Butter chicken


This is my all time favourite Indian dish and definitely consider it a comfort food. It’s one exotic meal that always makes my mouth water and the best, is it’s not spicy at all.


Many people are under the impression that cooking Indian food is hard and too time consuming, but if you can plan a bit in advance and dedicate atleast an hour, you can work up magical wonders. I dint come from a household where traditional Indian food was cooked, so never had the Indian culinary instincts imbibed in me. But over the years, with the numerous recipe books I’ve experimented from, I’ve been quite enthusiastic about it.

I must admit, I do love to find short and easy routes, all which make cooking a breeze.  In this recipe, I used a ready Spice mix. But incase you don’t have a spice mix ready at hand. I’ve added it in the “Tips Section” at the end.

It’s important to know that the 5 “Must have” spices while cooking Indian food are Garam Masala, Tumeric pwd, coriander pwd, chilly pwd, Cumin pwd. This is used practically in every recipe


In Butter Chicken, the key to succulent and flavourful chicken is to marinate it in yogurt and the spice mix. I add my secret spice mix “Shan-Butter chicken Spice mix”, but I’m sure any other brand will work just as fine.


Time:

Idle Time:
1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 min   ( Cook chicken and curry simultaneously else it’ll take about 55 min)


Serves: 4


Materials:

  • Non Stick Frying pan
  • Deep Saucepan

Chicken:

        Ingredients:

  • Skinless Chicken – 12 pieces
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Butter Chicken Spice Mix – 3 tbsp
  • Yogurt – 3tbsp
  • Salt
  • Red Food colour powder – ½ tsp ( optional)

         Method:

  • Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, wash and pat dry.
  • Marinade the chicken with the above ingredients. With a fork, poke the chicken bits gently a bit. This helps the marinate to penetrate the chicken. Keep aside for at least an hour
  • Now, you can either fry the chicken or bake it.
  • If baking, Pre heat the oven to 440 F and bake for 25 min on one side and then turn over and bake for another 15 min.
  • If you are frying, heat oil in a pan. Shallow fry on medium fire for about 30 min but constantly turning. Cover the pan while frying.

Curry: 
     Ingredients:

  • Onion (chopped) – 1,/span>
  • Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Lime Juice – 2 tsp
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  • Jeera Powder – 1 tsp
  • Chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • Butter Chicken Spice Mix – 1 tsp
  • Tomato Puree – 1 cup
  • Yogurt – ½ cup
  • Milk – ½ cup
  • Salt
  • Maggie Cube – 1 (optional)

    Method:

  • Heat a tbspoon of oil is a deep saucepan. Sauté the chopped onions till translucent.
  • Mix in the butter, lime juice, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, jeera powder, chilly powder. Cook for a minute till you can smell the fragrant spices.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and continue stirring for a minute. Finally, add in the milk and yogurt and the remaining chicken marinade. Season with a Maggie cube and salt.
  • Add the cooked chicken to the curry and continue heating for another 5 – 10 min. 

Dinner is ready! It was cooked to perfection. I’m going to enjoy the fruits of my labour.

Tips:

  • Chicken should be marinated for at least 1 hour. Not only does it taste better but it has a better texture. If marinating for more than an hour, keep the chicken in the refrigerator.
  • For a thicker/richer version, substitute the milk with fresh cream.
  • Spice Mix recipe. Put all the below ingredients in a mixer and then add to the chicken.
    • chili powder -1 1/2 tsp
      bay leaves -1/4 tsp
      cloves – 1/4 tsp
      cinnamon – 1/4 tsp
      garam masala – 1 tsp
      cardamom – 4 pods

S’more Cookies

Chocolate Marshmallow cookies

marshmallow packetI found a packet of marshmallows in my pantry which was bought with the intent of making S’mores(cause everyone who lives in the US has to say that they have tried these). But somehow we never got down to sitting in front of a campfire and making S’mores.

Now here I am left with a HUGE packet and I had absolutely no idea what to do with them. Google to the Rescue!!! (Superhero soundtrack playing in the background) I found several recipes for “S’more cookies”. So I decided to try them out.

Made just like regular cookies, with the added marshmallow bits, Marie Biscuit/Graham crackers and chocolate chips, to give it the extra ‘hipness’ or you could say ‘forever-on-the-hip’ness.

 

I just couldn’t resist licking the cookie batter every once in a while. Now this is a pleasure, anyone who bakes cakes or cookies knows – you have to be a batter biter. So if you haven’t tried this out before, head to the kitchen and whip up a butter-sugar mixture, nibble on it and tell me you don’t want to come back for more. I wouldn’t recommend tasting the batter after the egg is added.

Using an ice cream scoop I managed to get 20 cookies. I’d recommend using just a tablespoon next time, as the cookies get bigger. I like it when they are bite size. They look cute too. (If I can call food that!)

Cookies in the oven 

Anyway, in the oven they went and in about 10-12 min, they were done. Just the smell and aroma had my mouth salivating. I couldn’t wait to dig into them.

I did have a bit of problem getting it off the parchment paper. I realised my mistake, don’t let the marshmallow get to the bottom of the cookie. It tends to stick to the paper, giving it a hard time to remove the cookie. So instead of mixing the marshmallow in the cookie batter as most recipes say, just sprinkle them on top.

Oh oh!! That also reminds me, have you ever tried cutting a marshmallow. It is the most disastrous thing! It sticks to your knife, your fingers, your cutting board…. It just hangs on for dear life. So in the middle of my “marshmallow butchering” I had to stop and Google for “how to cut marshmallows”. I know that sounds absolutely hilarious, but I was desperate! Did you know that there is a YouTube video too. I had a hearty laugh.

 Getting back on track, in case you haven’t looked it up already, the trick is to wet the knife and your hands with cold water before cutting them up. But I must warn you, you have to keep doing this every few minutes.

So now, I have my cookies off the baking tray, what next! The weather was just perfect, it was raining outside, nothing better than to make a cup of hot tea and nibble on the cookies. So I grabbed 2 (ok, maybe 3) and I sat in the balcony munching away. They were Goooooood. They were gooey on the inside. Chocolaty, yet crunchy and they just melted in my mouth. Heaven personified!! I would have called it “Drops of Heaven”, but I’m fairly certain that that title is reserved for my next cookie recipe.

Once I was done, I had a sugar high. I’m packing the remaining for my husband to take to work, because I cant be trusted with them at home. Figure I might as well spread a little love today (spread a little something to remember – Thank you Philly Cream cheese)

 S'more cookie scoops

Since I only used a handful of marshmallows, I’ve still got to hunt for more delicious things to do with them. Next on the agenda is  “cherry stuffed marshmallow coated in chocolate”.. hahaha… now that sounds like fun!!

Choco-coffee Banana Pie

Choco-Coffee Banana PieTime: 20 min
Idle time: 50 min

Serves: 10

Materials:choco-coffee Banana Dessert

  • 9” pie bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Hand Mixer

Pie Base

Ingredients:

  • Marie Biscuit
  • Butter – 1/3 cup

A biscuit base can be made in the same way as the base for the Chilled Lime Icecream Pie

Pie Filling

Ingredients:

  • Whipping Cream/ Heavy cream – 1 cup
  • Coffee powder – 1 Tbsp
  • Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
  • Egg Yolks – 4
  • Sugar – 110gm
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Banana – 2
  • Cashewnuts – 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Line the pie tray with the biscuit base and freeze it for about 20 min.
  • In a saucepan, bring the cream, milk, coffee and cocoa powder to boil. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together till pale yellow.
  •  Once the coffee mixture is room temperature, add it to the egg mixture while whisking.
  • Then add in the cinnamon powder and keep whisking for a while.
  • Cover the pie base with the sliced bananas and chopped cashewnuts then pour in the filling.
  • Bake at 375 F for 30 min.
  • Let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
  • Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

Tips:

  • Ensure that the coffee mixture is completely cooled before adding to the egg mixture, else the egg will cook.

slice of chocolate coffee banana dessert

Chilled Lime-Ice cream Pie

 Lemon Cream Dessert

 

Time: 1 hr


Idle time: 30 min


 Serves : 10


 Materials:

  • Stainless steel bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • 9” pie dish

 
Base Layer:

          Ingredients :

 

  • Marie Biscuit – 1 pkt
  • Butter – 1/3 cup


         Method :

  • Mix biscuit crumbs and melted butter until well blended. Press the mixture into the 9” pie dish.
  • Chill for about 1 hr.

 

Ice-cream layer:Ice cream Layer of Lime Pie


Ingredient: Vanilla Ice cream


Lime Layer:


      Ingredients:

  • Unsalted Butter ( room temp) –  4 tbsp
  • Lime juice – 1/3 cup
  • Lime zest – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – ¾ cupLemon Dessert with Vanilla Ice cream
  • Eggs – 3


    Method:

  • In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of boiling water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick like a custard. This will take approximately 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Add the lime zest and the butter and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. The mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Cover with a cellophane immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate.

Finally!!!!

  • Over the biscuit layer, add a layer of Vanilla Ice cream, creating a small dent in the center.
  • Pour the chilled lime pudding in the center.
  • Freeze until ready to eat. 

Tips:

  • Be careful not to curdle the lime curd by stirring continuously.
  • You can use a lime favoured custard if you want to save time. But do try this out, it’s worth it.
  • Ensure that you cover the lime curd with a cellophane, so that the skin layer does not form

Freshly Baked Buns Stuffed

Dont you love freshly baked bread straight out of the oven. Well here is a recipe for freshly baked buns stuffed with almost anything you love. My mom’s friend shared this with us and I’m so glad she did coz it’s my absolute favourite. I experimented it with whole wheat flour and it’s just as good.

This time, I just shaped them into round shaped balls. Next time, I’m going to try croissant shaped.

hot Bread

Time: 10 min – preparation time
2 hrs – idle time
15 min – Bake time
Serves: 20 piecesMini sausage rolls


Material:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray


Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour or Wheat flour– 2 cups
  • Active Dry yeast – 1 tsp
  • Egg – 1 whole egg
  • Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Milk powder – 1 tbsp / or substitute fresh milk – 1/4 cup
  • Warm water to knead
  • Filling – frankfurters, cheese wedges, jam ( almost anything you’d like to fill it with)

Method:

  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and egg. Beat the egg a bit before adding. Also add the milk powder, if you are substituting with fresh milk, ensure that it is warm before adding. Mix well by adding little warm water, till it forms a ball.
  • Knead well for about 5 minutes. Store in a covered bowl in a warm place for about 2 hours.
  • The dough should more or less double in size. If not, don’t worry… proceed. No turning back!

Mini buns stuffed with sausage

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Divide the dough into 20 small balls.
  • Press a ball against the palm of your hand till it is a flat circle. Fill it with a bit of the stuffing.
  • Close up to form a ball. Ensure you press the ends together so that it does not open up while baking.
  • Place a wax sheet on a baking tray and place the buns on it.
  • To give it a bit of a golden look, you can brush a beaten egg on the top of the buns
  • Bake at 400 F for 10 – 15 min. You can broil for about 1 min, to ensure that the top of the buns golden.
  • Remove and cool, before packing in an air-tight container.
  • You can heat it up a bit before serving, as it tastes great warm.

The whole house smells of fresh bread!!!!

Tips:

  • If substituting with Wheat flour, add more water as whole wheat soaks up more water.
  • Ensure you use lukewarm water and not boiling hot water as it inhibits the yeast.

Quick Strawberry Topping

 

Strawberry Apple Jam

I love strawberries and what better than to have a receipe of one with a variety of uses – having a topping over your icecream or spread it over a slice of toast or mixed with milk. Hence I wanted something which was not too sweet yet just enough to keep me coming back for more. I got the idea for this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa .  I reduced the sweetness and I added few more fruits, so that the strawberry taste is not too over powering.

Time: 35 minStrawberry Jam


Serves: 10

Material:

  1. 2 litre Non stick Saucepan
  2. Wooden spoon

Ingredients:

  1. Strawberries – 2 pkts ( ~ 20 pieces )
  2. Orange juice – 1/2 cup
  3. Apple – ½
  4. Pear – ½
  5. Raisons – 1 tbsp
  6. Sugar – 1 cup
  7. Triple Sec liqueur – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Wash and cut the strawberries into bits and put it into the saucepan. Add a cup of sugar and cook on medium flame. Stir once in a while until the sugar melts. Gently press the strawberries, so that they mash up a bit.
  2. After the sugar has completely melted, pour in the orange juice and mix well. Add a tsp of Triple Sec liqueur. It adds a spunk.
  3. Cut the apple and pear into very fine bits and add this to the strawberry along with the raisons. Continue stirring over a medium flame for about 20 min till it has a thick syrup like consistency.
  4. Voila!! You are done! Take it off the stove and let it cool before refrigerating.

 

Tips:

  1. You can add more sugar if the strawberries are not sweet enough. I added a little less, so that I could use this topping on a variety.
  2. Make sure you constantly stir the sugar and add the orange juice as soon as the sugar is melted, else the sugar will burn.

 

Chocolate Biscuit Pudding


Time: 15 minChocolate Biscuit Cake

Serves: 15

Material:

  1. 9” pie dish
  2. 2 medium mixing bowls

Ingredients:

  1. Marie biscuit – 2 pkts
  2. Coffee powder – 3 tsp
  3. Nutella – 1 tin
  4. Nestle cream – 1 tin
  5. Sugar – 3 tsp

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add coffee powder to a cup of hot water. Dip marie biscuits in the coffee mix, one at a time and layer the bottom of the dish. Don’t soak the biscuits too long, else they will fall apart. Fill in the empty gaps.
  2. In another mixing bowl, mix well the nestle cream and sugar. Spread a layer over the biscuits.  
  3. Spread a layer of nutella over this.
  4. Put another layer of soaked biscuits, followed by cream and finally nutella.
  5. You can design the top layer of chocolate to look attractive.


Tips:

  1. Use a glass dish, so that you can see the beautiful colours of chocolate and ensure that the dish is not deeper than 2”.
  2. Dont worry if the biscuits do fall apart after soaked in coffee, just keep it aside and use it to fill in the gaps.
  3. Mix the sugar well in the nestle cream so that no granules remain. You can substitute with powdered sugar.
  4. 2 layers of the recipe is good. I’ve not tried more coz I feel it would be too much biscuit.

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