Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Namaste! ... Let's take a trip to India.

Over the weekend I asked the fans on my Facebook page what their favorite foods were, and I saw quite a few responses stating, "I love all different kinds of food" ... which, of course, was expected ... but to my surprise, quite a few people included Indian food in their list!

Maybe it's just me and I'm going crazy or something, but I definitely DID NOT AT ALL realize that so many people like Indian food!!! ... Prior to moving to where I am now, we used to live in South Dakota and for my high school graduation open house, my mom was amazing enough to make some Indian food for everyone who visited. This included butter chicken, chole, rice, gulab jamun, etc. and for some people who were there, it was their first time trying these dishes ... and for some, it was their first time trying Indian food all together! I was actually not at all surprised by that, but I was happy to see that they had enjoyed it! ... I guess that same thought process radiated with me and I still find myself thinking, "SO many people have probably never even tried Indian food!" -- Guess that is my mistake, because more and more people I talk to, especially as of recently, seem to tell me that Indian food is actually one of their favorites! AND they even go as far as to list specific dishes as being ones they love to have!

Well, I am Indian and a lot of the time the kind of food we have at home is Indian but it's like "everyday food" meaning it's not AT ALL jazzed up as served in restaurants. Don't get me wrong, when we go out to eat, I definitely splurge and some of my favorite dishes include malai kofta, tandoori chicken wings, paneer tikka, etc ... but I'll save those for when I do a restaurant post! ;) --- Anyways, I try a particular dish pretty much at every restaurant, but by far, THE BEST version of this is the one made by my mother! Butter chicken.

Lets start of with a picture as "proof":

And the recipe to follow:

Butter chicken

What you will need:

3 boneless chicken breasts cut into squares pieces
1 tsp red chilli powder
3 tbsp oil
Turmeric powder
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp tandoori chicken masala
1/4 tsp chicken curry masala
4 oz tomato puree
10-15 cashews
4 tbsp fresh cream
Salt to taste


Before beginning: crush cashews in a food processor and add yogurt and fresh cream to make a paste. Set aside.

Heat oil in a deep non stick pan. When hot, add onions and sautee till they start browning. Add ginger paste, garlic paste, tomato puree, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, tandoori chicken masala, chicken curry masala and stir. Add chicken pieces and cook covered, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. When chicken is ALMOST cooked, add cashew paste which you had previously made and set aside. Stir and cook until chicken is tender. Serve with chopped cilantro on top as a garnish.

Note: If you stir in the cashew paste after the chicken is fully cooked, you will most likely end up with over-cooked chicken because it does take a couple of minutes for the paste to properly mix in. And if you turn the heat off too quickly, it will taste too cashew-y because it hasn't had that proper amount of time to mix in. Just be careful with that portion of the directions! :)

Compared to A LOT of the recipes that I've read in the past, this is a fairly uncomplicated recipe. Because it is made so often at our house, we now know that it tastes just as good without all the marinade and such, so we just skip over that! :) It is absolutely TO.DIE.FOR!!!

Anddd look! I'm going to be an over-achiever and throw in ANOTHER recipe! ... This time, Pistachio chicken. Picture:

And the recipe:

Pistachio Chicken

What you will need:

3 boneless chicken breasts cut into square pieces
1 slice cinnamon (about 1 inch)
1 cup onion
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 cardamom
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup pistachios
4 tbsp fresh cream
4 cloves
Salt to taste


Peel pistachios and put in warm water to soak.  Remove from water, and set some aside to use as a garnish. Place the rest of the pistachios in a food processor, make a paste with them by adding fresh cream. Set aside.

Marinate chicken in yogurt, garlic paste, ginger paste, lime, salt, garam masala powder, and coriander leaves for 15-20 minutes.

In a sautee pan, heat oil with cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. When hot, add onions, turmeric powder, and fennel seeds. Sautee until the onions are soft. Add pistachio paste and marninated chicken, along with pepper.  Cook until chicken is tender. Serve with sliced slivers of pistachios and cilantro as a garnish.

We actually found this recipe online and have made it a few times now. We love it!

Each of these chicken dishes can be served with naan or another Indian bread such as roti, paratha, puri, kulcha, etc. or of course with rice! ... If you're like my household and only need a total of 3 chicken breasts for one meal, halve each of the recipes and instead of just one dish, you'll have 2 dishes! Both recipes are about equal in difficulty and the number of steps is basically the same, so I think you can pull it off. Just remember to give yourself a little more time to make the Pistachio chicken since it does need that time to marinate. We just make the butter chicken while waiting for the other one to marinate and it's good to go!

So what are your thoughts? Have you ever tried Indian food? Do you like it? What are some of your favorite dishes? ... This probably won't be my only Indian food post because I know quite a few people who are vegetarian, so the next go-around, I'll do some vegetarian dishes. I'll keep in mind what some people's favorites are and maybe post about those so others can see too!


  1. I'm so going to try that butter chicken recipe! So excited! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Definitely going to be making these! Thanks for the recipes!

  3. Thank you guys for reading! I'm excited to hear that you'll be trying these out!!! :)