Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)

Butter chicken, also known as chicken makhani has always been one of my favorite dishes, and I've finally developed a great recipe that has a lot of flavor.  The key to the intense flavor is marinating the chicken.  Enjoy!

chicken marinade
1 lb boneless 
chicken breast, cut into 1 in. chunks

1 tbsp tandoori masala

2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 large onion, finely chopped  1 small shallot, finely chopped OR 1 onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter 
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup yogurt

1 cup cream (half and half)

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper  (use up to 1 tsp if you want it spicier)

1 bay leaf

1 cup crushed tomato

1 tbsp tomato paste
about 2 tablespoons coriander finely chopped

green chilis (optional if you want it more spicy)
1. marinade the pieces of chicken in 1 tablespoon tandoori masala and 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt, set aside in the fridge

2. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 tspn garam masala, cayenne pepper, cumin and bay leaf. cook, stirring for one minute and add crushed tomato and cook for 2 mins, stirring frequently. stir in half and half and yogurt and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat.

3. heat one tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. add one tablespoon of tomato paste, stir a bit, and then add in 
chicken. cook chickenuntil lightly browned, about 10 minutes. reduce heat and if you like you can sprinkle a lil bit of garam masala and cayenne pepper on it as well (although it is already marinated in tandoori powder, so it's not necessary). stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce and simmier until liquid is reduced and chicken is fully cooked.

4. stir the cooked 
chicken into the sauce and cook for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. garnish with coriander and green chilis. serve with rice or naan.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Roasted Corn Salad

Last weekend, we made a great roasted corn salad as an accompaniment to our black beans and rice dinner.  It has the right amount of tang, tasted really fresh and had a spicy kick to it!  Would definitely make this again.


2 ears of corn
1/2 jalapeno de-seeded and finely chopped (use less for milder flavor)
1/8 cup of finely chopped red onion
juice of half a lime
salt to taste
freshly ground cumin to taste


Preheat oven to 400 F
Wrap each ear of corn individually in foil, as well as the jalapeno for about 30 minutes
soak the chopped red onion in a bowl of water, to soften the taste

to a mixing bowl, add:

once corn is done, take off of the ears (large chef knife makes it easy)
de-seed and finely chop half of the jalapeno
add in the red onion and lime
then salt & cumin to taste

we used a generous pinch of salt and bit less than 1/8 teaspoon of the cumin to give you a sense

using freshly ground spices definitely makes a huge difference in the flavor, but if you already have some ground up, then you can add a bit more.

it's best to eat this immediately, but if you like things really spicy, let it sit for a while!

here's a photo of the finished product:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Butternut Squash Curry

So I've been on a butternut squash kick, and wanted to make this desi style.  I came across this recipe on a Canadian show last year, added a few of my own ingredients and it is delicious!  You can pair it with naan and yogurt or some rice and achar. Either way, it's a winner!


  • 1 medium sized butternut squash cut into square chunks
  • around 1 tspn black mustard seeds
  • about 3/4 tspn salt
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 dried red chilis
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped coriander for garnish


  • heat oil on medium heat
  • add black mustard seeds, once they begin to splutter, add in the bay leaf and dried red chilis, saute for a minute or two, then add in onions
  • once onions begin to change color, add in turmeric and garlic and fry for about 3 minutes, then add in squash and a little bit of water so it doesn't stick to the pot. add salt (you can add more or less depending on your taste) and stir it around
  • cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • the squash will probably start to get a bit mushy when you stir it around once it's done, but that's fine.  
  • remove from heat, add coriander and give it a stir!

Here are some pics of the finished product:

It's got a great sweet and salty taste, with some heat in every bite!  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I know it's been a while since I've posted any recipes on here, things have been hectic!  We went to visit family for Thanksgiving and I decided to try my hand at butternut squash soup.  The first time I was introduced to this yummy soup was at a small take-out food market in Princeton, NJ called Olives, where they served this delicious, comforting soup every winter.  
I used Ina Garten's recipe and it came out great, but I would definitely do a few things differently next time.  For example, instead of using scallions for garnishing, finely chopped chives and a dollop of creme fraiche would taste great! 
I also think this soup is best eaten as soon as it's made, it was a hit at our Thanksgiving dinner!
Sorry I don't have any pics, was too busy eating all the delicious food!
Here's the recipe:


  • 3 to 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 McIntosh apples, peeled and cored
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (I use Tyler Florence's recipe, minus the turnips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon good curry powder (I used less curry powder, like 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and sliced diagonally for the garnish


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the butternut squash, onions, and apples into 1-inch cubes. Place them on a sheet pan and toss them with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Divide the squash mixture between 2 sheet pans and spread in a single layer. Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until very tender.
Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock to a simmer. When the vegetables are done, put them through a food mill fitted with the medium blade. (Alternatively, you can place the roasted vegetables in batches in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add some of the chicken stock and coarsely puree.) When all of the vegetables are processed, place them in a large pot and add enough chicken stock to make a thick soup. Add the curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Taste for seasonings to be sure there's enough salt and pepper to bring out the curry flavor. Reheat and serve hot with condiments either on the side or on top of each serving.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Zucchini Bread

I was having a craving for Zucchini bread (the fall weather makes me want to eat all things Squash), so I decided to do some research on a quick and easy recipe.  I came across this recipe on, and made a few changes of my own.  I didn't put walnuts in this bread, I used a splash of lemon juice instead of lemon rind, and I used just under a cup of sugar.  I think I'm going to try using brown sugar next time, since I've seen some recipes call for that.  I also peeled the zucchini and then shredded it, used two eggs instead of one, and dusted it with some confectioner's sugar.  Anyways, it came out lovely!  Here are some pics:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Spiced Bulgar with Tomato

Bulgar is not the usual go-to grain for us desis, so it's a refreshing change.  This whole grain, compared to white rice has more fiber and protein, and is commonly used in Middle-Eastern cuisine.  I must say, it's great comfort food.

We first tried this recipe on, but it has since evolved into a whole new recipe:

- 1 cup medium grind bulgur 
- 2 cups chicken stock (for a more risotto like texture, you can add a bit more liquid)
- about 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

- preheat oven to 325 degrees
- heat oil and cook tomato paste until bronze
- cook 1/2 teaspoon of allspice until fragrant
- then slowly add the chicken stock while whisking as to avoid any lumps
- bring it up to a simmer and add bulgar, whisk it together
- cover and bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes
- mix in chopped parsley
- garnish with fried onions (optional)

Some tips:
- You can eat it on its own or as a side it would be great with roasted lamb/chicken/shrimp or even beef koobideh.
- Best cooked in a cast iron dutch oven, like this one.

Here are some pics of our finished product:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Savory Oatmeal with Fried Onions

For as long as I've known, oatmeal is eaten as a breakfast dish, and brown sugar is a must.  My mother-in-law introduced me to savory oatmeal, and it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a nice warm chapati.  Last week, we decided to do our take on the dish, and the little one loved it too!  This recipe serves about 2 people.


- canola oil
- one yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup oatmeal (quick cooking oats)
- a healthy pinch of salt
- generous amount of freshly ground black pepper


- fry onions until they turn deep, dark red, then let them drain on a paper towel
- reserve oil
- cook oatmeal according to directions (stovetop is better) and add some salt, but continue to whisk the oatmeal to maintain a nice consistency
- once oatmeal is cooked and onions are fried, stir some friend onions and 2 teaspoons of the reserved oil  into oatmeal and garnish with onions.

My mother-in-law also sliced up a cloves of garlic, fried them up separately and added those to the mix as well.

bon appetit!