Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)

June 22, 2007

I cannot believe it’s almost 4 days since my last post. I apologize dear readers, I’ve been really caught up with work. But I am back now so let me pick up where I left off.

As i wrote in my previous post Weekend Cookout, I cooked up a storm with Indian Inspired meals. One of the dished I prepared was Butter Chicken. This chicken curry dish is a very versatile one as you can adjust the spiciness level to your liking. My butter chicken was a very mild one because my guest did not have the tongue for spicy food, unfortunately. It was still a very flavorful curry that packs the punch in the amount of spice.

Here’s the recipe:
4 whole chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons of yogurt

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 onion, minced
4 garlic, chopped finely
1 inch of ginger, minced
2 small cans of tomato puree
1 tablespoon chili powder (decrease/increase the amount to your preference)
approx. 1 tablespoon salt to taste
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup of grounded almonds
1/2 cup of yogurt
1/2 cup water

1. Marinate chicken with paprika, salt, pepper and yogurt for 2-3 hours.
2. After 2-3 hours, heat a deep pan with some oil and pan fried the chicken until all sides are browned. Take it off the stove for later use.
3. Use the same pan and the butter. Saute the onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant, approx. 5-8 minutes.
4. Add your garam masala and cumin powder, saute until the powder is well incorporated into a mixture.
5. Now, add the rest of the ingredients in and let the sauce come to a simmer. Stir well and let it cook for about 8 more minutes before adding the chicken pieces in.
6. Let the chicken cook in the butter sauce under a lower simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
7. Serve warm.

The butter chicken goes very well with rice, roti and naans 🙂


Weekend Cookout

I had people coming over for dinner yesterday so I cooked a very Indian inspired meal but leaning more towards Malaysian Indian food. I really don’t know if they actually serve cabbage with mustard seeds and turmeric in India. And because these guests of mine are not very heat tolerant, I had to water down the spiciness level a lot. So the best type of curry for that would be Butter Chicken. I am using the term curry, very loosely here.

And to accompany the butter chicken, I made a simple Coconut Rice Pilaf and several vegetable side dishes to go with it; cabbage cooked with turmeric and mustard seeds, spinach with grated roasted coconut and potato and peas dhal.

I realize that I forgot to take pictures of some of these dishes. So please, bear with me while I make do with what I have.

Excuse the tamarind shrimps next to the butter chicken and veggies, I’ll post a recipe for that with pics too soon! 🙂

And all I have_for_now, is my plate of leftovers from last night’s dinner. I had it for lunch..:P

I will be posting the recipes for each of the dishes in the upcoming posts, otherwise, it’s going to get very, very long.


Chicken Tikka on a stick

May 14, 2007

***Edit: please take note of the tikka/tandoori recipe again as I forgot to add salt into the ingredients… whooops! Your meat might be tasteless without good ol’ salt!

Frankly, i don’t know the difference between chicken tikka and chicken tandoori. But I craved it after I saw pictures of it at TFP’s blog. So, i’ve decided to make some myself – two versions; a vegetarian one and a chicken one.

I’m going to just share with you the recipe in making the marinate for chicken tikka/tandoori. The deep red sauce that’s so good, you can use it on almost anything and then bbq or oven baked or grilled. I will include a vegetarian “meat” recipe i used as well and as for the chicken tikka, just use chicken breast pieces chopped up in chunks and just marinate with the marinade.

The Marinade:
1 inch knob of fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon red curry powder
1 tablespoon paprika powder
1 cup plain yoghurt, the fresher the better
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 teaspoon salt

1. Put the first 7 ingredients into a mortar and pestle; bruise and grind until the seeds are crushed.
2. Add yoghurt and tomato paste, mix with a spoon.
3. Take it off the mortar and pestle, cover until it’s ready to use.

vegetarian tikka

Vegetarian “meat” ingredients:
1/2 cup of mock chicken meat (you can use vegetarian sausage filling too)
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of corn flour
2 tablespoon water (add more until u can shape the mixture into a dumpling)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Oil for pan frying.

1. Mix all the ingredients above until you get a thick but shapeable paste.
2. Heat pan with oil (enough to cover half the pan).
3. Using a tablespoon, shape the paste into ping pong size balls and pan fry until it is brown on all sides and it retains a nice imperfect ball shape.
4. Slot them out with a metal sieve on kitchen towels to soak extra oil out.
5. Marinate them with the marinade above for 1 hour.

the REAL chicken tikka 😛

I’m going to skewer them on a stick, so for the veggie portion of the meal I might as well skewer the veggies together. So, I used tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant and onions. You can use whatever veggies you like, of course but use a bit of common sense – green lettuce and string beans would not go well as a skewered veggie on a stick, for example. You want something that holds well.

Eat this with basmati rice or coconut rice with a side of vegetable pickles.

Try this easy pickle recipe:
1 cucumber, de-seeded and sliced crossways
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 small can of pineapples
3 tablespoon clear vinegar
2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon sugar

1. mix everything together in one bowl and keep refridgerated until ready to use.

The pickle goes very well with the rice and the skewers. And it’s especially refreshing when it’s getting warmer and warmer these day 🙂


OMG is that Nessie in my curry?

May 7, 2007
please don’t eat me….

I made curried octopi and this particular sight caught me. I thought it was kinda cute in a grotesque sort of way. Maybe it’ll turn some of you back into vegetarians. 😛

Anyway, even though i used octopus instead of cuttlefish, it tastes just the same as a ‘sotong’ curry from Malaysia. I guess it must be the curry powder for curry fish my mom sent me. The whole apartment smelled like a mamak’s place, even my partner who craves mamak food said “Omg…the smell really reminds me of Pelita [this mamak place we often frequent when he was there]”. For the Octopi curry, I used:
1/4 cup of curry base (onions, garlic, ginger)
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of fennel
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 star anise
3 cloves
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 cup curry powder for fish
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons oil
5 octopus
2 tomatoes, halved
1 medium sized eggplant, chunks

1. Heat oil in pan and add all the ingredients in except water, octopi, tomatoes and eggplant. Saute until fragrant for about 8 mins.
2. Add water and let it come to a simmer before you add your eggplant.
3. After that, add your octopi in and tomatoes, cooked for 10 mins under medium heat.
4. Scoop out your octopi and tomatoes and let the broth simmer under low heat for another 10 mins.
5. Serve your octopi curry with rice and freshly sliced cucumbers.


Chicken Curry Post

April 27, 2007

This is another of my chicken curry dinners. Yes, I made a vegetarian version too but i thought the one with real chicken looked more appetizing hehe 🙂

I would drink every drop of it!

I made a previous post on this chicken curry with its recipe. If you want to know the recipe, just click on the link. I added potatoes in my curry this time, so if you want, just put in cuts of potato chunks into your curry the same time you add your chicken in.

Being Malaysian, I just need my curry fix at least once a week. Or at least something burning hot and spicy! Damn, i wish a Mamak is around the corner so I can get my curry fix on a Nasi Kandar, whenever i want! Maybe I should introduce Malaysian mamak culture to the people of Montreal where food and drinks (hot and cold, non-alcoholic) are served 24/7.

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