Ladies and gentlemen please welcome the mother of all fowls…(drumroll!) the ever so popular Butter Chicken!! This is “the” recipe everyone who I know personally have been plotting and scheming to kidnap me for. Bribes have been attempted as well at numerous times😄. Well finally the big secrets out.
My butter chicken does take a wee bit extra time to cook but let me tell you its well worth the effort. Definitely not for the figure conscious though. I usually cook this when I’m expecting guests at home so I can fatten them up so good that they forget when their next invite is due hehe just kidding! 😉 I, on the other hand have been watching my figure for a very long time now….watching…and watching..as it grows!!
1kg Chicken Thigh Fillets
1 Large Onion (chopped)
3 Tbspn Ghee (clarified butter or unsalted butter)
300ml Thickened Cream
4 Cloves Of Garlic (crushed)
1 Inch Piece Of Ginger (crushed)
2 x 500ml Canned Roma Tomatoes (coarsely crushed with fingers)
4 Tbspn Tandoori Paste (I have used Sharwoods brand available at Woolies)
2 Tbspn Dried Methi Leaves (Fenugreek leaves available at Indian grocers)
2 Tbspn Honey
2 Tbspn Yoghurt
1/4 Tspn Lemon Juice
Salt To Taste
Ghee/Butter or Oil for cooking.
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and marinate it overnight with the tandoori paste, yoghurt, garlic, ginger and lemon juices.
In a food processor add the chopped onions and canned tomatoes to make a puree.
Heat ghee or butter in a pan and add the tomato onion puree. Simmer the paste on low heat settings until you see the oil separate and float up to the top which usually takes up a good 20-30mins. If you find the raw smell of onion hasn’t gone then add a little bit of water and cook further.
Once the tomato onion paste is ready add the chicken and the rest of the gravy into the pot and allow it to cook for 20 mins or so. Add Salt to taste.
When the chicken is done add cream and finger crushed fenugreek leaves with the honey (adjust the sweetness to your preference) and give it a good stir.
Cook further 5mins and serve with fragrant basmati rice or naan.
As promised here’s my mother-in-law Satish’s recipe for Khaidu/seasoned yoghurt which goes well as an accompaniment for pulaos and biryanis.
I am having a serene moment today but let me warn you there’s no major babbling bass just some minor bakwaas.😌I am sitting here gazing into my crystal ball🔮trying to tap into my 7 crucial Chakras. I seek inner peace by exploring deep soul diving so close your eyes, focus on the tube light, breathe and repeat after me..wax on! wax off! wax on! wax off! Come be enlightened! I promise not to remove evil eyes, or give you spells and concoctions for being bitten by a mad dog, find you your true love and wealth nor save your marriage. I’m here to tickle your tastebuds. I’ll teach you how not to remove your eyes off of the stove, give you sauces and condiments for being bitten by the mad foodie bug, find you your true spices and health and save your meal from burning. I, the food Love Guru!😇Come let’s eat!!
• Whisk yoghurt and milk and set aside
• Heat oil in a pan add sarso and jeera.
• Once the sarso starts to splutter throw in the onions and chillies.
• When the onions are lightly browned add haldi and curry leaves and stir for a second or two.
• Remove pan from heat, let it cool then pour tadka/tempering over the yoghurt and mix well.
Well guys this is my final post 😔..haha gotcha just kidding!! Actually I’m just temporarily going to be out of action. I won’t be able to post any recipes for six long weeks baaaahh!! 😩 I’m off for surgery for my right hand next week for my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I will still be “around” though and practice using my toes👣instead (not a very pretty sight at all lol) huh! why toes?? I can still use my left hand der!!! It will be interesting to see how my little darling will cope as she needs my arms for comfort to sleep and cuddle. Guess I had better start practicing with my left arm instead. Anyway I hope this surgery makes a difference to the pain I have been experiencing for three years now. I can’t wait. Wish me luck!
Alright! my show stopper dish today is Buk Choy with potatoes. Some might think what an odd combo..wait till you try it guys its so simple and delicious. In Fiji we call Buk Choy just plain cabbage and Bhaji is a word used for certain green leafy vegies. I’ll let you in on a secret….I add potatoes to my leafy vegies (which tends to decrease in quantity when cooked) to actually increase the quantity of the dish so I can have some leftover for next day (shhhh! saves the lazy me from cooking the next day hehe).😉
Now I’ve always given you my Fijian flashbacks today I have my Aussie one. My best memory of my hey days in Oz (this is so giving my age away) is of the times when my friends and I would venture out partying thinking we actually looked cool in our shoulder pads. The higher the better (Yikes!) and oh those hairstyles. I was a cross between a brown skinned shapely Michael Jackson (and yes I wore black pants with white socks and shirt and an MJ hat!) and had teased hair that resembled Tina Turners (shudder!) with that pout👄and all.
I wore eye make up that would make Cleopatras eyes look pale in comparision and that flouroscent pink lippie💄(OMG!). Everytime we met up with mates it was a “yo wassup homeboy?” and that wierd handshake where most of us forgot what came next the punch👊or the pat👋.We were all just sooo cool (so we thought). We had no particular dance style we just copied the dancer who had their arms up in the air (like you just don’t care uha! ). It was an “in” thing to pinch the derriere of someone you fancied and pretend someone else did it. You stand there half shocked😳half flattered☺️trying to figure out the culprit. Ahh those were the days sigh!
2 Bundle Buk Choy
1 Small Potato
1/2 Of A Small Onion
2-4 Cloves Garlic
Pinch Of Cumin And Fenugreek Seeds
2 Tbspn Oil
Salt To Taste
• Wash Buk Choy, discard end bits and chop finely.
• Crush garlic.
• Cut potato in small cubes.
• Chop onion finely.
• Heat oil a non-stick pan and add cumin and fenugreek seeds and fry until it changes color (if you dont like the taste of fenugreek you can skip it).
• Now add onions together with garlic and brown lightly.
• Throw in the potatoes and cook on low heat till cooked. Add about 1/4 cup of water if you find its getting too dry.
• Once potatoes are done (spoon break test required) add finely chopped Buk Choy and cook for further 5 or 10 mins depending on how well cooked you prefer your greens.
• Add salt towards the end as Buk Choy will wilt and reduce in quantity.
• You can also cook this minus potatoes in exactly the same way.
This dish is best served with roti or dhal chawal.
Ok jobs done..onto my non-food related ramblings now. You might have noticed a sudden change in my writing. Would you believe if I told you I was actually feeling shy when I first started blogging. I woke up one day and decided that’s it I’ll just be the real crazy me after all it’s my blog and my writing should reflect my thoughts even if it’s nonsensical right? Well OK within certain limits of course.
Now you tell me who gets shy in the cyberworld? I did, we Indian women just cannot shake that off no matter how hard we try. Majority of the time we are in lala land and believe we are bollywood heroine Aishwariya (I could just be speaking for myself here sigh!). Suddenly something could trigger our shyness and within seconds eyelashes start fluttering rapidly. Our cheeks turn redder than a tomato even for those gorgeous beauties with delicious chocolate complexions. God forbid if you may get us angry then we take on the avatar of the bandit queen. If we happen to hear music even from a distance our feet start tapping and we start gyrating our hips in chiffon sarees (thoughts only) we have to sus out the situation first before we break into an item number. 😉
If you think we women could go this far imagine how far the guys would go. They well and truly believe they have Hrithik Roshans killer looks with not just six but eight packs (oh that paunch). They have spiked gelled up hair (could just be smothered in Brylcream or dripping in Dabur Amla Oil). They spray deodorant on from head to toe faking it’s Gucci (with the added aroma of curry and incense emanating from their pores.. it’s spice shop on feet!!). They can even perform stunts that makes spiderman look like a cockroach. They dance with arms flung out, legs spread, knees slightly bent and eyebrows raised sporting a metrosexual pout (aka Shah Rukh) you just gotta love them Desiboyz.
Aww alright onto the food now bah! Now I will save myself all the trouble of getting into the history of the lamb and potatoes…for that you have google! Todays recipe Lamb and potato curry is an old friend Mary’s favourite. She’s probably the only one who loved my Lamb curry so passionately. Honestly speaking I got very jealous the day she almost (I repeat almost) perfected cooking it just like I did. I knew I was going to miss her wanting me to cook and feed her and say “eat..look at how skinny you are..just a little bit more..eat!!” 😀 Anyway this ones for her..for those “Mary had a lamb” curry sessions.
1kg Lamb Forequarter Chops (BBQ chops are better as they are thinner cuts)
1 Large Potato Cut Into Bite Sized Chunks
1 Onion Sliced
1 Medium Sized Tomato
2-3 Garlic Cloves
1 Inch Piece Ginger
1 Cinnamon Stick
3-4 Cardamom Pods (or a pinch of just the seeds)
10 Curry Leaves
1/2 Tspn Turmeric Powder
1 Tspn Garam Masala
2-3 Tbspn Oil
Pinch Of Fenugreek, Mustard And Cumin Seeds
Salt To Taste
• Wash and cut lamb into bite size pieces.
• Crush ginger and garlic.
• Slice onion thinly and dice tomatoes in large pieces.
• Heat oil in a pan and add fenugreek, mustard and cumin seeds. As it starts to splatter add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Stir for a second or two and add onions.
• Once onions turn translucent add garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves and let it brown on medium heat setting. Throw in turmeric and garam masala and give it a quick stir adding lamb soon after that.
• Cook the curry slightly wet/dry on low heat setting. If you find its getting too dry and lamb is still not ready (taste test required) then add a quarter cup of water to cook a little longer.
• Once the water dries and you see some oil float up add potatoes with enough water (as per your preference for gravy) into the lamb curry. Continue to cook on low heat setting.
• After a few minutes check potatoes to see if it’s half cooked using a spoon to break it. If it is then throw in the tomatoes and continue cooking until potatoes are fully done.
• Finish it off with Coriander as garnish and a squeeze or two of lemon juice.
Surprise! Well sorry to disappoint you all but I’m not just all about curry munching. I got rid of that tattoo from my forehead a long time ago. Occassionally I like to munch on Angrezi (English) meals.
We Ka-Indias (Fiji-Indians) love western style meals otherwise it would’ve just been roti and tarkari (curry) or dhal bhaat (rice) for us breakfast, lunch and dinner..how blase’. Don’t we just love our occassional Mackerel sandwiches, lovos, roasts and good old ba-ba-kyu with cassera, salad and a dollop of tomato sauce…a perfect 10/10.
This one’s for my colleagues at work who get a whiff of my sandwhich sizzling away in the sandwhich maker and tell me how wonderful it smells. It’s veg, it’s easy, it’s quick and it’s 100% yummy. It’s a sandwhich with a Desi twist (ting ting tading!..sitar strum). Now according to me if you throw coriander into a dish then that’s it..all you fellow curry munchers out there do you hear me..stake a claim and consider it curried.😉
2 Slices Of Bread
Half of Roma Tomato Sliced
Salt to Taste
Pepper To Taste
1 Tbspn Of Thinly Sliced or Diced Onion (I have used red onions)
1 Tbspn Of Fresh Chopped Coriander Leaves
2-3 Slices of Cheese
• Lightly butter your bread from both sides.
• Slice Tomato thinly and layer on bread followed by onion and coarsely chopped coriander.
• Add Salt and Pepper.
• Finally layer cheese slices on top and cover with bread slice no 2.
• Place it in a sandwhich maker and cook until you hear the sizzle of the melting cheese.
This dish is best served with the beverage of your choice juice, coffee or a cuppa tea.