Authentic Indian Butter Chicken (Mild Version)

butterchicken

Indian Butter Chicken


Prep Time: 30 mins         Cook Time: 30 mins         Total Time: 4 Hours            Serves: 4 to 5


Butter chicken isn’t the most ancient Indian export—it was invented in a restaurant in Delhi in the 1950’s—but it is certainly one of the most delicious. According to legend, butter chicken was created by a chef at the Moti Mahal restaurant when he mixed leftover tandoori juice with tomato and butter, tossed it with tandoori cooked chicken, and was met with wild enthusiasm.

Today, butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian dishes in the world.

Its mild spice makes it a hit with kids, and its creamy, luxurious sauce wins over everybody else. Traditionally, butter chicken is served over steamed Basmati rice with naan bread.

Ingredients

For the gravy:

  1. 1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
  2. 1 shallot, finely chopped
  3. 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 t fresh ginger
  5. 2 t minced garlic
  6. 4 Tbsp ghee (clarified Indian butter)
  7. 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  8. 1 Tbsp garam masala
  9. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  10. 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  13. 1 cup cream
  14. 1 cup pureed tomato
  15. 1 pinch salt, pepper, and cayenne
  16. 1 Tbsp ground cashews
  17. 1/4 cup water

For the Chicken:

  1. 1 Tbsp peanut oil
  2. 1/2 cup lemon juice
  3. 1 cup plain yogurt
  4. 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
  5. 1 Tbsp garam masala
Prep
  1. Marinate chicken pieces in yogurt and lemon, anywhere from 2-3 hours, overnight for best results.
Butter Chicken
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Sautee shallots, onion, ginger, and garlic until onions are translucent.
  3. Stir in ghee, lemon juice, spices, and bay leaf. Cook for one minute, stirring continuously.
  4. Add tomato sauce, yogurt, and cream. Cook on high for about two minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes. Add salt and pepper, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Heat 1 T oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned; usually about 10 minutes.
  7. Season chicken with 1 Tbsp garam masala and 1/2 Tbsp cayenne.
  8. Add a generous spoonful of sauce to the chicken; simmer until the liquid has reduced and chicken is cooked all the way through.
  9. Add the rest of the sauce to the chicken.
  10. Mix ground cashews and water, and stir into sauce. Cook 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.

 

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Mushroom Pulao (Mushroom Rice)

mushrooms

Mushroom Pulao (Mushroom Rice)


Prep Time: 30 mins         Cook Time: 20 mins         Total Time: 50 mins            Serves: 4 to 5


Ingredients
  1. 200 grams white button mushrooms
  2. 2 tablespoons oil
  3. 1 cup heaped Basmati rice or 200 grams Basmati rice, soaked in enough water for 30 minutes
  4. 1 large onion, thinly sliced or 80 grams onion
  5. 3 to 4 garlic cloves + 1 inch ginger + 1 green chili, crushed coarsely in mortar ­pestle
  6. 1.5 to 1.75 cups water, for aldente texture add 1.5 cups water
  7. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  8. Salt as required
  9. 2 tablespoons coriander leaves
  10. Chopped Coriander (dhania patta)

Whole spices:

  1. ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (Jeera)
  2. 1 inch cinnamon (Dalchini)
  3. 2 green cardamoms (Choti Elaichi)
  4. 1 black cardamom, optional (Badi Elaichi)
  5. 2 to 3 cloves (Lavang)
  6. 1 small to medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
Prep
  1. Rinse 1 heaped cup Basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch.
  2. Then soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, drain all the water from the rice and keep aside.
  4. Slice the onions into thin slices
  5. In a mortar ­pestle, crush 3 to 4 garlic cloves + 1 inch ginger + 1 green chili and keep aside.
  6. Rinse, wipe dry and chop/slice the mushrooms.

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Chole Masala (Spicy chickpeas)

chana-masala

Chole Masala (Spicy Chickpeas)


Prep Time: 20 mins          Cook Time: 35 mins             Idle Time: 8 hrs              Serves: 4 to 5


Ingredients

For cooking chickpeas:

  1. ¾ cup white chickpeas (chole or safed chana) ­
  2. Soak the chick peas overnight in enough water
  3. 2 cups water for pressure cooking
  4. 2 to 3 pieces of dried Phyllanthus emblica (Amla) OR 1 black tea bag, 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  5. 2 to 3 cloves (Lavang)
  6. 1 black cardamom (Badi Elaichi)
  7. 1 small to medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf) – Optional

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Rajma Masala (Authentic Red Kidney Bean Curry)

beans

Red Kidney Beans


Prep Time: 20 mins          Cook Time: 45 mins             Idle Time: 8 hrs              Serves: 4 to 5


Ingredients
  1. 1 cup rajma Or Red Kidney beans (any variety)
  2. 1 large onion OR 150 grams onions OR about ¾ to 1 cup finely chopped onions
  3. 3 medium or 2 large tomatoes OR 250 grams tomatoes OR 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  4. 3 to 4 medium garlic + 1 inch ginger + 1 to 2 green chilies ­ crushed to a paste in a mortar­pestle OR about 1 tablespoon ginger + garlic + green chili paste.
  5. 1 teaspoon coriander powder (ask for Dhania powder in Indian Store)
  6. ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder (ask for Lal Mirch powder)
  7. ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (Haldi powder)
  8. 1 pinch Asafoetida (Hing) ­
  9. Optional ¼ to ½ teaspoon Hot Mixed Species (Garam Masala) powder
  10. ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (Jeera)
  11. 1 teaspoon crushed Dry Fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)
  12. 2 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon oil OR 3 tablespoon butter
  13. 2 to 3 tablespoon cream
  14. 3.5 to 4 cups water for pressure cooking
  15. 1.5 to 2 cups of rajma stock (the water which is used to cook the rajma) OR plain water for the gravy or curry
  16. Salt as required

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Mango Lassi (Smoothie)

mango

Mango Lassi


Prep Time: 5 mins           Cook Time: 5 mins          Total Time: 10 mins              Serves: 2


Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups chilled and roughly chopped mangoes
  2. 1 1/2 cups fresh yogurt
  3. 1/2 cup cold milk
  4. 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  5. Mango Pieces for garnish
Mango Lassi
  1. Combine all the ingredients and blend in a mixer till it is smooth and frothy
  2. Pour into 2 individual glasses and serve immediately garnished with mangoes

Health Benefits of Indian Diet

spices

Indian Spices

The Indian diet is noted for its inclusion of many spices, pulses and rice, not forgetting its variety of flavors and colors. This is what make this cuisine so unique. Being generally low in fat, high in vegetables, fruit and lean meat, an Indian diet has many health benefits.

 

So, what makes an Indian diet so healthy? In answer to this, let’s take a look at the typical components of an Indian diet:

  • High in a wide variety of vegetables and fruit
  • High in a variety of spices and herbs
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Widely vegetarian
  • High in fiber

Health benefits

There are specific components of an Indian diet which have a range of health benefits. Chickpeas, for example, which are often used in vegetarian curries and in salads, are a great source of fiber, zinc, folate and protein Spinach and tomatoes, which are widely used in Indian cuisine, are also known super foods, containing high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Likewise, many Indian sauces and accompaniments are vegetable based, such as Sag Aloo (Spinach & Potatoes) and Gobhi Aloo (Cauliflower & potatoes) making them a healthy choice as there is not need to use cream or cheese.

indiandiet

Indian Diet

The minty yogurt dip or Raita, made from natural yogurt, cucumber and mint, is a source of calcium and is a low fat alternative to sauces such as mayonnaise. Natural yogurt is also often used to form curry sauces instead of cream or coconut milk. 

Garlic features greatly in Indian cooking, which is said to be good for the heart, as do chillies, which are good for the immune system and metabolism.

Indian dishes often use vegetable, sesame and peanut oil rather than butter, which keeps them lower in saturated fat.

Finally, as Indian dishes have such an impacting taste often just a small portion can satisfy taste buds, helping you to consume fewer calories. An Indian diet’s variety and vibrancy keeps it interesting, which is a healthy component to any cuisine as variety can prevent boredom and overeating.

Health tips for eating an Indian diet

Like all cuisines from around the globe there will always be aspects that aren’t as healthy as we would like. So when enjoying Indian food be sure to stick to the healthier options such as tomato based curries, vegetable dishes and choose fish or chicken over lamb. Where possible,avoid using ghee (clarified butter) and instead choose to cook with Olive oil.

Finally, opting for tandoori dishes will save on consumption of fat and calories as they contain very little sauce and the food, often chicken and fish, is baked rather than fried.

 

Indian Spices And Their Health Benefits

spices

Indian Spices

If you have never tried any of these spices before, please make sure to check with your doctor before enjoying them, especially if you are taking any medicines. Any information presented here is not intended to cure, aid, or prevent any disease.

TURMERIC

This bright orange spice is not only great for adding color to your dish, but the health benefits are immense. A member of the ginger family, this spice is harvested from the root of a curcuma longa plant. For thousands of years, Ayurvedic medicine has used turmeric for a variety of health reasons. The National Institute of Health has found that turmeric aids in helping to treat arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, and loss of appetite. Turmeric is also used as a topical treatment for issues like skin inflammation, infected wounds, and ringworm.

BLACK PEPPER

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