If there is one thing I love about Singapore, it has to be the multi-cultural environment that we live in. I love the vast festivals that we get to celebrate and the cultures/practices that we get to observe. Many a times, despite not being in the same ethnic group, we get to celebrate different festivals as friends would usually invite us over to join them in celebrating their festivals. As a kid, I used to look forward to Diwali as one of the neighbor would come over with a platter of Indian sweets early in the morning and during Chinese New Year, another neighbor would give me a hongbao (a red envelope consisting cash) with a platter full on oranges and snacks. What NOT to love about being a part of such a society? Cost of living not included. If I were to put a spotlight on the Singaporean cost of living alone, that reason is enough to send me packing to Nigeria. On second thoughts, I should move to India instead. I can then eat butter chicken every single day of my life. <3
After one month of fasting, it is time to celebrate Eid. A time to seek forgiveness for the past mistakes. It is also the time to enjoy delicious goodies while trying to remember the name of that cousin whom you meet once every year. I am just saying, I do remember all my cousins name. Yes all sixty of them and no, my ancestors were not hamsters. On the first day of Eid, we were hosting to about 80 people. I cooked Harissa Rice, Butter Chicken, spicy beef and lime pickles for the guests that came over. I also made a big pot of Cream of Mushroom soup and jumbo garlic croutons which was a HUGE hit. The soup received quite an attention I must say and its recipe can be found here. Sharing some pictures from day one of Eid.
You might have spotted the same faces from Eid 2013 blog post. Yes, we do have almost the same guests every Eid. 😀 So back to the Butter Chicken that I prepared for Eid. It is also known as murgh makhani and it is a very popular dish be it in India or outside of India. A classic recipe would use pieces of grilled tandoori chicken simmered in a creamy sauce made from butter, cream, ginger-garlic..masalas..etc, served with flatbreads or basmati rice, this is deliciousness level ten. You can always substitube the chicken with prawns or fish. If you are a vegetarian, I can’t emphasize as to how perfect this sauce goes with paneer. Why did I have to mention paneer? These creamy sauce + cubes of paneer = sexy comfort food. There is always something seductive about north Indian cuisine. Always teasing my tastebuds and totally right up my alley.
On another note, Eid Mubarak to all of you Maya Kitchenette readers! Here’s to more ketupat, lemang, kuih tart by the bottles and slices of kek lapis (Read: tradional snacks). Not to forget, lotsa love from family and friends. Hope to see peace and joy around the world too.
Remember, if you like delicious, comforting and wonderful Indian food, you have to give this butter chicken recipe a try. Go and catch a chicken right now.
- 1 kg chicken parts (I used a mixed of breast and drumsticks)
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 3 tbsp tandoori powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- *See notes if you have no access to tandoori powder.
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- ¼ cup cashew nuts, grind into a paste
- 3 large onions - chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 green chillies - sliced
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- ⅓ cup cream
- 250g tomato - chopped
- ½ cup cilantro leaves + a few sprigs for garnish
- salt to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or an outdoor grill. Lightly oil the baking pan/grill.
- Cook chicken pieces for about 40-50 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can pan fry the chicken.
- In a pot/pan, heat up butter and oil.
- Add onions and green chilies and fry till fragrant.
- Add ginger and garlic paste and saute for a further 60 seconds.
- Mix in all the spices and cook for a good 5 minutes.
- Throw in the tomatoes, cashew nut paste, salt and half cup of water to the pan and cook on medium heat till the tomatoes have turned all mushy. This takes about 15 minutes.
- Pour the cooked mixture in a blender or you can also use a handheld blender. If you prefer a chunkier gravy, feel free to skip this step. It would still be delicious.
- If you are going to blend the mixture, process/blend until a smooth consistency.
- Return the sauce to the pan and add the chicken pieces.
- Stirring occasionally, throw in the cilantro and cook for another 10 minutes over medium-low heat (or until the sauce is thick to your liking)
- Garnish with more cilantro.
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric powder