Specialty Butter Chicken

My friend passed this recipe to me and let me post it here so thank you to her! This special butter chicken recipe has more ingredients and more steps compared to another recipe that I will also be posting soon. If you have time on your hands and some guests to impress then I wholeheartedly suggest you try this recipe out. You will achieve a more complex flavor and an extra rich creaminess that is especially divine! If you want a lighter curry then feel free to play around or omit certain ingredients like the reduced dry milk or the almonds and cashews. You can pair the butter chicken with some warm naan and enjoy a delicious dinner! There are three parts to this recipe as follows:

  • Part 1 – Grill the Chicken
  • Part 2 – Make the Gravy
  • Part 3 – Put it Together

Ingredients for Part 1:

  • 1 lb chicken cut into small pieces (can be boneless or with bone)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp red chili powder

Method for Part 1:

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients listed above. Set it aside for at least 30 min but it will be better if you let it marinate for longer. I suggest poking the meat with a fork so all the flavors get to the inside of the chicken. When you’re satisfied with how long the chicken’s been marinating, you can start to grill (or fry, bake, etc) it. Technically you’re supposed to grill the chicken but I choose to fry it because it’s faster. You can also bake the chicken in an oven for 15-20 min at 350°F. Once that’s done, keep the chicken aside for adding to the gravy later.

Ingredients for Part 2:

  • 250 grams yogurt
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 7 cashews
  • 7 almonds
  • 1 tsp green chili paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 100 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 100 grams of shredded reduced dried milk (also known as mawa or khoa)

Method for Part 2:

First, roast the tomatoes. You can do this on a grill or you can bake the tomatoes in the oven at 400°F for 20 min. Then peel the skin and deseed it before you blend the tomatoes into a puree. Secondly, grind the cashews and almonds in a coffee bean grinder until you have a fine powder. That’s the hard part done. Finally, combine all the ingredients mentioned in part 2 into a mixing bowl including the tomato puree and the cashew/almond powder. Give it a good whisk.

Ingredients for Part 3:

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp chopped onion
  • 2 green cardamom
  • ¼ stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 black peppercorn
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup water

Method for Part 3:

Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Saute the onion to light brown alongside the bay leaf and the whole garam masala (cardamom, cinnamon, clove, peppercorn). When the onion has started to brown, add the cumin powder and mix it. Don’t wait too long because powdered spices can burn. Quickly, add the gravy mix from part 2 and let it simmer for 5 min. Once it begins to boil, add 1 cup water and let that come to a boil. Finally add the chicken. Simmer for 15 minutes. Cook it to a desired consistency. I usually like the gravy to be a little thick. Serve with rice, naan, or try my Vegetable Butter Chicken Fried Rice. Garnish with coriander, cardamom powder, and cream. Enjoy!

Achaari Chicken

This curried chicken is named after the tradition of South Asian pickled food. In a South Asian grocery store, you will likely find such achaars as pickled mango or pickled lemon and chili. These are eaten with meals to add a spicier and tangier taste. A similar method is used to pickle meat in this delightfully tasting achaari chicken recipe. By the way, you can replace the chicken with other meat like veal or beef. So here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken (preferably with bone cut to small pieces)
  • 100 mL cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp whole red chilies
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp rye
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds (also called kalonji)

Method:

Marinate the chicken with lemon juice for 1 hour. 

Proceed to grind the following spices in a coffee grinder: whole red chilies, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, rye. Remember, don’t grind the fenugreek and nigella seeds as they are very bitter. In a pan, roast the ground spices along with whole fenugreek and nigella seeds until brown and smoky. To do this you will need a pan heated to medium heat. Make sure it is dry. Put the spices in and constantly stir with a spoon until it changes color and starts to get smoky. Remove them within a minute making sure the spices don’t burn. Let them cool down on an open plate. 

Next, in a bowl, mix the yogurt and spices. Marinate the chicken with this mixture. Leave for 6 to 12 hours in the fridge. You can leave it up to 24 hrs in the fridge to get the flavors soaked into the meat really nicely.

To get cooking, you will fry the chopped onion in 100 ml of cooking oil. Once the onions soften, put the tomatoes in. Let this cook with the lid on for about 5 minutes. Now add the chicken. Cook until the oil comes up and the chicken is done. This should take about 40 minutes on medium heat. This chicken is great with rice or paratha but see what else you can pair it with and enjoy!

Vegetable Butter Chicken Fried Rice

(There’s no chicken in the one I made but there could be.) I just wanted to finish leftovers from last night’s dinner and make it “plantier” if you will. You can use a store-bought bottle of butter chicken mix or refer to my soon-to-be-posted butter chicken recipe to make this dish. It’s quick, easy, and fun to make. Actually it’s more fun to eat if I’m being honest!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Spring Onion
  • ¼ cup of rice (less than done)
  • 2 tbsp butter chicken gravy
  • Shredded chicken from butter chicken OR cooked ground beef
  • ⅛ tsp Garlic powder

Method:

Chop the cabbage, broccoli, and spring onion very small. I used a handful of each vegetable but you can use as much as you want. Next, heat olive oil in a pan. Fry the vegetables for five minutes on low heat while stirring. Add garlic powder for extra flavor along with your choice of cooked meat. I used ground beef. Now for the rice, remember, it should not be soft because it will break as you stir it with the other ingredients in the pan. I used rice straight from the fridge since it is stiffer when cold. If you are cooking fresh rice, make sure you remove it a few minutes before it is completely done and let it cool down before adding to the pan just like you would for any fried rice recipe. Finally, you want to add 2 tbsp of butter chicken gravy. Let everything mix well and you’re done! Feel free to adjust the quantities or even substitute the ingredients with different ones to make your own version of this meal. Have fun cooking!

Green Fiesta

So apparently making cooked spinach look appetizing is quite a challenge! But putting aside its appearance, this dish just tickles the taste buds with hints of garlic and onion that cut into the umami flavors of the soft textured leaves. Remember that after cooking, spinach becomes only a twentieth of the volume it was before so you’ll need a lot to start. On the plus side you’re gonna be taking in so many nutrients and minerals in the smallest of bites! You can eat this however you like. Here I’ve opted for a paratha and boiled egg to seal the deal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of cooking oil
  • Baby Spinach (a lot. like a whole bag.)
  • 1/2 Small Onion
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Green Chili or Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1/2 Small Potato
  • Salt

Method:

Heat the oil on less than medium flame. Chop the onion and add it to the heated oil. Cook until the onions are transparent. Now thinly slice the garlic cloves and add in with the onions. Cook for two minutes. Wash the spinach and add it to the pot. Cut the potato into cubes and toss them in. Cover the pot with a lid and let the spinach cook until the leaves soften down. Slice the chili or jalapeno pepper and add it to the mix. Remove the lid and let the water evaporate. Sprinkle salt to taste when the water has evaporated. Use a stirring spoon to break apart the leaves and stir to mix everything together. Your done!

Us in Sound

There is a dimension in which we did exist
But I’m not sure if we occupied the same space.
Space with all these inverted focuses, hypersensitive to
sadness. 
Do you think we still resonate the same mission - 
to wrangle with social boxes?
Flesh rot, soul hot, sound caught because you are not here.
From the ground, we write letters to the buried.
From our platforms, we write letters to the world.
I think your letter goes a little like this:
Dear World, I tried to change you and then I tried to change me
but you are relentless.
This was not the letter you left us though.
Your letter, your voice, your sound
Occupy the same platform where we first… met?
The desire to take control of our possibilities 
Drives some of this sadness, madness, haziness;
I don’t think I can see our meeting anymore.
This is because the windows have shrunk so small,
because the wells have nearly dried out,
because the wounds have almost sewn up.

But they do not seal completely since
I am there. I am in the way.
Past me. Now me. Future me.
Teenage me
Troubled
With layers, with closets, with confined spaces;
Wrestling with everyone’s divided
Mind Spaces.
I hear me from that space say,
“Let me out. Keep me in.”
The words float from down the throat,
Out the mouth and push through air.
I absorb them through skin. I demand they sink in.
Then out when
I have embodied them in aches that challenge. 
For now, I don’t have flesh rot but I fear 
soul hot, sound caught
in my throat, where we cradled 
Words outrageous 
but you embodied them in sounds that 
Resonate.

“We can be together in this space, while being on the other side of the earth. We can be together at anytime, not just at 12 o’clock. Physical matters certainly remained indifferent in our space. I only hope for this to never cease. I hope this space that belongs to you and me, be the site for anyone to rest in tranquility. I hope for our memories to rise as reminiscences and embrace you like no other. This is dedicated to those who have created our space together. Thank you.”

-Kim Jong Hyun 1990-2017