Archive for Indian Recipes

Sahara Restaurant is located in Mississauga in Ontario, Canada.  The restaurant has received multiple rave reviews in Canada, and Zabihah reviewer Aishy in particular praises their Butter Chicken recipe, stating “YUM!  The BEST food I’ve EVER had at a restaurant…kudos to the chef!  I would DEFINITELY recommend the chicken tikka and butter chicken.”

Thanks to Food Network Canada for sharing this one!  The video features the restaurant chef preparing an authentic Butter Chicken recipe.  A very popular Indian dish with origins from Delhi, Butter Chicken is also known as Murgh Makhani, and is chicken marinated in yogurt and spices (cumin, garam masala, tandoori masala, garlic, and ginger among others), which is then cooked and served with the tomato based butter sauce and naan bread.

Do not be intimidated by the ingredients.  Regarding Indian spices, here’s what the TFN Canada has to say:  “Although most spices can be found in local supermarkets, some might only be available at South Asian grocery stores.  If you are unable to find a certain spice or ingredient, simply omit it.  It might change the taste slightly, but the essence of the dish will remain intact. Adjust the recipes to suit your tastes and make them your own.”

Butter Chicken from Sahara Restaurant
Chicken Tikka

* 1 Pound boneless chicken (white or dark, as you prefer), cut into 2 inch cubes
* 3/4 cup yogurt
* 1 tablespoon garlic/ginger paste
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
* 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 tablespoon tandoori masala
* 1 teaspoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – see note
* yellow and red food colouring

Butter Sauce

* 2 pounds canned diced tomatoes (see note)
* 2 onions, thinly sliced
* 1 cup cashew paste (see note)
* 1 tablespoon ginger/garlic paste
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon cumin powder
* 1 teaspoon garam masala
* 1 teaspoon kasoori methi (dried or powdered fenugreek leaves, often found in your regular grocery store)
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 cup cream
* 1/2 cup butter
* oil
* cream, to garnish

Chicken Tikka

1. Preheat oven to 350 C.
2. Prepare chicken for marinating by combining all ingredients in a large bowl. Put yellow color first to achieve an egg yellow tint in the sauce, and then add red color a little at a time until you achieve a rich and dark orange color. Mix well.
3. Spread chicken out in a baking dish, trying not to let the pieces overlap. Bake for about 20 mins or until chicken is cooked through and the sauce has dried considerably.
4. While chicken is baking, prepare the butter sauce (see recipe)
5. Note: The closest substitute for kasoori methi is celery leaves.

Butter Sauce

1. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and fry until soft and translucent. Take out with slotted spoon and put into blender. Add a tbsp of water if needed, and pulse until pureed.
2. In the same pan, heat the oil again, and add ginger/garlic paste and stir for a moment to heat up. Add the onion puree back, as well as all other ingredients except butter and cream.
3. Cook, stirring often, on medium heat, for about half an hour. The sauce will thicken and should be spoon-coating consistency. (If sauce becomes too thick, just add a little bit of milk to get it to the right consistency).
4. The sauce should be ready by the time the chicken comes out of the oven. Add the chicken to the sauce along with the butter and cream. Stir well and cook for another 5 mins. Spoon out into serving dish, garnish with a ribbon of cream and serve.
5. Note regarding tomatoes: Put the canned diced tomatoes through blender briefly. This will make a smoother butter sauce. Tomato paste is not a good supplement to this step as it has a much stronger tomato flavour and darker colour, which we don’t want for this dish.
6. Note regarding cashew paste: To make cashew paste, soak 1 cup cashews in boiling water for ½ hour. Drain the water, and puree the cashews in blender.
7. Serving note: Ideally served with naan bread or basmati rice.

Comments (10)

Cranberries really are given a bad rap. Memories of the canned version at Thanksgiving, reminiscent of jello are partially to blame, and sadly, this side dish has been discarded from many a modern Thanksgiving holiday.

We say give chutney a chance! What is chutney, exactly? Originating in India, chutney is typically defined as a sweet and spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables, vinegar, sugar and spices. Chutney can be made with mango, apricots, tomatoes or coconut, and spiced with spices such as nutmeg, coriander, or mint, just to name a few of the thousands of ingredient variations. Typically made fresh in India, the type of chutney that is made depends on the ingredients in the local harvest, and they were often not cooked, but infused in the hot Indian sun for several days until the desired flavor and texture were reached. This method is known to still prevail in today’s Indian kitchens that do not have stoves.

Recently we’ve discovered a delightful Indian Chef by the name of Sanjay Thumma, who is quite the celebrity in India. Thousands of his recipes and videos can be found on his site here, and we especially love his version of cranberry chutney in this video. 

Cranberry Chutney

1 pint of fresh cranberries
3 to 4 chopped green chillies
2″ piece of ginger sliced
2 cloves of garlic chopped (optional)
3 to 4 sprigs of green coriander finely chopped
1-2 tbsp of jaggery or sugar (this is an unrefined cane sugar common in India, you may substitute with brown sugar.)
1 tsp of cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1 tbsp of oil

DIRECTIONS:- Heat some oil in the pan and add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the sliced ginger
and chopped garlic. Then add the cranberries and green chillies.
Let it cook on medium heat until they are completely cooked and cranberries are softer. Now add the chopped coriander.
Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook. Add some water in between as needed.
Add the salt to taste and the jaggery (or brown sugar) to taste.
When completely cooked put the mixture in the blender and blend it to fine paste.

Also be sure to see our other posted cranberry chutney recipe from Chef Chef Suvir Saran of Dévi restaurant in NYC.

Also spotted in the blogosphere: a delicious cranberry apple chutney recipe here, from Think Inside The Icebox. The famous food blogger Orangette has a cranberry, ginger, and dried cherries version found here, which received rave comment reviews. Whichever recipe you choose, cranberry chutney will be a shining star on your table served as a side dish, over turkey slices, or over warm bread.

As the nights are getting cooler, we’ve decided it’s time for a soup recipe category!

Here we start off the fall season with Chef and owner of Chinese Mirch restaurant in NYC, Vik Lulla.  In this video he makes a coconut infused shrimp soup with rice noodles and cilantro, a broth that not only tastes exotic and delicious but it also smells wonderfully fragrant.  This soup is a fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine, and is brought to us from Real Meals Tv.

Recipe adapted from the video:

Coconut Infused Shrimp and Noodle Soup
Via Chef Vik Lulla

Thin rice noodles
4 Sprigs of Cilantro
2-3 Large Shrimp, butterflied with tails removed
¼ tsp. Coriander Powder
¼ tsp. Curry Powder
12 oz. Fish Stock
½ cup Coconut milk
¾ oz. White Vinegar
1. Add the stock to a very hot wok (or sauté pan).
2. As it begins to simmer, add the rice noodles and the shrimp.
3. Allow the shrimp to begin to curl into themselves. Add the cilantro,
breaking it roughly just before dropping it in.
4. Add both the coriander and curry powder.
5. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer the whole broth for 1-2
6. Add white vinegar and a squeeze of lemon to taste.
7. Garnish with cilantro, fried shallots and a lemon wedge