Category Archives: Indian

Indian Butter Chicken

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What brings people together better than food?  Nothing, in my opinion.  And nothing better than my Indian Butter Chicken recipe.  I can count a few friends that I swear only became good friends because of my butter chicken recipe.  It’s my arsenal for Indian food lovers and has many fans.  I remember making it for the first time – it was in our condo in Vancouver about 7 years ago.  I’ve made it for friends before the Rascal Flats concert, for non-Indian food lovers who now like it and many times beyond that.

Is this recipe healthy? Not exactly, but everything in moderation (unless you are CH and eat more than a regular serving of this!) Nonetheless, it is an easy to prepare.  As with a lot of Indian dishes, this gets better with time – so if you are aiming for high-praise, make this the night before you want to serve it and simply re-heat over low temperature the next day.  Trust me!

Feel free to add a bit of spice by increasing the green chili (some of our friends like it Indian “hot” which basically means 10 out of 10 hot).  You can also stir-in some sriracha (which is totally un-traditional, but it adds a great kick!)

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Indian Butter Chicken

Yield: 6 – 10 servings (depends on accompaniments)
Prep Time:  25 minutes (+2hrs marinating)
Cook Time:  1hr

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lbs chicken pieces (I use a mixture of thighs and breasts)
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 ts grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated green chilli
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp thana jeero (can be made using half cumin and half corriander)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 6 TBSP butter (or ghee)
  • 3/4 cup half and half cream
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water (if needed)
  • cilantro for garnish

Directions:

In a large glass bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, green chili, garam masala, thana jeeroo, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt with 1 TBSP of olive oil to make a spice paste.

Add the chicken to the spice paste, mix well and cover the bowl with saran wrap.  Marinate in fridge for a minimum of 2hrs (I usually try to marinade over night).

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add-in the onions and saute until lightly browned.

Add the marinated chicken to the onions and stir.  Cover the pan and allow to cook on medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or till chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Stir frequently while cooking.

Add the cream to the pan, stir and cook on medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add yogurt and water (if you want a thicker sauce, do not add the water).  Stir well and allow to cook for a minute or two.

Add in the tomato sauce and allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes over low-heat.

Keep warm until ready to serve*.  Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice and naan bread.

Enjoy.

*If you are making this ahead for the next day, simply allow the dish to cool, cover and keep in the fridge.  When ready to serve, place it back in a sauce pan and re-heat over low heat.  I sometimes add a bit of chicken stock to the pan while re-heating if the sauce becomes too thick.

Recipe Adapted Slightly from Daksha’s Gourmet Spices

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Filed under Indian, Mains

Eggplant Papeta (Indian spiced eggplant appetizer)

This is hands down one of my favourite appetizers.  I love eggplant and I love Indian flavours, so this is a perfect combination in my books.  It is also another recipe from Daska’s Gourmet Spices cookbook (the inspiration/source of almost all of my Indian recipes).

It is a super quick and easy to prepare recipe, not to mention fairly healthy.  I’ve served it as an appetizer to an Indian inspired dinner, or as I did in this post, as a side-dish to a main meal.

The buttery flavour and texture of the eggplant blends perfectly with the slight kick from the spices and together with the crisp outside you get from pan-frying them, they are an irresistible combination.

With eggplants being so much more affordable in France, these will be on our table a lot more often (I nearly fell-over when the produce lady told me that this beautiful, flawless, deep purple eggplant was only 0.80 Euros.  I have become accustomed to spending $4.00 for a slightly bruised, not quite perfect eggplant in Canada.   Just another pleasant surprised in France.

Enjoy!

Eggplant Papetas (Indian spiced eggplant appetizer)

Yield: 4 – 6 appetizer servings, 2 main course servings (however, depends entirely on the size of your eggplant).
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 0.5 tsp grated jalapeno pepper (fresh)
  • 1 tsp ground garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground thana jeero (or 0.5 tsp ground cumin and 0.5 tsp ground coriander)
  • 0.5 tsp red chili powder
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 TBSP olive oil (plus 2 TBSP for cooking)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, jalapeno, garam masala, thana jeero, red chili powder, turmeric, salt and 3 TBSP of olive oil.  Mix well to form a paste.

Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch slices.  Lay all slices on a clean surface.

Using the back of a spoon or a silicone pastry brush, baste each piece of eggplant with spice mixture.  Flip over and repeat on the other side.

Place flour in a shallow bowl. Place each piece of eggplant into the flour bowl and shake lightly, to coat the eggplant evenly.  Tap lightly to remove extra flour.

Repeat with all remaining eggplant slices.

The next step will have to be done in batches.

Heat a large frying pan (or sauté pan) over medium-high heat.  Add 1 TBSP of olive oil and heat until glistening.

Add half of the eggplant slices (or as many will fit into your pan) and pan-fry for 2-3 minutes.  Keep careful watch as not to burn them.  If they brown too quickly, lower the heat.

Flip each slice over and cook the other side, until nice and crisp (and golden brown).

Remove from frying pan and place on paper towel to drain off excess oil.

Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.

Serve immediately or place in a 400 degree oven until ready to serve.  If you keep them warm in the oven, keep an eye on them.  They should be fine for 15-20 minutes, but you might need to dry-fry them again prior to serving, just to crisp them up again!

Serve with raita or mint yogurt.

Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted Slightly from Dashka’s Gourmet Spices Cookbook

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Indian, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan

Lamb “Burgers” with Indian Spiced Eggplant (Recipe Swap)

I received this recipe as part of our weekly exchange (thanks Melissa @ I Was Born to Cook).

CH and I love lamb and knew it would be easy to find in France.  Well, apparently they have every cut except ground-lamb and I even asked several butchers if they would grind it for me, but unfortunately their health laws disallow it (and no, this wasn’t “lost in translation”). I ended up buying a smaller piece of the leg and minced it small, trying not to overwork the meat, but getting them small enough to be considered a patty.  I also knew that not having a grill would be an issue…but I had confidence in the recipe and knew that pan-searing them would still lead to a delicious result, which it did.  The final little issue was the ‘bun’…since I have no oven to make homemade ones and they really aren’t the “typical” bread item you can buy here.  I contemplated serving this on a baguette, but in the end I decided to adapt it a little more and feature another delicious French ingredient. [CH: For the record, you can replace my burger bun with pan fried spiced eggplant any day of the week.]

Eggplants (or aubergines in French) are in season right now and are absolutely delicious.  I had one in my vegetable basket, just waiting to be used. Also, I was armed with my stack of Indian spices (see this post for a little more on them), that yes, I brought with me to France!  I had an appetizer that I’ve been wanting to blog, as it is one of my favourites, and knew it would be the perfect compliment to the lamb patties as it’s ‘bun’.

Let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint.  It was filling, yet healthy, and I cannot tell you how nice it was to cook a full meal in our kitchen.  We ate it on our little patio with French-doors and watch the town wander along by.  We also have a cafe downstairs, and we can hear the chatter of the locals when we have the doors open (which I love, and which reminds me that I am in France, especially when CH is speaking English!).

I can only imagine that the flavour of these burger patties would elevated if we had a grill to use (and yes, they were definitely cooked in the photos – the lighting was just a little off because of the reflection). Check out Melissa’s blog post for the traditional take on this recipe or if you are looking for a twist on your next BBQ burger night.

If you are looking for something a little more exotic, this is the recipe for you.  It was delicious and I cannot wait to make it again!

Lamb Patties with Indian Spiced Eggplant

Yield:  8 mini patties (3 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick)
Prep Time:  5 minutes (if you don’t have to dice your own meat)
Cook Time:  7 minutes on the stove

Ingredients:

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients, except the eggplant & mint sauce, in a large bowl and gently combine – being careful not to overwork the meat.  Form into small 3 inch patties and set-aside.

Over medium-high heat, warm a large non-stick saute pan. Add the olive oil to the pan and warm for approximately 1 minute (until glistening)

Add the lamb patties to the pan and cook for approximately 6 minutes, until nice and brown (I would suggest using a splatter guard to prevent the mess and clean-up!).

Flip the patties and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until no longer bright pink and done to your liking.

Place the patties on-top of eggplant slices and top with yogurt-mint sauce. CH built them “burger style”, with an eggplant slice on either side of the patty, which he argued was a better approach to eating them.  I think my way was much more elegant.

Either way, enjoy!

Lamb Pattie Recipe From I Was Born To Cook. 

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Filed under Healthy, Indian, Mains, Side Dishes