I have decided that in the hope of eating better and saving a little money, we are going to make more home-cooked meals. We never really ate out all that much, but the weekend would come around and I wouldn't feel like cooking (I was just being lazy) or I wouldn't have the ingredients I wanted to use so we would end up eating out more than I wanted (mostly cheap fast food, but it adds up). I have started picking out recipes before the weekend comes around and buying any ingredients I need before the weekend actually gets here (I HATE grocery shopping on the weekends).
I didn't work last Friday, so instead of going out to eat Indian, I made it myself! I will tell you two things about the recipes I made. One is that the Indian Spiced Rice is not like what you would get if you went to the Indian buffet. It tasted excellent, but it just wasn't the same. I will have to find a different rice recipe. The second note is that it was very, very spicy. Brian and I both really like spicy food (and I mean HOT), but we both agreed that next time I would need to tone it down. I would suggest using the exact amounts for the chili powder and cayenne pepper in the following recipes (or even using half the amount). Other than that, I will 100% be making the butter chicken again, it was excellent!
I have one more warning- the spices that are needed to make these recipes are not ones that I had in my rack, and one in particular was not cheap (garam masala). Don't say I didn't warn you!
Indian Butter Chicken
1 T peanut oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 white onion, chopped
2 T butter
2 t lemon juice
1 T ginger-garlic paste (I just chopped up a couple of cloves and grate 1 T fresh ginger)
1 t garam masala
1 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup tomato puree (I used 2 T tomato paste mixed with 1 cup of water)
1/4 t cayenne pepper, to taste
1 pinch salt
1 T peanut oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 t garam masala
1 pich cayenne pepper
1 T cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1. Heat 1 T oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent.
3. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 t garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and bay leaf.
4. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
5. Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
7. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
8. Remove from heat and set aside.
9. Heat 1 T oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
10. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
11. Reduce heat and season with 1 t garam masala and cayenne.
12. Stir in about 1/3 of the sauce and simmer until liquid has reduced and chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
13. Pour the rest of the sauce into the chicken.
14. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
Indian Spiced Rice
1 T vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 T minced fresh gingerroot
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t coriander powder
1/2 t ground cardamom
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/8 T red chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1 1/4 cups uncooked basmati rice
3/4 t salt
1/2 cup dry lentils
3 cups water
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1 T butter
1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
2. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently until they have softened.
3. Sprinkle in the garlic, ginger, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, red chili powder, and cumin. Cook for 3 minutes more, stirring frequently.
4. Add the rice to the saucepan and saute the rice with the spices for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Add the lentils and salt into the saucepan. Add the 3 cups of water into the pan and stir. Place the potatoes into the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes.
6. Place the bell pepper and peas into the saucepan. Stir well and cover the pan. Cook 10 more minutes or until the rice, potatoes and lentils are tender.
7. Stir in the butter and serve hot.
2 cups plain yogurt
2 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 cucumber, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 t cumin powder
1/4 t red chili powder
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Chill in serving dish for at least a half an hour.