from time to time. When the liquid from the onion has evaporated and started to colour add the garlic, ginger, cardamom pods, cloves, turmeric and green chilli. Stir gently and cook for two minutes.

Add the tomatoes and tomato purée. Stir gently then add the chilli powder, salt and fenugreek leaves and leave to cook until things start to deepen in colour and thicken up.

Add a pinch of sugar. Stir gently.

Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring gently to melt. Simmer until the sauce looks glossy.

Sprinkle with garam masala and stir through.

Add the birds and any juices to the pan, stir gently then spoon over with the sauce.

Serve with basmati rice and chapattis.

Old Delhi-Style Butter Chicken