Thursday, January 13, 2011

Butter Chicken Masala

 I wonder why my eyes are conditioned to spotting butter chicken on the menu every time I am in an Indian restaurant. I always remind myself that I have to order a new dish  but I end up ordering butter chicken,I am completely besotted with its richness and the creamy texture and the flavors galore never ceases to satiate me & my taste buds which are a complete  slave to this dish . I can modestly claim that I do make it the way it is served in some of the very good restaurants,but still wonder why I never fail to order this on every single trip  I make to the restaurant.

This time I have prepared this with Banne Nawab's butter chicken masala. I must tell everyone that this brand is free of any artificial flavors/colors and MSG,there is also a recipe inside the packet,which will ask you to add color if you choose to.I like these masalas a lot and the restaurant taste can be replicated when using these.
I made it according to the recipe which came with this packet but avoided the color ,butter and the fresh cream the recipe called for and trust me- you will not be disappointed, It has been declared the Best Butter Chicken by all who tasted it . So do give this one a goes...

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1. Ingredients required : serves 5
2. boneless skinless chicken: 1 lb cut into bite size pieces
3. Onions: thinly sliced or diced very fine
4. cooking oil/olive oil: 2 tbsp
5. for garnishing: pudina/mint leaves,cilantro chopped fine
6. yogurt/curd: 50 g/1.76 oz
7. cashew nuts grounded with 1/2 cup water: 30 g? 1.06 oz
8. ustad banne nawab's hyderabadi butter chicken masala: 1 packet

Take 50 ml water and make a paste of the butter chicken masala along with the grounded cashew paste and rub it all over the chicken and put it aside.

Whip the 50 g yogurt and keep it aside.

Heat 2 tbsp Olive oil in a pan and add the thinly sliced onions when the oil turns hot. saute till pinkish brown.

Now add the chicken coated in the masala and fry for 2 - 3 minutes. Till you see the pieces are turning white.

Add yogurt,stirring continuously till the chicken and masala along with yogurt is blended well.

Now add some water depending on how thick or thin you want the gravy to be,usually the butter chicken masala gravy is thick and supposed to be enjoyed with naan or tandoori roti. So I used 1 tea cup for water.

Cover and cook,till the chicken is tender and all the gravy comes together. Now garnish with chopped mint & cilantro and cook for a couple minutes more and enjoy it hot with naan or tandoori roti.

Note: This butter chicken masala is cooked without butter,cream and color and still tastes very authentic.

Picnic table on the deck

bird  feeder with all snow & no birds:(

lamp post and ever greens submerged in snow

Icicles I see from the kitchen window:)

they are a pretty sight

some resemble a crocodiles tail

These are some pictures from the snow we had on the 11th and continued into the 12th. Our Town had a record 24 inches.All I see around my house and on the deck is mountains of snow,and icicles from the roof .It is a very pretty sight even though the snow on the roof scares me-What if the roof caves in with the weight of the snow...*fingers crossed*

Monday, January 10, 2011

Whole Roast Chicken

I took myself by surprise when I brought home a whole raw chicken, I normally buy the ready to eat  from Stew  Leonard's and never bother to cook it myself. I guess it was about time  & my culinary curiosity got the better of me. I am thrilled with the result  as I have used  very minimum oil and have played with the herbs and spices that I enjoy. It tastes very good and nothing beats home made stuff, also I have to mention here that it is not at all cumbersome to cook the whole bird contrary to my earlier impression of how messy this whole affair could get.

So here is the recipe for cooking the whole chicken,hope you will like it and give it a try .

Preparation Time: 20 minutes ( excluding the marination time )
Cooking Time: Little less than 2 hours

Whole Chicken: 1 weighs about 3 1/2 -4 pounds
Garlic : 8-10 cloves
Rosemary: 3 -4 sprigs
Thyme: 3-4 sprigs
Lemon: 4 tbsp
tangerine juice: 4 tbsp
Crushed peppercorn: 1 tbsp
Cayenne pepper: 1 tsp or to your taste
Olive Oil: 2 tbsp
Kosher salt: 1 tbsp or to your taste


take the whole chicken & wash it under cold water.remove the giblets from the neck. Pat dry it with a paper towel.
Take the lemon juice,tangerine juice in a bowl and add crushed peppercorn,cayenne pepper,olive oil and kosher salt and rub this on the insides and outside of the chicken thoroughly. Take the thyme and rosemary sprigs and stick them in all the cavities along with garlic cloves. Now put this in a large vessel( cover it with the cling film) or a 1 gallon zip lock bag and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degree f and take a roaster pan,if you do not have the roaster pan,take any regular oven tray and cut a sheet of aluminium foil and   coil the aluminium sheet and  make an 8 with the coiled sheet and put this on the tray and let your chicken sit on this breast side up. Cook the chicken at 450 degree f for the first 15 minutes  covered with an aluminium foil ,then bring down the temperature to 400degree f and cook till the thermometer in the chicken pops out it takes roughly 1 1/2 hours. Keep basting the chicken with the left over liquid from the marination.You can also use butter if you like while basting the chicken.  You can also choose to broil the chicken when it is nearly done to give the skin a charcoal burned look.

Notes: I have not used thermometer to check the internal temperature,I inserted a knife to see if the chicken was done after 1 1/2 hours.
I covered the chicken with an aluminium foil,as the drained liquid/juices from the chicken in the pan were splashing all over inside the oven.

The chicken needs air movement on the underneath in absence of a roaster pan,so the coiled aluminium foil comes in handy and it gets evenly cooked on all sides.

You can stuff the chicken with vegetables of your choice. I have used potato's to stuff the chicken.